Watching the Bulls/Pistons game last night, I found myself laughing and learning from the familiar voice coming from the television. I never cared much for Jeff Van Gundy as an NBA coach, but he may have found his calling as a commentator.
He is quick witted with his jokes and full of usefull basketball knowledge. He calls things honestly, the way he sees it, but doesn't take himself too seriously; he is willing to laugh at himself and admit he may be wrong about some things.
I especially like the way he laughs at certain aspects of the game. The Pistons had fouled Ben Wallace shooting a jump shot for about the fourth time and Van Gundy spurted out, "What are they doing? The Pistons keep fouling Wallace like they think he is a threat to make those jumpers! Let him shoot those!"
He reminds me of Dick Vitale, only in the sense that you can tell he loves the game of basketball and it shows in his commentary.
As for the game itself, how about this Nocioni fella for the Bulls. Talk about taking control of the game in the fourth quarter and leading the Bulls to victory.
I complained in my blog yesterday of needing to see some hustle. I saw it from Nocioni. He was diving for loose balls, playing through some pain, taking the ball to the hole and putting pressure on the Pistons defense.
I could have been mistaken, but I swear I saw a couple of Pistons shaking their head after Nocioni beat them to the hoop for another layup.
The Bulls keep talking about looking for leaders. Where was Gordon or Heinrich in that fourth quarter? As far as I could see, they were nonexistant. I think Gordon was on the bench most of the time.
Nocioni played with life and energy and it transfered to the rest of the team on the floor. Nocioni even dished the ball to Joakim Noah a couple of times for easy scores in the final period. For a second I thought I must be watching college hoops.
It was one of the more enjoyable experiences watching an NBA game this season.