No, and honestly most analysts on TV aren’t very good. They are more entertainers rather than breaking down the game. Whether or not they used to be NBA players or not doesn’t seem to matter.
As a general rule – analysts who were not NBA players like Nick Wright, Chris Broussard, Max Kellerman, Shannon Sharpe, Bill Simmons, Ryan Russillo tend to be very numbers focused or say controversial things to get ratings like Stephen A Smith or Skip Bayless. Or just make very general statements like Colin Cowherd. I think my favorite out of this group might be Nick Wright and Chris Broussard. The worst out of this group is definitely Skip Bayless, SAS and Ric Bucher. Almost all just entertainment and not much basketball knowledge.
Analysts who were former NBA players are generally not as numbers focused and say things more based on the eye test or general results.. Barkley, Shaq, Kenny Smith, Richard Jefferson, Jalen Rose, Kendrick Perkins, JJ Reddick are all like this. It doesn’t mean their analysis is any better though. I think my favorite out of this group is probably JJ Reddick. Shaq and Perkins are probably the worst here, they rarely say anything substantial.
None of these guys really break the game down, they don’t talk about double pin downs, off ball screens, angle to set the screen, breaking down play by play etc instead they are saying very general things like if a player scores alot, he’s doing well. If a player doesn’t score a lot he needs to step up or be more aggressive. lol.. tells you nothing about the actual play or game.
Take this one for example.. Brian Windhorst (as well as other talking heads on TV) say that Klay took a bad shot with 5s left. This is a bad breakdown.
There was no one left open, the entire gsw offense was pushed out far, and those are shots him and Curry have been taking their whole careers. given there’s only 5 sec left and there’s no one open and it was a bit of a walk in 3 i wouldn’t say it was a bad decision. The second Klay shot was also a type of shot they can take it was off a screen. Lonnie recovered a bit but only thing is it was a bit early on the shot clock so they didn’t need it yet i guess and they were only down by 1 at the time. The first curry 2 pt shot vs AD wasn’t a bad shot, he got AD off balanced already then took a side step step back. It’s not like the teams can get whatever they want on offense, the other team is fighting on defense too. AD was sagging off of Curry to not give him the drive. AD gave curry a lot of space so that Curry can’t drive and turn the corner on AD and he was banking on using his length to recover if Curry shoots. the previous half when curry drove on AD, it was cause they were trapping the pick so they got very close to Curry, allowing curry to drive past the defender but here AD purposely left more space between him and Curry to keep him from driving so these analysts can just say oh why u guys take that shot??? drive.. well AD wasn’t letting him drive.
Saying like oh looks like Lakers are just guarding up on Curry and living with leaving Klay open..
I’m like that’s totally not’s what happening out on the floor. With the Curry plays there the only thing I can think of.. is there’s still some time. Maybe they can set a ball screen for him to see if he can get to the basket if they trap him but GWSprob thinks they got a mismatch on a big man with Curry so decided to go with the box 1 spread but yeah like that first Klay shot he’s complaining about if you watch the clip just look at where the rest of the warriors were on the court they were all pushed out. Lakers defense was so good on that play, GSW had nothing with only 5 sec left, they pushed the whole GWS offense out of their comfort zone, so Windhorst doesn’t have any idea what he’s talking about. 5 seconds left… what is he gonna do with his teammates all pushed out and covered? that play wasn’t Klay’s fault. he had to take the shot. The second shot maybe it was a bit early in the shot clock to take it.. there was 19 seconds left. so they could have tried to get something else. but still…that’s the way GWS plays. GWS makes those shots and no one will be saying anything . Hell Lebron took a pretty bad similar 3 pt shot 5 ft away from the 3 pt line with 5 seconds left like Klay did and missed it bad but no one talks about that cause Lakers won. And what these guys don’t understand is there’s actually high level defense guarding them.
