Last year, ESPN's lead NBA team of Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy made history by calling two Christmas Day games in two time zones. The pair were in Dallas for Mavs/Heat then made the trek to Oakland for Warriors/Clippers. This year, Breen and Van Gundy will duplicate the feat and once again call two games in one day.
Travel will be much easier for Breen and Van Gundy in 2012 as they stay in Los Angeles for two games at Staples Center. ESPN's top braodcast team will cover Lakers/Knicks on ABC at 3 PM ET and then return for Clippers/Nuggets at 10:30 PM ET on ESPN. ABC & ESPN will televise all five Christmas Day games this year. Here's the complete lineup...
12 PM - Celtics @ Nets - Mark Jones, Doris Burke (ESPN)
3 PM - Knicks @ Lakers - Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy (ABC)
5:30 PM - Thunder @ Heat - Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown (ABC)
8 PM - Rockets @ Bulls - Dave Pasch, Jon Barry (ESPN)
10:30 PM - Nuggets @ Clippers - Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy (ESPN)
Even without Mark Jackson, Breen and Van Gundy remain one of the top announce teams across sports and it's a deserved honor for the pair to call two Christmas Day games for a second year in a row. But perhaps the most interesting element of ESPN's NBA coverage on Christmas Day is what will be happening on ESPN3. Between the Lakers and Clippers home games, ESPN3 will televise the real-time transformation of Staples Center from the Lakers home court to the Clippers home court.
I can't imagine there will be many people sitting down in front of their computer for several hours on Christmas Day to watch an arena being set up for an NBA game... ok, I can't imagine any sane, reasonable human being doing it... but it may be cool to check out periodically as something different. It has to beat watching A Christmas Story for the thirteenth year in a row.
For those of you that were curious, the rematch of last year's NBA Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat had the 1st 3:20 of regulation moved from ABC to ESPN, does anybody know if any of the Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Clippers game was moved from ESPN to ESPN2 tonight???
Here is the schedule for the rest of the week:
Wednesday, December 26
New York Knicks @ Phoenix Suns (NBAtv 9PM) Local Broadcast
Thursday, December 27
Dallas Mavericks @ Oklahoma City Thunder (TNT 8PM) Kevin Harlan , Steve Kerr
Boston Celtics @ Los Angeles Clippers (TNT 10:30PM) Marv Albert, Reggie Miller, Chris Webber
Friday, December 28
Denver Nuggets @ Dallas Mavericks (NBAtv 8:30PM) Local Broadcast
Saturday, December 29
New Orleans Hornets @ Charlotte Bobcats (NBAtv 7PM) Local Broadcast
Washington Wizards @ Chicago Bulls (WGNA 8PM) Neil Funk, Stacey King
Boston Celtics @ Golden State Warriors (NBAtv 10:30PM) Local Broadcast
Monday, December 31
Charlotte Bobcats @ Chicago Bulls (WGNA 2PM) Neil Funk, Stacey King
Jamie Maggio is the Sideline Reporter for the Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Clippers game on TNT this Thursday too!!!
I remember in the 90's when the NBA only had an NBA Christmas Doubleheader nationally televised on NBC and that when ESPN and ABC 1st acquired the rights to NBA Games that the NBA had 3 games played on Christmas, most years from 2002-2007 and only had 1 game on ESPN, along with the 2 games on ABC!
Actor Billy Crysal will also join Mke Breen and Jeff Van Gundy in the booth for a porton of the Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Clippers game to lend his insights on the Los Angeles Clippers- his favoriite NBA Team!
Chris Broussard is the Sideline Reporter for ESPN's Coverage of the Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets game too, which means that the Houston Rockets at Chicago Bulls game will be the only NBA Christmas Day game without a Sideline reporter this year!
Also remember that Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy worked their 2nd NBA Christmas day game between the Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors last year without a Sideline reporter and instead had Chris Mullin working with them as a 2nd analyst!
Great... stuck with Mark and Doris for my Celtics at noon. Although, to be fair, anyone at ESPN not named Carter Blackburn is better than Dave Pasch.
What i find interesting is that ESPN and ABC will have their # 3 Sideline Reporter overall and #2 Sideline Reporter for most of the Regular Season- Heather Cox as the sideline reporter for the New York Knicks at Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Clippers games from the Staples Center and their #2 Sideline Reporter overall and #1 sideline reporter for mose of the Regular season-Lisa Salters as the sideline reporter for the rematch of last year's NBA Finals between the Oklahoma Thunder at Miami Heat!
Quick Question, does anybody know why ABC is moving the starting time of it's NBA Doubleheader after having the 1st game start at 11:30 PT and the 2nd game scheduled for 2:00 PT, even though the opening tipoff for the game didn't actually come untill between 2:15-2:20 PT over the last 4 years,to having the 1st game start at 12:00 PT and the 2nd game start at 2:30 PT this year???
And BTW, this "marvelous" feat. Does anyone outside of Bristol and the Van Gundy and Breen households care about it?
The NBA is coming closer and closer to just having a full slate of games on Christmas. I remember when there was one NBA game on Christmas. Even the NFL shifts all or most of their games if Christmas Day falls on a Sunday. I am not an old fogie pining for the "good old days" by any means. I just detest the NBA and hate how they have adopted Christmas as "their day" the way the NFL has Thanksgiving and baseball has the summer holidays.
Transformation, from one team log at center court to another? That'll be like watching paint dry. Try watching the transformation of the Garden from a hockey setup for the Rangers in the afternoon, to a hoops configuration for an evening Knicks game. Now THAT would provide some action.