As I entered the stadium they have dubbed the Rock I couldn't help but marvel at the buzz of Hockey that was surrounding me, the place was a virtual monument to one of the most celebrated teams in the modern NHL Era. It wasn't until i took a left after ordering my first beer of the night and found my seat that I realized that hey, this really is a Nets game.
Yes, the Nets are the first team in professional sports to have all of their games on the Road, the 2011/12 Season will consist of 33 official road games and 33 games which should be considered home games for the New Jersey Devils.
We settled into our seats early enough to get a late peak into the early shooting work that Martel Webster, JJ Barea and AR-15 were putting in...disappointed to see that AR-15 was working on the very shot that he never should be taking, the 16-23 footer. Then he proceeded to run conditioning drills as if admitting this sin to himself and his inner Bobby Knight was punishing himself.
The Drills ended and then we got a taste of the Jon-Bonet Ramsey Dance Line....6-9 year old girls in short shorts gyrating their hips. I'm pretty sure there was a temporary tattoo shop just in the hallway to the locker room that was putting temporary tramp stamps on these girls to complete their 'night they'll never forget'.
The Opening Tip happened, Darko won it (there has to be a stat for this right, and Darko is like 20-3 on these?)
Let me link to SnP's normal excellence for game time talk here
My at the Arena Bullet Point Game Time Observations:
- Kris Humphries got the loudest smatter of applause for the pre-pre game Player Introductions of the starting lineup, emphasis on the word smattering, because that is all the louder this Arena ever got, except for...(see below)
- Is there anything more ridiculous then an NBA Starting Lineup Laser Light Show?
- Sitting two rows below me was a group of about 10 Spanish (not Mexican) Ricky Rubio fans...one long sign welcoming Ricky as they stood the whole pregame to try and get Ricky's attention.
- The Nets play music on every offensive possession of their own?!...i mean, wow.
- Pre-Game Announcing Crew on the court talked about what "a treat" we were in store for tonight with the arrival of Ricky Rubio.
- Ricky was very low energy in the first half, almost like he was conserving it for when it really mattered.
- Most Impressive Display of Athleticism of the Night? "The Dunkin Divas"tm Gymnasts in hot shorts and bikini t's that run and dunk off of a trampoline...the girl who landed in the splits?...oh my.
- Whole Arena was just buzzing after Ricky pulled a quarter out of Jordan Farmar ear and dropped the dime to Wes for the And1
- Biggest Noise of the Night? Anthony Morrows big 4 point play late? no no no...the T Shirt Cannon! so good they did one in the 1st half and the 2nd Half.
- DWill and Wayne seemed to be very tight, shot together pre-game and pre-2nd half
- Beasley talks....and talks and talks and talks on the bench...to anyone who will listen to him (mostly AR-15 sitting behind him this night)
- Martel is always one of the first off the bench to give pounds and offer words of encouragement (Anthony Tolliver joined him many times as well)
- The guy next to me in the Devin Harris Jersey and Nets hat curiously was clapping during Ricky moments of delight....Ricky will very soon be the kind of player opposing casual fans in opposing city's marvel at and go to see in spite of their home town team (sound familiar to Wolves Ticket Packages of the past?)
- Wes' negative PER vs his opponents? This was eaten by Jordan WIlliams, this guy is really really bad...it felt like 4 on 4 when these two were in the game at the same time.
- Kris Humphries has the exact opposite problem of Darko near the rim. He tries to dunk everything...and usually misses.
- Adelman gives off very little body language to show up his players, the one time it slipped was on a late game turnover by Wes (who was truly wretched again).
Quinnipiac Basketball Team sat directly behind me and they were disappointingly quiet most of the game, some nuggets I got out of them were:
- All were aware and mostly fans of Michael Beasley. When he got up to come into the game there was a stirring and anticipation. "oh oh, oh oh. uh oh...here he comes"
- re: Pekovic. "He's nice yo"
- re: Ricky "he can get to that cup yo"
Opposing Arena Jersey Wearing Count:
- Ricky 9 Jerseys, at least 10 Jersey T's, and one guy who made a jersey from a white tshirt and a sharpie!
- Kevin Love 5
- Wes Johnson 5, all in the same group...it felt like they may have been invited to a wake. Wes had his moments tonight though.
- Spanish Flags 5
- KG 3
- Adrian Peterson 3
- Beasley, JJ Barea, Derrick WIlliams and Christian Ponder?! 1 each
Still don't quite get the football jerseys at a basketball game concept, and was shocked I didn't see a Joe Mauer Jersey...this must be a sign his star is setting, and quickly.
That's all i got, really looking forward to next years game in the Nets new home in Brooklyn...where in order to save a truly dismal team minus Deron Williams and no D12 the Nets sign Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair as their starting backcourt.