Countdown from 11: Indiana Pacers



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 ...

"No, we're going to keep this train rolling."

That's what Kevin Love said in his brief on-court, post-game interview with the always pleasant and engaged B-Wright after his Minnesota Timberwolves had just beat the listless and embarrassingly terrible Indiana Pacers 101 to 75, a game in which Love recorded his record setting 52-consecutive double-double, breaking the all time record of consecutive double-doubles since the ABA-NBA merger back like 100 years ago.

That was a long sentence, with a lot of hyphens, but accurately describes what the night was all about. Normally when I recap these 11 games I'm going to I've tried to sprinkle in some generic basketball talk to appease you Canis Hoopers, even though it's clear I have no idea what I'm talking about with offensive play sets and such. And to fill space so S'nP doesn't have to get off his toilet and write a game recap. I'll still offer a bit of that, but I have a feeling there will be more game recaps for the Pacers game focusing on basketball talk. Instead, here's what was happening in Minneapolis on Wednesday night:



- Look at the record. We have 16 wins. 16! That's one more than ALL of last season! We are better than last season's team due to the win-loss record! That is undeniable! Redemption is spelled K-A-H-N! Eat a wang, Sports Guy! ............ *largelysarcasmbutstillexcitedwearebetterthanlastyear*

- As others have mentioned, the crowd was surprisingly swell Wednesday night. It WAS college night, and people WERE trying to see history in the DD streak, and yes, the Wolves were practically GIVING tickets away for the game ($42 for ANY lower level ticket? Tits or GTFO), but the crowd was pretty enthused. For these past several games my brother and I have always kept our eyes on the points/rebounds to assure that Love would continue the streak. We start with the first of each category. Tonight, the entire arena was doing it too, and you could tell through groans of missed free throws and jubilant cheers with each rebound. It was kind of exciting, even if it is the only thing to cheer about.

- When he finally got his tenth point on the first of his free throws, I was kind of surprised that the refs let the entire place take a moment to cheer and applaud. The announcers made the official announcement of it, but I don't remember if it was right then or soon there-after. Regardless, kind of a cool move. I wasn't expecting then to allow that to happen.

- I'll admit, I kind of liked Tyler Hansborough when he was at UNC, but every time I've seen him in the NBA he couldn't be any bigger of a bitch with a run in his nylons. Good lord. He got into some interactions with Flynn and Beasley, with Flynn laughing about it and Beasley getting a technical foul. It was spectacular.

- Ridnour had a nice alley-oop to Darko during the game. Well ... it wasn't really an alley-oop. It was like an alley-lay-up because Darko doesn't know how to finish around the god damn rim DAMMIT DARKO.

- There were also some idiots there tonight, naturally. We tend to move around a lot, from seat to seat, and our first spots in section 213 were horrendous. We had a marketing guy for the Wolves hang out nearby and talk to a friend, and when you took a moment to overhear the conversation it was a disgusting display of snake oil selling. "Hey, Flynn has been looking fantastic, huh?! I really think he's turned it around!" Alright, guy, settle down. It's Jonny Flynn. Also, a mom who couldn't see over my feminine frame when I was leaning forward snidely asked me to sit back in my seat so she could see, while her toddler daughter proceeded to kick the back of my chair the entire time. Grounds for calling the NBA quality control? I say yes.

- What the marketing guy SHOULD have been doing was updating the Wolves program they hand out. Brewer and Koufos are still in there with no mention of Randolph. Barf.

- This is now the second time that for the halftime entertainment we've watched a mix of 10 people or so crawl around blindfolded on the ground trying to find a t-shirt on the court. There are three winners who, if they picked the random shirt that said 5, 0, or 8 on them, they would get a gift certificate to the 508 Bar. Halftime entertainment. Seriously. Twice.

- We had a bit of a loop thrown at us this game when the cheerleaders came out in I believe the first quarter to dance their routine, instead of the fourth like normal. They had chair props and hair show and everything! It was at such an unexpected time that we almost missed it.

- Each sporting event works best when the team or location has their traditions. The Vikings blow their horn, Nebraska has their tunnel walk, Jordan had Sirius, the Wolves play Celebration after a win. That's all I want. Once again the Target Center staff failed to play the song tonight. A total disaster.

- Speaking of wins, we anticipated with 11 total tickets we would get to see about three wins (I had adjusted my estimate two weeks ago to 2.5, so I figure we came out on top now). Now that we've seen three wins, I'm looking at the rest of our tickets (Utah, Boston, Miami) and thinking if JUST MAYBE we can squeeze a fourth out on Friday. That would be exciting stuff.

- I still don't like Rambis, just because the Pacers sucked more than we did to give us a win. No Wes for the entire second half? Consistent play for Darko? No Randolph until blow-out time? Ridnour over Flynn, who has been playing surprisingly well? His decisions drive me to drink heavily before the game so I can laugh heartily during. NOTE: Retroactively, I find out now that Wes had an upset stomach in the second half, so says the Yahoo! game recap notes.

- We went to Pizza Luce before the game. It's a reliable staple. I haven't had their happy hour there (I always go to the location in St. Paul) so I had no idea it was Whiskey Wednesday (Beam and Coke for $4!). However, their other happy hour items are decent, particularly since happy hour ENDS at 7:00 PM instead of 6:00. Smart move. $2 off appetizers, cheap taps with a good selection, and fantastic pizza like usual. We had the original. I usually get the Athena or Baked Potato, and I'd rate this one just as high. Could maybe use a bit more garlic, but I'm not going to complain. Much.

- There is an abnormal number of people who sport Kevin Love All-Star jerseys or t-shirts. We saw at least seven just from where we were sitting. I mean, really? They are pretty ugly, right? People know this? It is awfully supportive, so I guess I can't blame them.



The team has really pushed the "More [fill in the blank]" campaign this week. There were wall hangings, things on the floor, flyers ... everywhere you turned, it was MORE Timberwolves. Clearly, this marketing strategy is pushing it, because all we're seeing is more losses. So we started having fun with this campaign, thinking "What MORE is really on this team?" We came up with:

- More Length

- More Athleticism

- More Singular Moves

- More Baseline Turnovers

- More Dynamic Pricing

- More Natalie Kane

- More Smiles

- Less Darko

- More Orchard Juice Products

And tons of others. I encourage you to come up with your own in the comments. Of course, we were blown away when we got in the car, turned on the radio and heard a commercial for the Wolves using this campaign that listed More athleticism, More length, and More Rubio Sightings. Clearly, that was my favorite one.

Our next game is Friday against Utah. If you have a great idea for a happy hour spot nearby, I'd love to hear that too. Until then.

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