Basketball On The Internet (and other stuff)

 —  January 26, 2005

I was at work for the first half of the Laker/Sonics game last night, and I had to do something I’ll do a lot more soon with an East Coast road swing coming up — “watch” the game on the Internet.

And I can’t find a good way to do that.

I think I’m spoiled because baseball has a pretty good system in place — the MLB.com flash game track system shows you a lot of detail, including where pitches were in relation to the batter. It’s not perfect (when there is a fly ball out to Milton Bradley in center field, I don’t know if it came right to him or if he had to make a shoestring catch), but you can follow the game closely.

NBA.com’s flash game tracker isn’t as good. I can get a play-by-play, and a running box score, but there is no feel for the game. ESPN’s site gives you a shot chart but its running play-by-play isn’t nearly as smooth. I’ll add that I checked, and ESPN’s feed ran a few seconds ahead of the NBA feed when side-by-side.

I admit that part of the problem is the sport — it’s much easier to have a computerized play-by-play of baseball because of the pace of the sport and the majority of the action being in one area (at the plate). I’m not sure how you make it better for basketball.

Does anyone out there have a better system (or site) for “watching” games live? It’s one of the West Coast issues, games are going on before I leave the office all the time. I just wish there was a better way to deal with it.

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Two other quick notes this morning:

Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban just rips into ESPN’s Chad Ford in his latest blog entry. Ford has long been a whipping boy on NBA team message boards and blogs around the nation (an honor richly deserved), but when a team owner (especially one as accessible as Cuban) writes that Ford never calls him but writes about what Cuban is doing and thinking, it takes on a whole new level of credibility.

I heard big time Laker fan Ice Cube interviewed by Jim Rome this morning (don’t take this as an endorsement of Rome and his show, it’s not [he could be an entire entry some day], but he is a good interviewer and Cube is a great guest). Ice Cube knew his Lakers and was good with the direction of the team, and he had the quote of the day:

“It was time for a change. This was like a soap opera with bad writers.”