Wild Force Is One Of The Power Rangers’ Most Intriguing Installments

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Saban/Disney Enterprises

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban/Disney Enterprises

Earlier this week Shout! Factory released yet another installment of the Power Rangers franchise when it released Power Rangers Wild ForceThe Complete Series.  While not the first time that this tenth “season” of Power Rangers has been released it is the first time that it has been released in its own standalone season set.  Compared to it first nine “seasons” this installment of the Power Rangers franchise is noticeably different.  One area in which that is most obvious is the “season’s” writing.  This includes its story and the elements therein.  The “season’s” overall look is quite different in comparison to previous seasons of the Power Rangers, too.  That will be discussed later.  Last but hardly least of note about this season is the work of the “season’s” cast.  While a lot had changed in this season from the franchise’s previous installments the cast’s acting boasts its own balance of camp and class.  It rounds out the “season’s” most important elements.  Together with the “season’s” writing and its look, all three elements combine to make this “season” of the Power Rangers franchise one of its most important love it or hate it.

Power Rangers Wild Force: The Complete Series is an important addition to every hardcore Power Rangers fan’s home DVD library.  This is the case because in comparison to every previous “season” of Power Rangers this “season” stands out unlike any of them all the way around.  That begins with the “season’s” writing.  The writing includes the “season’s” story and the elements therein.  The “season’s” story marks the first time in the franchise’s history that any of its installments had gone full on fantasy.  By comparison every season that came before was either largely science fiction or a hybrid sci-fi/fantasy hybrid in terms of their stories.  In the case of this “season,” the story centers on the Rangers’ conflict with the resurrected spirit of one Master Org and its org minions.  Master Org was originally defeated three thousand years prior to the story’s setting.  But thanks to the jealousy of a character who turns out to be close to Red Ranger Cole Evans, Master Org is essentially resurrected and made able to carry out its evil ways once again.  Again, this is a story that is completely unlike that of any previous season of Power Rangers.  It’s just one way in which the “season’s” writing proves to be so important to its presentation.  The smaller, more intricate details of the “season’s” writing are just as important to its presentation as the story itself.

Looking at the story’s smaller, more intricate details, it is even clearer just how much this “season” of Power Rangers stands out from its predecessors in regards to its writing.  Cole’s relationship to the man playing host to Master Org’s spirit is just one of those smaller, yet still important elements of the “season’s” writing.  The pair’s surprising relationship is so important to note to the “season’s” writing because it is another first for the franchise.  It marked the first time that one of the franchise’s main villains had presented such a close relationship to any of the franchise’s protagonists.  On a related note, the “season’s” multi-part “Lunar Wolf” story arc is just as important to note in the “season’s” writing.  That is because of its ability to balance the arc’s own identity with its obvious throwback to the Green Ranger story arc from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, the series that started it all for the Power Rangers franchise. On yet another note, this “season” of the Power Rangers also marked the first time that the Rangers were given so many options for zords and all within the course of a single run.  It has since gone on to become the precedent for every “season” to come after in terms of the Rangers’ wide array of zords from which to choose.  It’s just one more way in which the smaller details of the “season’s” writing proves so important to its presentation.  Together with the story itself all, the writing incorporated into PRWF proves to be hugely important to its presentation.  It is noticeably different from that of any of the previous installments of the Power Rangers.  But that clearly noticeable difference is a big part of what makes this installment of the Power Rangers so interesting. It is just one part of what makes PRWF such an interesting addition to the Power Rangers legacy.  The “season’s” look is just as important to note in regards to its presentation as its writing.

The writing behind PRWF is in itself a rather important part of the “season’s” presentation.  That is because it shows the clearly different route taken by the show’s creative heads this time out in comparison to the previous Power Rangers “seasons.”  Love it or hate it there is no denying that the writers and creative heads are to be commended for even taking the risk and changing things up so much this time out.  It’s just one part of what makes this installment of the famed franchise stand out.  The “season’s” look makes it stand out just as much.  Audiences will note in viewing this “season” that being that its footage is taken in large part from its source in the Japanese action series Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger, there is also even more reliance on CG elements in this “season” than in any previous “season” of Power Rangers.  Yes, the live action material is still just as prevalent here with the models and explosions.  But there seems to be even more focus on CG special effects incorporated into the writing than ever before.  As with the “season’s” writing that increased of computer graphics even within the course of the show’s major fight scenes this is a brave step both in terms of the program’s source material and in the bigger picture of the Power Rangers universe.  It definitely gives the show a different feel as well as look in comparison to its predecessors.  Again to that end, this “season” of Power Rangers is just as worth the watch as any of the Power Rangers previous installments if not more so.  Even as important as the look and feel of the show is to its presentation it still is not the last of its most notable elements.  The work of the “season’s” cast plays its own part in the show’s presentation, too.  It rounds out the “season’s” most notable elements as a matter of fact.

