PJD is a Minnesota Vikings blogger (poorly) at Purple Jesus Diaries who has made a terrible mistake by purchasing 11 tickets this spring to Minnesota Timberwolves games. These are his game recaps highlighting what may have been the worst mistake of his life, outside of cheering for Minnesota sports teams ...
In our packet of 11 games we are going to this spring, Sunday's game was the first ... well, Sunday game, that we have had on our slate. We've been to Friday night ones, Saturday and Wednesdays. Most games are filled with college students, randoms off the street, and depressed loyalist who bought too many tickets to escape from. Sunday at the Target Center was Crunch's Kid Day, so there was a lot of ignorance and bliss running around the stadium, howling like a wolf, and unaware of how likely it seemed that a fourth quarter collapse was coming. I was kind of jealous, because it's only taken a half season of renewed basketball interest for me to slack back into my chair and provide a "ho-hum" attitude toward the Wolves.
The entire Target Center staff seemed out of it too. Really? Sunday afternoon at 4:00 PM? We have to put on a basketball show now? Well, crap. The music was off base, with late cues coming in, timeout entertainment was being run out at the wrong time, the national anthem was half assed, and even shoot around was nothing more than trick shots and lay-up wizardry. We figured we were in store for a 30 point blow out AT LEAST, particularly with the Curry/Flynn match-up and a general lazy, disinterest that was being shown on a Sunday afternoon. What we saw was instead one of the better Timberwolves games I've ever seen live. Here are the highlights:
- There's a lot to talk about with what Love did. His shot was falling, and he was assisting in facilitating the offense early in the game. The whole team was moving the ball around the perimeter well, actually, and BIG SURPRISE! When that happens, good things happen. We were also surprised with how many minutes Love played. I think Rambis probably finally started to understand that if he doesn't begin winning some games he's sent back to Serbia with Darko. This of course is going to force his hand with Love, and it's about time.
- Curry's jump shot is just outstanding. It has the sexiest rainbow I've seen, and he can hit it from anywhere, anytime. There was one play when he dribbled behind his back being guarded by Ridnour (I think in the 3rd quarter) and absolutely sent Ridnour flying into the bench the other way. He would look so damn good in a Wolves uniform, and it makes me furious that we skipped him. Stupid Kahn.
- Pekovic looked pretty good all around. He man-handled David Lee on one play where he stepped in to the lane, pimp slapped him back a good couple of steps and dropped it right in. I know people seem to have a take him or leave him attitude with Pek, but I am really excited for his potential and think he could play a pivotal Meat-Head role on this team.
- During the third quarter for a Klondike Bar, they made some 10 year old write "I will do anything for a Klondike Bar" during the entire quarter. When they came back to check in with him, the kid looked pissed in a kid way, and everyone laughed at him. I bet his ice cream bar was melty too. It was hilarious.
- It was great to see Beasley sink some jumpers and score in buckets. I know people want everyone on the team to drive to the basket more (and sure, I'd like that out of Beasley) but when his shot is on, it's on, and it's damn good. It's one of those shots where you can tell it'll drop from the get go. Wes had some of those too, and looked good hitting from deep. I was worried that Wes has hit his rookie wall and was going to fade out, but he was probably just in a slump. As some have said on here, with Brewer being gone it probably opens up a lot of opportunity and confidence for Wes, and I hope he's able to pick it up from here.
- Why no extended Randolph? He's what, 17 years old? I don't think he's going to get exhausted from playing 20 minutes right now after a crap season on the Knicks bench. What a stellar singular move.
- We stopped by 508 Bar for lunch before hand. I had not been there before, but it was a nice place. I didn't go downstairs, but it looked like it's got tons of room. They usually are closed Sundays too, but open for events. They had decent happy hour for drinks and $3.00 off any appetizer on the entire menu. The food was way better than Smalley's, too, and Hubert's for that matter. In fact, I don't know how either of those two places stay in business with their food. It's unbelievably terrible. 508, however, is highly recommended.
- We found free parking on the street down 6th street too. Sweet deal.
- Watching it live, that last defensive play where Wes swatted Ellis' layup was a cluster flock. I was prepping myself to watch a basketball drop through the hoop, but then I saw like three Wolves surrounding a ball carrier without a kick-out, a ball squirt out without a foul, Beasley running wildly after it, time running out on the clock, the crowd cheering, the teams standing still ... I didn't know what the hell was going on. Speaking of Wes and his defense, it was pretty serviceable. Ellis has been killing the Wolves all season long and I was ready for a 40 point game. That didn't happen, and it made me smile. Maybe there's hope with Wes there.
- My wife opted to come with us this time as well. One of the greatest tricks is going to the ticket office, buying the cheapest ticket they have, and then nabbing the best upper-decker seats available. My question to you; does anyone have secrets to nab great lower level seats? That would probably be more impressive.
- They finally played celebration right after the win, just as they should. For production tasks, they at least got that one right in Target Center today.
That's was the big items from me. Love's point explosion and general incredible game was definitely noticed by the crowd. People cheered like crazy for him, and once again, there was a strong section of what I'm guessing were drunk college dudes chanting "MVP! MVP!" every time he was at the line. I also noticed after the game in the ESPN recap that there was apparently an airing of grievances by the players and coaches on Saturday where they all hugged it out. My question; what took so long? And will this help at all? Maybe getting a win right after does, but we'll see. I'm just hoping to beat 15 wins this season, even though it doesn't matter.
Anyway, our next game is March 9th against the Pacers. Maybe we'll get another win then. Keeping my fingers crossed.