Thursday, November 02, 2006

A big welcome back for NBA

Jim Williams, The Examiner
Nov 2, 2006 5:00 AM (1 hr 8 mins ago)
Current rank: # 4 of 4,188 articles

BALTIMORE - Baltimore is a great basketball town, and the NBA season is underway. Hoops fans can catch a game almost every night with CSN, TNT, ESPN and NBA TV serving up all the action you can handle.

I talked to a cross-section of experts from both TNT and ESPN, and here is what they had to say about some key story lines as the season gets started.

» TNT’s Doug Collins on Baltimore’s own Carmelo Anthony, the Denver Nuggets’ forward: “Carmelo looks good. His body is lean, and he’s moving well. I can’t tell you what this summer [playing on the USA Basketball team] did for him. Now, people are starting to talk about him in the same breath as Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.”

» Hubie Brown, ESPN’s lead basketball analyst, on what the Washington Wizards need to do to take the next step: “I like Washington’s chances to take a move up and become an elite team. If Washington wants to contend for an NBA championship — and they have the talent to go far — there is only one word they need to remember: Defense. Gilbert Arenas and the guys can score, but to be real contenders, they must defend. If they can do that, the Wizards have a chance to go deep into the playoffs.”

» TNT’s Reggie Miller on sleeper picks: “My sleepers — and these are all contingent on guys staying healthy — I like Sacramento, as well as Utah. In the East, I sense something special brewing down in Orlando. Jameer Nelson is a true, proven leader at the point guard position. Can Grant Hill give them some minutes and stay healthy? Also, growing up here in Los Angeles, I thought I would never say this, but it is slowly becoming a Clipper town. You really have to give credit to Donald Sterling, Elgin Baylor and Mike Dunleavy.”

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. E-mail him at

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