Both the writing behind PRWF and the show’s production values present their own value to the program’s presentation.  Both elements are so important to note because they present an installment of the long-running Power Rangers franchise that is largely unlike any that has come before.  Even with so much changed exhibited in this “season” of Power Rangers not everything has changed.  The cast’s take on the scripts is just as entertaining as that of previous casts in their respective installments.  Jack Guzman is wonderfully entertaining as the gentle giant type figure Danny.  Here is this really built figure who looks like he could effortlessly break a person.  Yet he is the total opposite.  Instead he is just a kind, gentle soul with a somewhat childlike sense of humor.  In the same vein Alyson Sullivan is just as impressive as Taylor Earhardt.  Taylor is a strong female lead that even today’s female viewers will appreciate watching.  What’s really impressive about Sullivan’s take on Earhardt is that she was just as believable in the role as Erin Cahill was as Jennifer in Power Rangers Time Force.  The two characters are very similar in their strong personalities.  On another note, Philip Andrew is a little bit over the top in his take on Merrick, the conflicted three-thousand year-old Wild Force Ranger.  But there is good reason for that.  The actor that originally filled the role on Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger was just as much over the top.  Now whether that was intentional or not is anyone’s guess.  Even as campy as Andrew’s acting seems there’s something endearing about it that still makes it entertaining in its own right surprisingly enough.  Whether through Andrew’s acting or that of Guzman, Sullivan, or any of their cast mates, an examination of each cast member’s work on camera shows why the cast’s work in whole is so important to this “season’s” presentation.  Together with the work of the “season’s” writers and those behind its special effects, all three elements combine to show in whole what makes this installment of the Power Rangers stand out from both the shows that came before and after.  Keeping that in mind, they serve to show why this installment of the Power Rangers is just as worth the watch as the franchise’s other offerings if not more worth the watch.

Power Rangers Wild Force is one of the most interesting offerings from the Power Rangers universe to be released to date.  This is proven in part through the show’s writing, which includes both the show’s story and the story’s smaller details.  The show’s special effects stand out just as much from other Power Rangers offerings.  That is because there is a noticeable increase in the use of CG elements within this show as any other from the Power Rangers.  The work of the show’s cast is just as notable as its writing and special effects.  There are some quite believable portrayals in this season and some that are just as enjoyable for their entertainment value.  Each element is important in its own right to the whole of Power Rangers Wild Force: The Complete Series.  Altogether they present this full series/season set as one of the most interesting of the Power Rangers series/seasons to date.  In turn this makes it just as worth the watch  as its counterparts if not more worth the watch.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/power-rangers-wild-force-the-complete-series.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.   Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Time Life Takes Audiences Back To The Wonder Years Once More This Spring

 

Courtesy: Time Life/ABC

Courtesy: Time Life/ABC

This spring, ABC’s classic drama The Wonder Years returns for its fifth season courtesy of Time Life.

Time Life will release The Wonder Years: The Complete Fifth Season on Tuesday, May 24th.  Even more changes are in store for everyone throughout this season’s twenty-four total episodes.  Kevin, Paul, and Winnie are headed to high school.  Wayne and Wart decide to join the Army.  There are also love triangles, a controversial English teacher, a double date that no fan will forget, Driver’s Ed, and much more ahead for everyone this season.  As if that isn’t enough, all of the music that helped make The Wonder Years so great in its original run is here once again, too.  There are songs from Van Morrison, Percy Sedge, The Rivingtons, The Archies, Mel Torme, Patsy Cline, and many others.  The complete list of songs and acts featured in Season Five is noted below.

