When asked at the beginning of Thursday night’s Dodgers-Giants telecast what it is like to be in the ESPN booth on Opening Day, Rodriguez flubbed his first line: A little bit more nerv …, he said, before stopping himself, because he had flipped his own script. A little bit more excitement when you are playing. Up here [in the booth], a little bit more nervous.
Rodriguez settled in and was OK in his debut on the big-game TV analyst stage. It was akin to a 1-for-4 debut with an RBI double. That’s not bad, but not great.
Rodriguez had some moments as he tried to emulate Tim McCarver, whom he watched first-guess during Mets games on WOR as a kid in Miami.
To end the seventh, Rodriguez said he would Bet the house that Giants pitcher Cory Gearrin would throw Chris Taylor a slider. He did and Taylor looked at strike three. This type of stuff is second nature to A-Rod and illuminating for a viewer.
He’s playing extremely well, Blazers guard CJ McCollum said. We’ve got to limit some of his opportunities going forward.
Coming off that pick-and-roll, he’s able to get those floaters and get to the rim, said Portland All-Star Damian Lillard, who finished with 17 points on the night. He’s impacting the game on both ends of the floor.
Holiday has arguably done his most effective work at the defensive end against Portland’s best player. He held Lillard to 0-for-4 shooting, zero points and two turnovers as a primary defender in Game 2. Lillard is now 0-for-8, and the Blazers are 6-for-24 (25 percent) against Holiday in the series.
In my opinion, I think he’s one of the best defenders out there on the perimeter, said Lillard, who typically has his way with most NBA defenses but has yet to find his shot in this series. He’s just playing well. He’s big and crafty. He’s impacting the game on both ends of the floor.
McCollum said he is not surprised by the way Holiday has harassed Portland’s potent pair.
He’s a very good player, McCollum said. I said it coming into this series: He doesn’t get a lot of credit because he’s playing with [Pelicans big man Anthony Davis], and I think you’re starting to see how good he truly is on both ends of the floor.
Even his Pelicans teammates have had to cope with Holiday’s suffocating defense.