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TV NOTES

Where's Walton? You'll Hear Tonight

June 05, 2002|Larry Stewart

Get ready to hear more of Bill Walton than usual. Fellow NBC analyst Steve "Snapper" Jones will miss tonight's game to attend his daughter's high school graduation in the Portland, Ore., area.

Walton, on a conference call with reporters Tuesday, said: "The Lakers didn't get it done in the regular season. They took it off. The lackadaisical approach hurt them and I think that could be a factor here.... If the Nets can get the Lakers to play a speed game, they have a chance."

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The national rating for Game 7 of the Western Conference finals was a 14.4 with a 24 share and the national audience was estimated at 46 million, the most to watch an NBA game since the Finals two years ago.

Although the national rating was less than the overnight rating of 16.9, it was still the highest rating ever for a Western Conference final game.

NBC concluded the preliminary rounds with an average rating of 5.6 with a 13 share for 31 telecasts. Last year, NBC averaged 4.9/12 for 30 telecasts leading to the Finals.

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The TNT crew of Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley, plus guest analyst Magic Johnson, will be at Staples Center tonight for a special one-hour "Inside the NBA," airing at 5 p.m. A highlight of the show will be a feature on Robert Horry and his 8-year-old daughter, Ashlyn.

Said Barkley: "This is going to be a really great series, a lot better than people think. New Jersey has a chance.... I've been looking at the matchups. [The Lakers] have more matchup problems. The Lakers' only advantage is Shaquille O'Neal.... Kobe Bryant is going to have to guard Jason Kidd--that is a great matchup. I'm going with the Lakers in seven."

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The pregame show on Channel 4, which will begin at 5:40 p.m., will feature a profile of Net Coach Byron Scott.... KLAC (570), before its 4 p.m. pregame show today, will re-air the fourth quarter and overtime of Game 7.... KXTA (1150) has hired former Trojan Brian Scalabrine as a special analyst to work with Arnie Spanier.... ESPN Radio's national coverage with Brent Musburger and Jack Ramsey, blacked out on KSPN (1110), can be heard on XTRA (690).

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