 

SONGS BY EPISODE

 

 “The Lake”
  • Happy Together-The Turtles
  • I Fought the Law-Bobby Fuller Four
  • Mannish Boy-Muddy Waters
  • Jamaica Say You Will-Jackson Browne
“Day One”
  • Eight Miles High-The Byrds
“The Hardware Store”
  • Takin’ Care of Business-Bachman-Turner Overdrive
  • Pennies from Heaven-Hal Kemp & His Orchestra 
“Frank and Denise”
  • Only You (And You Alone)-The Platters
  • If I Were a Carpenter-Tim Hardin
“Full Moon Rising”
  • G.T.O.-Ronny & the Daytonas
  • Fanfare For The Common ManInstrumental
“Triangle”
  • I Got You Babe-Sonny & Cher
  • If-Bread
  • Green River-Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • I Shall Be Released-The Band
“Soccer”
  • Get Up Offa That Thing-James Brown 
“Dinner Out”
  • Happy Birthday to You-Grady Martin and the Slew Foot Five 
“Christmas Party”
  • Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree-Brenda Lee
  • White Christmas-Andy Williams
  • Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo-Billy May and His Orchestra
  • Sleigh Ride-Leroy Anderson & His “Pops” Concert Orchestra
  • The Christmas Song-Mel Torme
  • Frosty The Snowman-Instrumental
“Pfeiffers’ Pfortune”
  • The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)-Harpers Bizarre
  • Fragrance-Palm Court Theatre Orchestra
“Road Test”
  • Poursuite-Instrumental
“Grandpa’s Car”
  • Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)-Benny Goodman & His Orchestra
  • Crazy-Patsy Cline 
“Kodachrome”
  • Both Sides Now-Joni Mitchell 
“Private Butthead”
  • Forever Young-Joan Baez 
“Double Double Date”
  • You Are Everything-The Stylistics
  • Wild Thing-Instrumental
  • Run Run Run-Jo Jo Gunne
  • Sugar, Sugar-The Archies
  • When a Man Loves a Woman-Percy Sledge
“Hero”
  • Fanfare For The Common ManInstrumental
“Lunch Stories”
  • Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow-The Rivingtons
“Carnal Knowledge”
  • Walk Like a Man-The 4 Seasons 
“The Lost Weekend”
  • March from the River Kwai and Colonel Bogey-Mitch Miller & His Orchestra and Chorus
  • I Want to Take You Higher-Sly & the Family Stone
  • Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)-John Fred & His Playboy Band
“Stormy Weather”
  • Desperado-Linda Ronstadt
“The Wedding”
  • Wedding Song (There Is Love)-Paul Stookey
  • You Can All Join In-Traffic
“Back to the Lake”
  • Pressure Drop-Toots & the Maytals
  • Venus-Frankie Avalon
  • On the Road Again-Canned Heat
  • Home-Karla Bonoff 
“Broken Hearts and Burgers”
  • You’re Sixteen-Ringo Starr
  • Somewhere-Instrumental
  • Brown Eyed Girl-Van Morrison
  • Wild Heart of the Young-Karla Bonoff

Along with its engaging writing and its equally entertaining songs, The Wonder Years’ fifth season also comes complete with a handful of bonus features including the featurette “Will You Love Me Tomorrow: The Wonder Years’ Love Stories,” interviews with Olivia d’Abo (Karen Arnold) and David Schwimmer (Michael), and more.  The complete list of bonus material included in this season is noted below.

 

BONUS FEATURES
  • That’s A Wrap! Mark B. Perry’s Farewell Set Tour Season 5
  • Featurette: Will You Love Me Tomorrow: The Wonder Years’ Love Stories
  • Interviews with: Olivia d’Abo (Karen Arnold), David Schwimmer (Michael)

 

The Wonder Years: The Complete Fifth Season will be available Tuesday, May 24th in stores and online.  It will be available exclusively on DVD and will retail for MSRP of $39.95.  More information on this and other titles from Time Life is available online now at:

 

Website: http://timelife.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TimeLifeUS

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Cavs, Warriors Take The Spotlight In ESPN Networks’ NBA Coverage This Week

 

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN and the ESPN networks have another busy week of basketball ahead of them this week.

Officials with ESPN announced today the networks’ NBA broadcast schedule.  This week’s schedule kicks off tonight with a cross conference showdown between the Rockets and the Cavaliers.  LeBron James and the Cavaliers play host tonight to James Harden and the Houston Rockets in the Quicken Loans Arena.  The game will air live on ESPN Radio with Marc Kestecher on the call.  He will be joined by Jon Barry for additional commentary.  Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm ET.  Cleveland has already clinched the Central Division in the East, and also sits atop the conference, three games ahead of second place Toronto.  A win tonight for Cleveland will hold that lead while a loss will allow the Raptors to close that gap just a little bit more.  Tonight’s game means just as much for Houston.  That is because the Rockets currently sit at the bottom of the Western Conference’s playoff ladder.  A win could potentially keep them in the hunt for the seventh spot on the ladder.  That spot is currently held by the Jazz.

