Usher: Excuse me, do you know who #8 is on the Timberwolves?
Me: Michael Beasley
Usher: Oh, THATS Beasley, mmm-mmm, he's a Cute Thang! (my pick for Wolves 2010/11 Marketing Slogan)
So was my introduction to an Arena that is the polished part of the Turd of a City (Newark).
An Arena I might add that bites the X's Wall of Hockey Jerseys in its Lobby...Devils paraphernalia everywhere which provides the kind of home only a homeless team would love.
I settled into my mid court Row 10 seat which sells for a New York Knicks price but can be had for a perfectly reasonable New Jersey Nets price the day of the game via the interwebs. thank you random season ticket holder Stephen T. !
Spotty Insights on the Game:
Game starts with a heavy dose of Brook Lopez post ups and Mr. Maria Sharapova 3's. Both well on their way to season highs. Pek bangin but not quick or agile enough to defend a motivated Brook Lopez. Easy bucket after easy bucket fed by a 'make my new teammates happy" version of DWill, toying with the wolves holey D. Beasley shooting blanks and Rambis goes to the bench.
Anthony Randolph now on Brook and it's even uglier, simple drop step gets him to the rim with ease...but Inspektah Gadget goes right back at Brook on the other end matching bucket for bucket during a stretch. This guy has mad mad skills, aggressive dips to the hole in which he finishes 10.0 degree of difficulty shots with apparent ease, frankly unguardable. And the "healthy" and motivated Martell is draining 3's like layups, no doubters that almost stick in the hoop they land so soft.
We settle into the kind of boring back and forth ball the NBA is known for, a 10 point lead yo yo's between 15 and 7...a few random Wes Johnson 3's that have me nodding in agreement and an Anthony Randolph on the break pass out of bounds that had me shaking my head. How do you explain this kid? maybe thats it, he's a kid...
a highly entertaining game from the local 10 year old League, some of these kids can really ball, but they're 10 so they suck. Later find out it's the Anthony Randolph League.
2nd Half Starts...
and its Beasley this Beasley that...motivated and jawwing. DWill says whatever you can do i can do better and we're back to the 10 point yo yo game.
Rocking in my chair with 6 minutes left in the game, wondering if i should just call it a night, and avoiding the kid who's kicking the back of my chair. All through the night i'm concentrating on Nets Assistant Coach our guy Sam Mitchell on the bench. What can i say, I love this guy, and kinda feel sorry for him...its hard enough for a head coach to have the players attention, and watching him on the bench makes me realize an NBA Assistant job must be a certain kind of hell for a former head coach.
Glad I didn't leave because all of a sudden a great ending broke out. Mostly because of Beas with a little help from a dysfunctional Nets team. That dominant Brook Lopez we saw earlier in the game? No where to be found as time and again he couldn't scoop up a perfectly simple rebound, one time being out fought for the ball by the scrappy Luke. This guy is solid on the block, but pretty much worthless otherwise, a very frustrating player to watch.
Down to 5, down to 3, down to 1 with a Luke steal and dish to Tolliver on the break!... Nets go to high screen and roll and its a steal by Anthony Randolph...heading to the hoop for what surely is a glorious-go-ahead-on-the-road-rim-rocking-dunk that only Anthony Randolph can do !!!!! Go Anthony Go Anthony Goooooo.....*the-sound-of-a-toilet-flushing* as Anthony Randolph acts like a 10 year old and fumbles it out of bounds?!!?!? Reggie Theus now shares a bond with Anthony Randolph as the whole organization is now treating him like an Assistant Coach, he drops his head and quietly walks back down the court. The indifferent Nets Crowd is abuzz with a smattering of laughs that remind me of Nelson from the Simpsons.
But Wait...Rambis suddenly leaps from the bench to save the day...telling his still shocked team to FOUL , FOUL, ...atta boy Kurt, atta boy!!
DWill misses one free throw and we still got a chance baby...
Its a Beas iso, schooling his guy and gets to the rim, only to be blocked by Travis Outlaw coming out of nowhere...in what was clearly a goaltending...tie game.
Game on the line, final possession. DWill iso, and who's guarding him? Luke...really, Luke. why not Wes?...mismatch, step back jumper ...*swish*
timeout, and hey we got a chance here, 1.7 left on the clock.
Looks like they drew up a play for Martell which the Nets take away, Beas flashes to the inbounds guy, gets the ball and heaves a reasonable 3 pointer for the win....back rim.
As I leave the Pru Center through the shiny Belvedere Lounge i flash a dirty look at that kid who was kicking my chair, then i catch the eye of that Usher..."Cute Thang came up just short"