Well, NBC analyst Isiah Thomas started out Game 2 of the NBA Finals just where he left off Game 1 - by spouting nonsense.

The very first words out of his mouth were, "When you talk about the Utah Jazz, it starts and it ends with John Stockton and Karl Malone."Apparently, he STILL hasn't noticed the contributions of the Jazz bench, not to mention the other Utah starters.

But Thomas wasn't wrong about everything, although Malone probably wishes he had been. Very early, Thomas began harping on the Mailman's inability to hit jump shots. His comments included:

- "Karl Malone must resist the temptation to take those outside jump shots," he said.

- "I think Chicago will live with Karl Malone taking 17- to 15-foot jump shots."

- "That's where Malone needs to be - inside, drawing fouls."

- "You can't settle for fall-away J's right now."

Thomas was redundant, but he was also right. And all of this was said well BEFORE Malone missed a possible game-tying jumper with about 25 seconds remaining in the game.

QUOTABLE: Bob Costas, during the pregame: "Maybe the Mailman is like the Postal Service - he always delivers, even if it is slightly delayed."

(Well, maybe he'll deliver in Game 3.)

BLINDED BY LOVE: Despite the fact that NBC replays (from two different angles) clearly showed that Michael Jordan fouled Shan-don Anderson, Thomas could only wax eloquent about how terrific Jordan is.

GOOD CALL: Nice job by Doug Collins, telling viewers that Toni Kukoc was back yelling at the refs and there was no one to defend Bryon Russell, who came down court and scored. The camera had followed the action, so viewers could not see what Kukoc was doing.

DUH: Costas pegged it when he commented on Adam Keefe's boneheaded lane violation that negated a Jeff Hornacek free throw.

"He's anticipating a rebound that's likely not to come," he said.

CUT IT OUT: Don't you wish Thomas would just wipe that phony, silly smile off his face when he's on camera?

NICE INTRO: Jazz fans had to love NBC's opening montage - a tribute to John Stockton. How about those looks at Stockton as a schoolboy, high schooler and college player? And you think his shorts are short now.

UNUSUAL LOOK: Viewers got a look at a couple of things most of them had probably never seen before - Karl Malone's 27,000-square-foot home and his week-old daughter, Karlee - in a halftime feature.


IF YOU WERE A TREE: Jim Gray did a generally admirable job with that Malone feature, giving us a quick look at the personal life of the player (as well as a look at the house).

And it was fairly funny when he asked the Mailman, "Do you ever get lost in your house? Do your kids ever get lost?" Particularly because the answer was that, yes, the kids do sometimes lose track of where they are.

But then he asked, "When was the last time you cried?" What, is Gray bucking to become the sports-TV version of Barbara Walters?

QUOTABLE: "Adam Keefe, who has spent more time on the bench than Thurgood Marshall, has checked in," Costas said.

WHEN HE'S RIGHT, HE'S RIGHT: When Malone took a foul from Luc Longley - his fifth - early in the third quarter, Collins said, "He does a good job acting there and flopping." Which, as the replay clearly showed, he did.

But Costas also hit it on the head when he said. "That's gamesmanship. That's not worthy of disdain."

AT LEAST HE LIKES SOMEBODY: We know Thomas hates Malone. We know he doesn't like Stockton. But at least he apparently likes one Jazz player.

"I love Jeff Hornacek as a player. He's gritty, he's gutsy, and he gives everything he has," Thomas said.

HAPPIEST MAN AFTER THE GAME: Ahmad Rashad, who got to interview his close buddy Jordan.