After taking a couple of days off, the action picks back up Friday with a double-header.  Up first Friday night is yet another matchup with huge playoff implications as the Cavs are on the road against the Hawks.  Atlanta currently sits third in the East eight games back from Cleveland.  It is sure to be an even matchup for both teams.  Atlanta is 24 – 13 at home so far this season while Cleveland is 22 – 15 on the road.  Mark Jones will have the call for the game.  He will be joined by Hall of Famer and analyst Hubie Brown for additional commentary.  Reporter Chris Broussard will be courtside for all of the game’s latest headlines interviews, and more.  The game will air live at 8pm ET on ESPN.

Friday’s second game will see Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors host Isiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics as the Warriors’ quest for history continues.  Boston currently sits fifth in the East while Golden State leads the West.  The Warriors have also already clinched the Pacific division in the West.  Mike Tirico will have the call for the game, which is scheduled for a 10:30pm ET tipoff on ESPN.  He will be joined by Jon Barry for additional commentary.  Reporter J.A. Adande will be courtside throughout the game for all of the game’s latest headlines and interviews.

Before the first ball goes in the air Friday night Sage Steel, Jalen Rose, and Chauncey Billups will have a preview of the night’s games on NBA Countdown charged by Mountain Dew at 7:30pm ET on ESPN.

Oklahoma City and Houston round out the week’s NBA coverage across the ESPN networks.  The Thunder and Rockets will face off live Sunday afternoon on NBA Sunday Showcase presented by BBVA.  The game will air live on ABC and ESPN Radio beginning at 3:30pm ET.  Mike Breen will have the call for Sunday afternoon’s game.  He will be joined by Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson for additional commentary.  Reporter Lisa Salters will be courtside for al of the latest in-game news and interviews.  Kevin Calabro and Jon Barry will cover the game for ESPN Radio.  Sage Steel, Jalen Rose, and Chauncey Billups will preview Sunday’s game on NBA Countdown presented by Straight Talk Wireless.

More information on the ESPN networks’ coverage of the NBA is available online along with all of the latest NBA headlines at:

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/nba

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Crosses Conference Lines This Week In Its NBA Coverage

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN and the ESPN networks have announced their NBA broadcast schedule for this week. It kicks off tonight on ESPN with a double header that crosses conferences both literally and figuratively.

ESPN and the ESPN networks kick off their NBA broadcast schedule this week in Boston as Isiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics play host to Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in a cross conference matchup. Tonight’s game will have major playoff implications for both teams as each sits third in its respective conference. A win for the Thunder could also mean the team finally clinches the Northwest Division in the Western conference. For Boston, which fell to Indiana Tuesday night 103 – 98, a win would keep the Celtics just ahead of Miami, which sits fourth in the Eastern conference. It would even more being that the loss was the second straight for the Celtics.   Both teams currently sit at 39 – 28 so far on the season. So a win for Boston is just as important for Boston as for Oklahoma City if not more so. Coverage for the game is scheduled to begin at 7pm ET on ESPN and ESPN Radio. Ryan Ruocco will have the call for tonight’s game between the Thunder and Celtics. He will be joined by analyst Doug Collins for additional commentary. Reporter J.A. Adande will be courtside for additional news throughout the game. On the radio side Marc Kestecher will have the call. He will be joined by Kara Lawson for additional commentary.

In the second of the night’s games Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers are on the road against James Harden and the Houston Rockets in a Western conference matchup with its own playoff implications. The Clippers sit fourth in the West while the Rockets are seventh in the playoff picture. Just as with Boston in its game, the Clippers come into tonight’s game looking to rebound from a loss Tuesday night. Los Angeles fell to San Antonio Tuesday night 108 – 87. It was the second straight loss for the team. The good news for Los Angeles is that it is statistically better on the road than Houston is at home. Los Angeles is 20 – 12 on the road while Houston is 18 – 14 at home so far this season. So even in the midst of a two-game losing streak the odds favor Los Angeles tonight. Coverage for the game is scheduled to begin at 9:30 pm ET on ESPN. Dave Pasch will have the call for the game. He will be joined by Hall of Famer and analyst Hubie Brown for additional commentary. Reporter Israel Gutierrez will be courtside for all of the latest in-game news and more.

