Wyn and I are very appreciative of the community here on this site and we hope to grow this event in the future. Thanks again to those who came, and to those who had to stay at home, for making this site what it is. It is very much appreciated. Thanks to the Wolves for accommodating this event.
A few game notes below the fold.
- Before he left the game with a Jamaal Magloire elbow to the jaw, Darko Milicic was playing
some ofthe best interior defense the team has seen since the days of KG. The highlight of Darko's defensive play was a block of a Dwyane Wade dunk attempt. Amazingly, this play did not make the NBA's top plays of the night. Darko was actively intimidating Heat players throughout his 13 minutes on the court. Any time a Heat player came inside, Darko was there. The second he left the game, the lane was wide open and the Heat were able to get what they wanted when they wanted it against the Minnesota Smurfs.
- Quentin Richardson set the most blatant moving screen I think I have ever seen at a live NBA game. You can watch it in the NBA.com recap of the game. They called the play a "great" screen. It was laughably illegal.
- Speaking of laughably illegal, it really is amazing how much the Heat got away with last night. Kevin Love was getting manhandled all night off the ball and there were several times down the court where the look of frustration on his face was visible in the top rows of the upper deck. Any time Udonis Haslem got near him he would give Love an extra grab or elbow and it really was over the top obvious.
- Dwyane Wade is a little you-know-what with the refs. He is a phenomenal player but lordy, lordy does he complain. I am convinced that if he was Dwyane Wadovic from Belgrade he would be villain numero uno in the NBA and the word "he pulled a Ginobili" would be removed from the NBA lexicon.
- The Wolves had a nice stretch of ball near the end of the 3rd and at the start of the 4th. Love, Damien Wilkins, Sasha Pavlovic, Ramon Sessions, and Ryan Hollins were able to get up and down, attack the rim, dominate the boards, and make an 11-2 run to get the Wolves to within 6 or 7 points. At this point, the joint was as rocking as I have seen it in quite a while. During a Heat time out the Wolves promotion team pulled out all the stops with free t-shirts and mini-basketballs being tossed into the stands with pump-me-up music going on in the background. The energy at Target Center was (relatively) amazing. The Wolves then came back out and watched Ramon Sessions get fouled on a no-call drive to the rim (one of those drives Wade gets bailed out on 9 times out of 10) only to watch the Heat quickly put the lead back up into double digits with two straight scores which led to a Rambis timeout. It's hard to get a sense of this sort of change on the boob tube/internet stream, but the Wolves actually had a point in the game where they could have used one or two more baskets to really send the crowd into a (relative) frenzy.
- Thanks to Twitter/YouTube, I was able to dial up the Andrew Bogut injury about 5 minutes after it happened. Actually, that's no thanks to Twitter/YouTube as the injury was horrific and I really hate to see one of my favorite non-Wolves go down like that. The point here is that this sort of connectivity was unimaginable 10 years ago and it's really a fascinating way to view a game.
- Speaking of in-arena action, the "highlight" of the night was watching a guy from Iowa in a tucked-in Wally jersey crush a bunch of cans to be recycled for the team's NBA Goes Green Week. The guy was totally into the can crushing.
- Wade had a fantastic night but there's something that's a little different than his dominance in years past. Something is missing/wrong with his game and they're going to get waxed in the 1st round of the playoffs. Just a hunch with nothing else to base it on.
- Last night's game was one of the slowest paced tilts of the year.
- Corey Brewer had a completely forgettable game with virtually no positive impact.
- Flynn did not see the floor in the 4th quarter.
- The Wolves shot 12-23 from the line.