Boy, how a few years can make a difference.
The last time I went to a Pacers-Timberwolves game in Minneapolis the place was so empty, I could have walked to half-court and asked to play. I think half the people there were accidentally there for a Rod Stewart concert. We lost. This time around, the Pacers are arguably the best team in the league, the place was mostly full, and we won! And most people cared! (Except the two girls next to us who were there for a Rod Stewart concert.)
I love going to see the games live, because you notice things that you don’t on TV. Such as:
– Corey Brewer starts leaking out for the outlet pass almost immediately. It’s crazy to see in person because the camera is usually still on the players near the ball. Most players practice free throws or three pointers. I think Brewer just practices his lizard run.
– Without announcers, it’s easy to not notice everything that Kevin Love does. I knew he had a good game, but I was shocked when I realized he had 42 points and 16 rebounds. It’s productive and dull at the same time. He’s like watching a really bland vanilla machine make more vanilla than anybody’s ever made.
– Conversely, Lance Stephenson is a freaking maniac. The man is all over the place. He’s Indiana’s JJ Barea. Dribbling side-to-side, yelling, complaining, flopping around. At one point I think he set up an omelet bar on court. The dude is all bravado and NYC swag and I’m not sure if he’s the next superstar or the worst player in the league. He had ten points.
– Ricky Rubio tied the franchise record with 17 assists last night. He also got hit on the top of his noggin and I swear every woman in the audience’s mother/girlfriend impulse kicked in immediately. Women were instinctively reaching for band aids and looking for blankets to swaddle Ricky in. That man is so adorable. He’s like a Spanish baby who likes to share.
– Crunch is a pimp.
Next up, we play the Jazz in Utah. Okay, Utah, you don’t like us and we don’t like you. But you’re tanking and we’re trying to make the playoffs. So how’s-about you lose and we win and we’ll both celebrate over RC Cola or whatever soda company the Mormon church bought even though they’re not supposed to drink caffeine so they changed the rule to HOT caffeine. Phew!