20. Boston Celtics – 2.19
-Mike Gorman (play by play)
-Tommy Heinsohn (analyst)
Most popular grade: A (29.78% of voters)
Analysis: Nearly 30 percent of the voters gave Gorman and Heinsohn As. How much of that is Boston’s fans showing up to defend their boys, I can only guess. Gorman is a stud, but he’s overshadowed by Heinsohn, who is, for better or worse, the most notable in-game personality outside New York. Heinsohn’s “tell it like it is” analysis transcends homerism — he’s so transparently subjective that the broadcast takes on a surreal tone — and, as the voters displayed, you either love it or hate it.
Reader comments: “For the Celtics, it’s too bad we couldn’t split the vote. I think Gorman does a fine job on play-by-play but Heinsohn is just a godawful homer.” – MB79
@awfulannouncing What happens when you have someone like Gorman who's an A+ & then Tommy who lost his fastball 20 years ago?
— Full House Tickets (@FullHouseTicket) January 19, 2016
19. Philadelphia 76ers – 2.20
-Marc Zumoff (play by play)
-Alaa Abdelnaby (analyst)
Most popular grade: C (28.23% of voters)
Analysis: This isn’t a bad grade for a new crew, with Abdelnaby replacing the invaluable Malik Rose before the season. The so-so results could also be displeasure with the on-court product seeping into the voting.
@awfulannouncing Zumoff gets an A but the new clown they brought in this years stinks out loud
— Freddy Knuckles (@bdknuckles) January 19, 2016
— Steve Phillips (@WhiteyWackers) January 19, 2016
18. San Antonio Spurs – 2.21
-Bill Land (play by play)
-Sean Elliott (analyst)
Most popular grade: A (34.64% of voters)
Analysis: Nobody loves watching the Spurs more than me, but with that said, I couldn’t be more perplexed by them pulling As from more than one-third of the vote. Elliott is the biggest homer in any booth in the league, referring to what “we should do out of the timeout,” and so on. The Spurs crew rages against every call, every referee, every opponent: it’s unbearable.
Reader comments: n/a. Poor Spurs.
17. Los Angeles Lakers – 2.22
-Bill MacDonald (play by play)
-Stu Lantz (analyst)
Most popular grade: A (29.99% of voters)
Analysis: Coupling MacDonald with Kobe Bryant’s incredulous farewell tour is something out of a Laker diehard’s fantasies. Every. Single. Call. Is. Larger. Than. Life. Despite getting As out of nearly 30 percent of the vote, the broadcast crew’s tricks don’t work on non-Laker fans in the same way.
Reader comments: “And as a Lakers fan, will just say Billy Mac is the perfect embodiment of the franchise the last few years. Chick would be rolling over in his grave if he knew we had to endure this guy nightly.” – AirDJ31
16. Orlando Magic – 2.32
-David Steele (play by play)
-Jeff Turner (analyst)
Most popular grade: C (28.60% of voters)
Analysis: Steele and Turner are solid, and provide sound insight into the home town team for wandering League Pass viewers. It’s nice to see a non-playoff contender or major market crew be rewarded for having no gapping flaws.
Reader comments: “The organization made a huge mistake when they got rid of Matt Guokas. He and Steele were great together. Turner isn’t half the analyst that Guokas was.” – Drunckle