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Wry words from Costas, Walton tweak ex-Bad Boys Rodman, Isiah

SHARE Wry words from Costas, Walton tweak ex-Bad Boys Rodman, Isiah

NBC's Bob Costas called a great game on Wednesday. And if that wasn't enough to endear him to Jazz fans, how about the consistent contempt he expressed for Dennis Rodman?

The best line anyone produced during the game came after Costas said that, according to Ahmad Rashad, Bulls coach Phil Jackson wanted to put Rodman in the game, but he wasn't back from riding his bike in the locker room, so Dickie Simpkins went in instead."It's one thing to be idiosyncratic. It's another thing to be idiotic," Costas said.

Costas consistently slammed Rodman, but he did give credit where it was due. He credited him for one "great play" and another "key defensive play" and, when Rodman called a timeout to save a possession, Costas summed it up by saying, "Rodman is such a contradiction. He does so many goofy things, and then he does uncommonly heady things like that. . . . That's the problem. You don't know if he's on or off the reservation."

TECHNICALLY ADVANCED: If NBC missed a camera angle or a replay, it didn't show. It was great camera work, great production values, great graphics and great packaging all around.

OBLIVIOUS ISIAH: What in the world is Isiah Thomas doing as part of NBC's first-team broadcast team? He had a worse game than Simpkins.

He seemed completely surprised to see Howard Eisley and Chris Morris on the court in the latter part of the first quarter. "I don't think they even practiced with this lineup," he said.

At halftime, Bill Walton contradicted Thomas: "It's as if Chicago didn't even know that Eisley could make this kind of shot," he said. Neither did Thomas.

Thomas harped on what he perceived as Utah's mistake in trying to run with the Bulls - a point fellow analyst Doug Collins disputed. "Isiah, can't you feel how Utah is trying to run?" Collins asked.

"Yeah, but Doug, I think they're making a big mistake by trying to run with Chicago because that's not their character."

The Jazz were in the midst of a 12-2 run at the time.

NBC showed a graphic indicating that both the Bulls and Jazz have had 30 days off since the playoffs began. "The reason is that Chicago finished its series earlier," Thomas said.

"Early in the playoffs," Costas had to interject.

And Thomas seems to have some trouble hiding his personal biases. "I get the feeling that Chicago is just trying to hang around until the last five minutes of the game when, hopefully, Michael Jordan can take 'em home," he said

Hopefully?!?

NUMBER OF TIMES NBC MENTIONED RODMAN'S INJURED THUMB: 13

NUMBER OF TIMES NBC MENTIONED MALONE'S INJURED FINGER: None

KNOWING WHEN TO SHUT UP: Good for Costas and Co. for knowing when not to talk, like when the cameras focused on the crowd after the Jazz scored six straight points to take a 23-17 lead.

FUNNIEST PREGAME SHOT: The Bulls plugging their ears while the fireworks went off while the Jazz seemed oblivious to the noise.

FRIENDSHIP COUNTS: At halftime, John Salley actually said Rodman - a former Pistons teammate of his - was "playing great defense on Karl Malone." This after Costas, Collins and Thomas - aided by instant replays - repeatedly pointed out how Malone was eating Rodman's lunch.

MOST PREDICTABLE COMMENT: You just knew Thomas would eventually make reference to that time Malone sent him to the hospital for 42 stitches, didn't you?