The Pacers were in Denver last night for a game that didn’t start until 10 PM Eastern.

The game didn’t go that well for the Pacers overall; with Indiana leading entering the fourth quarter, the Nuggets went on a 22-2 run to put it away. Still, there was certainly one bright spot for Indiana fans: this third quarter play that saw Myles Turner denying Nikola Jokic at the rim.

The block was great, sure, but the play inspired FS Indiana analyst Quinn Buckner to bring back “Smothered chicken!”, which is as delightful as a local broadcast call can get:

“WHOAA HE CAUGHT IT! WHOA! HE SMOTHERED THAT CHICKENNNN! He smothered the chicken. We gotta give him one. How about Myles Turner? Smothered it!”

(That Turner’s dunk was wiped out by an off-ball foul on Domantas Sabonis summed up how the night went for the Pacers.)

Quinn brought it back on replay analysis, too:

Buckner’s enthusiastic joy there is truly endearing, yes, but what makes it even better is that Buckner only brings this call out for special occasions. He did it in 2018 for a Victor Oladipo block on Giannis, but it’s been used sparingly since then; some observers noted last night thought it had been retired.

Even sideline reporter Jeremiah Johnson couldn’t believe it:

The rarity makes it special, which Buckner understands. The Pacers obviously don’t have the same market size for their local games as a lot of NBA teams, but Denari and Buckner are a great booth because they don’t fall into shtick, shouting, or blatant homerism that plenty of local announcers do on a nightly basis.

Myles Turner has recorded a block in 54 consecutive games for the Pacers, so Buckner has had plenty of opportunities to bring it back. That he waited for this moment is tremendous.

Just imagine if that dunk had counted!

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.