After tonight’s double header slate the NBA action picks back up Saturday night on ABC’s NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC presented by La Quinta with another Western conference showdown. Steph Curry and the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors will be on the road Saturday against Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs. Both teams have already clinched their respective divisions, essentially securing their spots in the post season. And both are in the midst of their own winning streak. Golden State has won five straight and San Antonio four straight. Both teams are relatively even at home. But Golden State is slightly better on the road at 29 – 6 versus the Spurs’ current 24 – 10 road record. Coverage is scheduled to begin at 8:30pm ET on ABC. Mike Tirico will have the call for Saturday’s game. He will be joined by Mike Breen and analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson for additional commentary. The game will also be simulcast on ESPN Radio with Dave Flemming anchoring that broadcast. He will be joined by Jon Barry for additional commentary. Reporter Lisa Salters will be courtside for all of the latest in-game news and more. Ahead of Saturday night’s game Sage Steel, Jalen Rose, and Doug Collins will have a preview of the game on NBA Countdown. That is scheduled to start at 8pm ET on ABC.

While this week’s NBA schedule across the ESPN networks is somewhat reduced in comparison to the networks’ previous NBA schedules, there will still be plenty of NBA coverage from ESPN’s NBA studio show The Jump throughout the week. The full schedule for this week’s NBA coverage across the NBA networks is noted below, including air times for The Jump.

Date Time (ET) Event/Commentators Network (s)
Tue, Mar 15 3:30 p.m. The Jump presented by State Farm
Rachel Nichols, Marc Stein, Stephen Jackson
ESPN
Wed, Mar 16 1:30 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, P.J. Carlesimo
ESPN2
  The Jump presented by State Farm
Rachel Nichols, Marc Stein, Stephen Jackson
ESPN2
  7 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at Boston Celtics presented by State Farm
Ryan Ruocco, Doug Collins, J.A. Adande
Radio: Marc Kestecher, Kara Lawson
ESPN, ESPN Radio
  9:30 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rockets
Dave Pasch, Hubie Brown, Israel Gutierrez
ESPN
Thu, Mar 17 12 a.m. (midnight) NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Bruce Bowen
ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. The Jump presented by State Farm
Rachel Nichols,  Marc Stein, Stephen Jackson
ESPN
Fri, Mar 18 1 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Bruce Bowen
ESPN2
Sat, Mar 19 1 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Amin Elhassan
ESPN2
  8 p.m. NBA Countdown
Sage Steele, Jalen Rose, Doug Collins
ABC
  8:30 p.m. Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs presented by La Quinta
ABC: Mike Tirico, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Lisa Salters
Radio: Dave Flemming, Jon Barry
ABC, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio
Sun, Mar 20 1:30 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Amin Elhassan
ESPN2

Programming Note: The Jump will not air on Friday due to the airing of the BNP Paribas Open 2016

More information on ESPN’s NBA coverage is available online now along with all of the latest NBA headlines at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/nba

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Networks Highlight Western Conference In This Week’s NBA Coverage

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has announced its NBA coverage schedule for this week. And in this week’s schedule of games the Thunder and Clippers will be highlighted.

This week’s NBA broadcast schedule kicks off tonight with a double header schedule on ESPN. First up on the night is a cross-conference matchup between Memphis and Boston. While the showdown pits teams from opposite conferences against one another it still will have its own playoff implications. Boston currently sits third overall in the East, seven games back from Cleveland while Memphis currently sits 5th in the West, eighteen and a half games back from the Warriors. Neither team has yet clinched a playoff berth. So win or lose tonight’s game between the Celtics and Grizzles will play a big part in the teams’ playoff fates. Tipoff for tonight’s game is scheduled for 7pm ET. Mark Jones will have the call for the game. He will be joined by Tim Legler for additional commentary.

Second up on the night is a Western Conference matchup between Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Thunder welcome the Clippers into the Chesapeake Arena in a game that will also determine both teams’ playoff fates. That is because neither team yet has clinched its berth in the post season. Oklahoma City currently sits third in the west with the Clippers not too far behind in fourth. Neither team has a chance of catching the Warriors or Spurs. But both teams can potentially set their place in the playoffs. Tipoff for the game is set for 9:30pm ET. The game will be simulcast on ESPN and ESPN Radio. Dave Pasch will have the call for the game on ESPN. He will be joined by Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, and Chris Broussard for additional commentary. On the radio side, Marc Kestecher will have the call for the game. He will be joined by P.J. Carlesimo for additional commentary.

