The NBA, along with the rest of the sports world, has to put a face (or really, a voice) out front in order to communicate between the game and the fans at home. Sure, we could watch games without play-by-play men and color commentators, but in most cases it wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable.
On television, the role of the play-by-play man drastically changes, as there's no need to give an exact retelling of what's happening, but rather to be an intermediary between the action on the floor, the rest of the broadcast crew and the viewer.
Meanwhile, the color man is there for the same reason every time—and no, it's not to throw out biased ideas about why his team is going to make the playoffs. They are there to give deeper insight into what has just happened on the floor.
It's an interesting relationship that's difficult to balance at times, but when it works, it works miraculously.
So which combinations of talkers are the best in the NBA, and which ones could we not imagine living without?