5. Minnesota Timberwolves – 2.75
-Dave Benz (play by play)
-Jim Petersen (analyst)
Most popular grade: A (47.62% of voters)
Analysis: Two of the most insightful announcers in the sport, Benz and Petersen earned these As. The crew has kept up with the analytical movement un-ironically, and Petersen will toss in a new figure or SportVU calculation from a full night’s worth of research during every game.
Reader comments: “As bad as the Timberwolves are, Dave Benz (and especially) Jim Petersen are amazing for the Timberwolves Entertainment Network.” -RenoGruber
@awfulannouncing Jim Peterson is down right awful and a homer. If you listen to him you would believe twolves were a lock 2 the playoffs.
— Clayton Wilmes (@TheRealCwil) January 20, 2016
4. Milwaukee Bucks – 2.80
-Jim Paschke (play by play)
-Gus Johnson (play by play – select)
-Marques Johnson (analyst)
-Jon McGlocklin (analyst – select)
Most popular grade: A (42.41% of voters)
Analysis: The Bucks have had a solid in-game crew, but the addition of Gus Johnson recalibrated their place on a list like this. Johnson adds chutzpah to an organization swinging for the fences in every way. It’s OK to admit we’re all circling the dates Johnson takes the chair from Paschke and making those games appointment television.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) January 9, 2016
Reader comments: “Bucks — you can’t NOT give Gus Johnson an A. But Marques Johnson has been great, too. He’s not afraid to call the team out when they’re not playing well, has great insight, and great chemistry with both Paschke and Gus. Paschke is always solid, nothing special, but he’s been doing this forever. Jonny Mac can be a bit of a sideshow act sometimes, but he’s always entertaining, and has his moments where he adds substance. Love all of these guys.” – kneary22
3. Sacramento Kings – 2.92
-Grant Napear (play by play)
-Jerry Reynolds (analyst)
Most popular grade: A (53.33% of voters)
Analysis: The majority of the voters gave the Kings crew the top grade, recognizing Napear as one of the best play-by-play men in the game. Napear is not without his ticks — the unintentional comedy of his disgusted reactions to his team’s tomfoolery is in the same vein as Joel Myers in New Orleans — but he and Reynolds create a distinct broadcast experience.
Reader comments: n/a. Poor Kings.
2. Brooklyn Nets – 3.05
-Ian Eagle (play by play)
-Ryan Ruocco (play by play – select)
-Mike Fratello (analyst)
-Jim Spanarkel (analyst)
-Donny Marshall (analyst – select)
Most popular grade: A (46.9% of voters)
Analysis: Rotating Ian Eagle and Ryan Ruocco as the voice of the team is an embarrassment of riches for a basketball team floundering on the court. Fratello is an iconic voice in the sport. Ruocco and Spanarkel have top-notch chemistry and prepare with the very best of them.
Reader comments: n/a. Poor Nets.
1. New York Knicks – 3.36
-Mike Breen (play by play)
-Kenny Albert (play by play – select)
-Mike Crispino (play by play – select)
-Walt Frazier (analyst)
Most popular grade: A (66.07% of voters)
Analysis: Mike Breen finds the pulse of every game, and his unmistakable voice keeps every play in context for the audience — whether it be for MSG Network or calling national games and the playoffs for ABC/ESPN. The treat of watching Breen call the Knicks is his symbiotic relationship with Walt “Clyde” Frazier. The latter is a wordsmith and rhyming machine, and Frazier’s smooth, unreplicable style brings something special out of Breen, who never fails to find new ways to set Frazier up with a clever line.
Reader comments: “Breen & Frazier don’t sugar coat anything and don’t insult the intelligence of their viewers, which to me, makes them the best of that lot.” – butterfield