Ahead of Wednesday night’s double header schedule Rachel Nichols, Tracy McGrady, and Brian WIndhorst will have a preview of the night’s games and will look ahead to the rest of the week’s schedule in The Jump beginning at 1pm ET on ESPN2.

After Wednesday night’s double header ESPN will shift its attention to college basketball. It will be carrying coverage of the ACC Tournament and Big Ten Tournament Thursday and Friday. The NBA action picks back up on Saturday night at 8:30 pm ET with a Western Conference matchup between Oklahoma City and San Antonio. The Spurs will play host to the Thunder on NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC presented by La Quinta beginning at 8:30pm ET on ABC. Mike Tirico will have the call for Saturday’s game. He will be joined by analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson for additional commentary. Sage Steele, Jalen Rose, and Doug Collins will preview the night’s matchup and look back on the week’s other games ahead of Saturday’s showdown between the Western Conference opponents. San Antonio has already clinched its spot in the post season. But Oklahoma City has not yet solidified its spot in the playoffs. If it doesn’t clinch Wednesday night, a win Saturday could set its spot in that race.

Cleveland and the Clippers round out the week’s NBA coverage on ESPN and the ESPN networks Sunday afternoon on NBA Sunday Showcase presented by BBVA. Cleveland sits atop the Eastern Conference but has yet to clinch its spot in the playoffs. So the team will be looking to punch its post season ticket in the game. That is because the Raptors, who currently sit second in the East, are currently only two games back from Cleveland. So they are making things very interesting for Cleveland heading into the regular season’s final stretch. Win or lose Wednesday Sunday’s game will still have its own implications for the Clippers, too. That is because the Clippers sit fourth in the West. The fifth-place Grizzlies don’t have a chance of catching the Clippers and the Clippers likely won’t catch the Thunder either. So L.A. will be looking to solidify its place in the post season once and for all Sunday against the Cavs. Mike Breen will have the call for the game. He will be joined by analyst and Hall of Famer Hubie Brown for additional commentary. Reporter Lisa Salters will also be courtside throughout the game for all of the latest updates and more. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:30pm ET. The game will be simulcast on ABC, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN Radio. Kevin Calabro will have the call on ESPN Radio. He will be joined by P.J. Carlesimo for additional commentary. The full schedule for this week’s NBA coverage across the ESPN networks is noted below.

 

 

Date Time (ET) Telecast/Commentators Network (s)
Tues, Mar 8 3:30 p.m. The Jump presented by State Farm
Rachel Nichols, Tracy McGrady, Brian Windhorst
ESPN
Wed, Mar 9 1 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Tim Legler
ESPN2
  1 p.m. The Jump presented by State Farm*
Rachel Nichols, Tracy McGrady, Brian Windhorst
ESPN2
  7 p.m. Memphis Grizzlies at Boston Celtics
Mark Jones, Jon Barry
ESPN
  9:30 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder
Dave Pasch, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Chris Broussard
Radio: Marc Kestecher, P.J. Carlesimo
ESPN, ESPN Radio
Thu, Mar 10 1 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Brad Daugherty
ESPN2
3:30 p.m. The Jump presented by State Farm
Rachel Nichols,
ESPN
Fri, Mar 11 1 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Brad Daugherty
ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. The Jump presented by State Farm
Rachel Nichols
ESPN
Sat, Mar 12 1 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Amin Elhassan
ESPN2
  8 p.m. NBA Countdown
Sage Steele, Jalen Rose, Doug Collins
ABC
  8:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs  presented by La Quinta
Mike Tirico, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Lisa Salters
ABC
Sun, Mar 13 1:30 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Amin Elhassan
ESPN2
3 p.m. NBA Countdown presented by Straight Talk Wireless
Sage Steele, Jalen Rose, Doug Collins
ABC
3:30 p.m. Cleveland Cavaliers  at Los Angeles Clippers presented by BBVA
Mike Breen, Hubie Brown, Heather Cox
Radio: Kevin Calabro, P.J. Carlesimo
ABC, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio

 

 

