Thursday, March 6, 2008

Jeff Van Smarty

One moment of the Lakers-Mavs game this past Sunday afternoon really stood out. Late in the game, Lamar Odom was busy clanking some clutch free throws when coach-turned-announcer Jeff Van Gundy dropped a pearl of wisdom.

He pointed out that he didn't like the match up of Brandon Bass trying to block out Kobe Bryant during free throws. He noted that Bryant is a crafty rebounder and could school the inexperienced Bass.

Right on queue, Odom missed the second free throw, Bryant darted around Bass and grabbed the key rebound. Seriously! How did JVG call that? Is Bass really that bad at boxing out on the free throw line? Is Kobe that good at getting offensive rebounds? Is JVG just that lucky?

There was a little luck involved, but Van Gundy deserves a tip of the hat to his insight. I'm sure he got a lot more things wrong during the broadcast, but he got this really important play dead on. And I'm sure plenty of Mavs fans were left shaking their heads wondering why Avery didn't see this match up problem too.

In the middle of a week where Avery's coaching skill and judgment are already in question, this was yet another blow to his credibility.

I wonder, as the rebound was being gathered by Kobe, if Van Gundy's agent was placing a call with Mark Cuban's office and faxing over a copy of his resume?

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