So I had the chance to attend the game last night. Living in northern WI, it's realistically the one opportunity I get per year. Not only that, but a very good friend of mine was in town visiting family, and we got to go together and had not seen each other for several years. That was a huge blessing and even had the Pacers lost it made my day. Being on opposite sides of the country from your best friends sucks.
It was a great time, despite a often times frustrating Pacers performance. But hey, when you are on a 3 game skid, a win is a win!
So, first of all, this happened and was hilarious - Commentary courtesy of my buddy and I:
The game itself, well you guys know. The frequency of stupid turnovers was maddening. Paul has REALLY got to cut down on his foolish turnovers. I have full confidence his shot and overall aggressiveness will return once this flu bug finally subsides and his confidence returns. But the passing is something he CAN correct immediately, and he needs to.
Jordan Hill was our MVP by a longshot. Well, actually Monta could be in that conversation too. But Jordan really kept our offense afloat early, and played some great D on Towns later in the game.
Speaking of KAT, man is he impressive. He's going to be a perennial All-Star at some point in the near future. The Wolves have a very fun, young lineup. They are young and inexperienced obviously, but they are a really fun team to see play. They will make some noise soon.
The Target Center was having a Karl-Anthony Towns bobblehead night. I had two tickets obviously, for my friend and I. When I got there, I showed them the two tickets and got 2 bobblehead vouchers. My friend was running about 15 minutes behind me, and when he came into the arena, they gave him a voucher too even though I had technically already claimed both. Normally I'd not do stuff like that, but my friend and his whole family are huge Wolves fans. So my buddy, his Wolves fanatic Dad (who just had open heart surgery) and his Wolves fanatic nephew ALL got KAT bobbleheads, and I felt happy knowing they all got an extra Christmas present.
We had great seats, as you can see in the video and pics. By far the best I've ever had to a live game. It was a really different experience being that involved and in tune with the action. I won't go into too much detail how we got the tickets we did. But I'll just say that it was an awesome gesture and we were very blessed to get them. The Pacers and the Wolves are both first class organizations in every sense.
On to the officiating. We like to complain about the refs watching on TV. But goodness, in person they are even worse. In the first half they were equal opportunity terrible. Both teams had legitimate grievances. The game thread mentioned the constant illegal screens. They were a real problem. Let me tell you, I lost my voice pointing that out. They finally called one or two at some point, but my goodness.
The real issue, and I felt genuinely bad about this because of my friend, was late in the game. Stuckey REALLY got away with a push off on (Levine I think) late in the 4th, which led to a PG 3. It was a 2 point game at the time and you could argue that it was the defining play of the game. It was a really, really bad no call. The argument could also be made that either PG or one of our bigs fouled Wiggins on nice little drive into PG that he converted late in the 4th. Probably should have been an and-1, seemed to be significant contact. Not a game changer, but even 1 extra point could have shifted the possibility of a late Wolves comeback a bit. Obviously, we got a win and I am happy about it. But I'll be honest, I wish we could have won without that Stuckey no-call. It really did leave a bit of a bad taste in everyone's mouth. I think we still would have won without it, but you want to leave no doubt that you won fair and square. I asked Quinn after the game if he thought Rodney got away with one and he was immediately like "Oh yeah, no question at all." it was pretty funny how he responded. And the Wolves TV crew was PIIIISSSSEEEDDD after the game. I overheard them talking at the media table and they were pretty livid and honestly I can't blame them. Anyways...
Having gotten to know Chris Denari pretty well the last few years, my buddy and I got a chance to go chat with he and Quinn afterwards on the court. Always a great time. Very generous guy with his time and a lot of fun to chat hoops with. It was my first time catching Quinn, so that was also really neat. I was also very surprised to realize I was taller than he is. Lol.
So all in all, it was a great experience and once again for this season I was treated to a win in my lone game in attendance. Maybe if I am fortunate I'll get a chance to head to a Milwaukee game or better yet find a way to get to Indy soon!
Thanks for reading
I wish I had some more funny anecdotes or stories from this one, but honestly I was happy just to be there with my friend, so the entertainment value of the story is fairly limited. Although the G Hill half court showing up of PG was priceless.
I leave you with a little collection of photos. (Including one of Chris Denari's astoundingly complex stat cheat-sheet... Holy Moly is that thing impressive.)
Are you kidding me with this thing?
Apparently Tayshaun Prince still plays basketball...
Let me tell ya, GREAT angle to watch a game from.
Sorry the game shots aren't the greatest, I was trying not to get too absorbed taking pictures so I could actually enjoy the game. Plus smartphone cameras aren't too good at these types of shots.
Hope you all enjoyed this. It's always fun to post these every year.