Jordan Poole’s last shot in game 3, He was 4 feet or so behind the line, he took it from a bit far outside the line. The problem with that shot is he should have actually got up the court faster and moved a bit farther from Draymond and he had time to dribble it a bit closer to have more space but its not the worst shot ever for a shooter like him and people acting like it is. If he dribbled in closer, he’ll get getting closer to the defender. He needed to get up the court faster. Curry got up the court ahead of everyone and got trapped early, While Poole slowly got up and didn’t create enough space between him and Draymond. He should have got up faster and set up closer to the elbow of the 3 area, that was the main issue. But since he didn’t well… that was the best they could get then since he didn’t get to the right spot to begin with.
As for Draymond’s turnover in Game 4, well… credit Lakers defense. GSW loves running off ball pin down actions with the flair screens off ball and Curry was at the top and I’m going off of my memory of the play right now, I think it was Klay and maybe Wiggins in the off ball flare screen pin down, Draymond was getting the ball off the inbound with a hand off and i think Steph was at the top of the 3 pt area as usual. It’s a typical play GSW loves to run, especially out of timeouts. They either run this or a double pin down, depending on time left. Jordan poole hasn’t been shooting well, so they can’t run the double pin down on either side and not enough time anyways for that, so instead they run the hand off to green to confuse the defense which gives Green the drive but that’s to set up 3 options, the off ball action of the flair screen between Klay and Wiggins to hope to lead to a Klay corner 3 or if they collapse on Klay it’ll give Wiggins the roll to the basket while Steph is the decoy for the first 3 seconds. If the defense opt to collapse or trap Klay in the corner and Wiggins gets the open roll to the basket you’ll have to see how the defense collapse, if they don’t collapse then Wiggins gets the layup, if they collapse then he will kick it out to Curry at the top of the 3 but what happened there was two things.. Lakers defense on that play was fabulous. Lebron’s played GSW so many times, Bron of course would know all of GSWs plays, especially the time out ones. Lebron clearly knows that play and he tells AD to switch on the off ball screen cause it was LeBron and AD guarding Wiggins and Klay in the off ball action and LeBron tells AD to switch cause he knows they’re going for the off ball action there so that cut off any passes to the corner, also GSW didn’t execute the off ball action well enough. Klay wasn’t able to get enough of an angle and wasn’t close enough to the baseline otherwise Draymond still MIGHT have an angle to maybe get it to Klay but either way.. Lakers covered that off ball action well with a well called out switch and I think it was Schroder on Curry at the top of the 3 but Schroder just face guarded Curry, he didn’t care what else happened, he didn’t care what Draymond was doing.. no collapsing. So Steph was fully covered, cause if Schroder collapsed on Draymond’s drive, no Draymond has more choices and can kick it back to Curry.. Lakers were smart there. I think they realized or knew it was that play so they knew Draymond wasn’t gonna shoot and was gonna pass so they put a smaller guy I think on Draymond and left their lengthy guys like LeBron and AD to guard the off ball corner action. Now the kicker is I know Draymond’s job was the pass out of that drive but really before Draymond even left his feet the off ball action was already snuffed out by LeBron and AD and Schroeder was face guarding Steph so at that time.. Draymond technically still can make a decision before he left his feet cause clearly the off ball side nothing was open so Draymond should have maybe just went for the 2 but I don’t remember how much time was left in the game at that moment.. if that was enough for a quick 2 and then foul Lakers not sure if there was enough time to really go for that or did they HAVE to shoot the 3.. that i need to take a look at to see how much time was left in the game.
^ See that’s the kind of analysis I would expect for one play from a true ‘analyst’ but instead guys like Barkley are focused on making jokes with Shaq and Kenny and then saying who’s good or bad based on who scored the most points or least points or had the most turnovers or who won and who lost etc there’s no real analysis there. That’s why most analysts on TV are just for fun.. I tune in to Ben Taylor (Thinking Basketball) or Basketball Breakdown if I want to see some good analysis.
Coaches or former coaches generally provide better analysis, but you see relatively few former coaches being a mainstay in these sports programs.
Of course, guys on social media are even worse than that. They just post a bunch of memes and stuff and if you disagree with them then ‘you don’t know basketball’ or call you childish names like ‘Bronsexual’.