More information on the ESPN networks’ NBA coverage is available online along with all of the latest NBA headlines at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/nba

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Gruden’s QB Camp Returns For Its Seventh Season This Spring

Orlando, FL - March 31, 2015 - Wide World of Sports: Jon Gruden during Gruden's QB Camp class of 2015 (Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images)

Orlando, FL – March 31, 2015 – Wide World of Sports: Jon Gruden during Gruden’s QB Camp class of 2015
(Photo by Scott Clarke / ESPN Images)

The start of the 2016 – 2017 NFL season is roughly six months away. Even with so much time until football returns, any true NFL fan will agree that it is never too soon to talk football. That being the case NFL fans will be happy to know that ESPN has announced the return of Gruden’s QB Camp this spring.

Gruden’s QB Camp is an integral part of ESPN’s annual pre-NFL Draft programming. This year it returns for its seventh year beginning April 12th at 8:30pm ET on ESPN and will run for a total of five weeks leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft. It will air across the ESPN networks, including ABC. As a bonus for audiences, previous episodes of Gruden’s QB Camp will be available via ESPN Classic VOD beginning in the first week of April. Excerpts of each episode will be run on NFL Live, SportsCenter, and other shows.

This year’s season of Gruden’s QB Camp will feature projected first round picks Jared Goff (California — 1st Team All-Pac 12 selection), and Carson Wenz (North Dakota State – Most Outstanding Player from the NCAA D1 National Championship over the past two years). Also expected to appear on Gruden’s QB Camp this year are: Connor Cook (Michigan State — Big Ten QB of the Year and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award-winner), Christian Hackenberg (Penn State – 2013 Big Ten Freshman of the Year), Cardale Jones (Ohio State – 2015 College Football Playoff National Champion), Paxton Lynch (Memphis – AAC 1st Team selection), and Dak Prescott (Mississippi State – 2016 Reese’s Senior Bowl MVP).

Over the course of its past six seasons Gruden’s QB Camp has welcomed fifty players. Forty-three of those fifty players were quarterbacks. Of those quarterbacks, ten have gone on to be starting QBs in the NFL including: Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers QB) and Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks QB). More information on this year’s season of Gruden’s QB Camp is available online with all of the latest NFL headlines at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NFLonESPN

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Networks Featuring Conference Matches In This Week’s NBA Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has announced the schedule for its NBA coverage this week. And as things heat up in the second half of the 2016 NBA season so do things for the ESPN networks’ NBA coverage.

This week’s NBA coverage on the ESPN networks kicks off tonight, March 2nd, with a double header on ESPN. First up tonight Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons will be on the road against Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs in a matchup with playoff implications for both teams. Detroit is currently in the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race while the Spurs currently hold the number two spot in the Western Conference. Tipoff is scheduled for 8pm ET on ESPN. Mark Jones will have the call for that game. He will be joined by Jeff Van Gundy and Jeff Van Gundy and analyst J.A. Adande for additional commentary. Next up at 10:30pm ET Chris Paul and the Clippers play host to Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in a Western Conference showdown that also has its own playoff implications. Oklahoma City currently sits third in the West and the Clippers fourth. Tipoff for that game is scheduled for 10:30pm ET. Mike Breen will have the call for that game. Mark Jackson will join him for additional commentary.

Before tonight’s games tip off ESPN will begin its NBA coverage this afternoon on The Jump. Rachel Nichols will host and will be joined by analyst/insider Tracy McGrady and Israel Guttierez for additional commentary. The trio will look back at the previous week’s NBA games and headlines, and also will look forward to tonight’s games and major story lines. That will be this afternoon at 3:3opm ET on ESPN. Doris Burke, Jalen Rose, and Chauncey Billups will have even more on tonight’s games on NBA Countdown Charged by Mountain Dew tonight at 7:30pm ET on ESPN.

After taking the day off Thursday save for NBA Tonight and The Jump the action picks back up Friday with another double header. First up in Friday’s schedule is an Eastern Conference battle between the Cavaliers and the Wizards. Washington is completely out of the playoff picture so it will be playing hard. That is because the team has nothing to lose. On a related note LeBron James and company sit atop the Eastern Conference. So they will be playing just as hard to maintain their spot in the playoff picture. This means that this game is sure to be an interesting one for both sides. Dave Pasch will have the call for the game. He will be joined by analyst Jon Barry for additional commentary. Reporter Chris Broussard will also be on hand for additional commentary and reports. Tipoff is scheduled for 8pm ET. Later in the evening Kobe Bryant continues his farewell season as he and the Los Angeles Lakers hos Paul Millsap and the Atlanta Hawks. Gametime for that matchup is scheduled for 10:30pm ET. Mike Tirico will have the call for the game. He will be joined by Hubie Brown for additional commentary. The game will air live on ESPN and on ESPN Deportes.

Sage Steele will preview Friday night’s games at 7:30pm ET on NBA Countdown Charged by Mountain Dew. Jalen Rose and Doug Collins will join Steele for additional commentary and insight into the evening’s schedule. Earlier in the day Rachel Nichols, Raja Bell, and Israel Gutierrez will review previous games and look forward to the evening’s double header on The Jump. The Jump will air live at 3:30pm ET on ESPN.

The action continues Saturday night as the Bulls host the Rockets in a cross-conference matchup on NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC presented by La Quinta. Chicago is out of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. The Rockets are fighting to stay in the Western Conference playoff picture. The team currently sits last in the playoff race in the West. Mike Breen will have the call for Saturday night’s game. He will be joined by analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson for additional commentary. Reporter Lisa Salters will also be courtside for news throughout the game. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30pm ET on ABC. The game will also be simulcast on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio. Sage Steele, Jalen Rose, and Doug Collins will preview Saturday night’s game on NBA Countdown at 8pm ET on ABC.

This week’s NBA coverage on the ESPN networks rounds out Sunday afternoon with one more Western Conference match. This time the Lakers will host the league-leading Golden State Warriors on ABC’s NBA Sunday Showcase presented by BBVA. Mike Tirico and Hall of Famer/analyst Hubie Brown will have the call for Sunday’s game. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:30pm ET. The game will be simulcast on ESPN Radio stations nationwide. Sage Steele, Jalen Rose, and Doug Collins will preview Sunday’s game on ABC’s NBA Countdown presented by Straight Talk Wireless at 3pm ET. The full schedule for the ESPN networks’ NBA coverage this week is noted below.

 

Date Time (ET) Telecast/Commentators Network (s)
Tue, Mar 1 3:30 p.m. The Jump presented by State Farm
Rachel Nichols, Tracy McGrady, Tom Haberstroth
ESPN
Wed, Mar 2 12:30 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Brad Daugherty
ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. The Jump presented by State Farm
Rachel Nichols, Tracy McGrady, Israel Gutierrez
ESPN
  7:30 p.m. NBA Countdown charged by Mountain Dew
Doris Burke, Jalen Rose, Chauncey Billups
ESPN
  8 p.m. Detroit Pistons at San Antonio Spurs presented by State Farm
Mark Jones, Jeff Van Gundy
ESPN
  10:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Clippers presented by State Farm
Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, J.A. Adande
ESPN
Thu, Mar 3 1 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Brad Daugherty
ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. The Jump presented by State Farm
Rachel Nichols,  Raja Bell, Israel Gutierrez
ESPN
Fri, Mar 4 1 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Brad Daugherty
ESPN2
  3:30 p.m. The Jump presented by State Farm
Rachel Nichols,  Raja Bell, Israel Gutierrez
ESPN
  7:30 p.m. NBA Countdown charged by Mountain Dew
Sage Steele, Jalen Rose, Doug Collins
ESPN
  8 p.m. Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers presented by State Farm
Dave Pasch, Jon Barry, Chris Broussard
ESPN, ESPN Deportes
  10:30 p.m. Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Lakers presented by State Farm
Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown
ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Sat, Mar 5 1 a.m. NBA Tonight
Cassidy Hubbarth, Antonio Davis
ESPN2
  8 p.m. NBA Countdown
Sage Steele, Jalen Rose, Doug Collins
ABC
  8:30 p.m. Houston Rockets at Chicago Bulls presented by La Quinta
Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Lisa Salters
Radio: Marc Kestecher, Jon Barry
ABC, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio
Sun, Mar 6 3 p.m. NBA Countdown presented by Straight Talk Wireless
Sage Steele, Jalen Rose, Doug Collins
ABC
  3:30 p.m. Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers presented by BBVA
Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, Heather Cox
Radio: Kevin Calabro, P.J. Carlesimo
ABC, ESPN Radio

 

 

More information on this week’s NBA coverage across the ESPN networks is available online now at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/nba

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAonESPN

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.