There’s nothing quite like watching your team climb back from a fifteen-point deficit, only to have a terrible, terrible call ruin the whole thing. It ranks right up there with Nickleback, root canals, and getting kicked in the no-no’s. So needless to say, I’m not very happy at the moment.
[ad2] You would think with all the advanced technology in today’s world, we could figure out a system where games could be properly officiated. I mean, who wants things like this to happen? The Kings victory is now cheapened, and Wolves fans are furious. Is there any chance that the NBA could borrow Ed Hochuli from February on? Or at least get some officials with an ounce of integrity like Senior Referee Earl Hebner? At least that man has the decency to act like he’s unconscious from a chair shot before he screws over a participant.
I’ll leave my ranting at that. But before we move on, I’d like to make an official request that kindred spirit, Mark Cuban, help me out with the inevitable fine coming my way from David Stern.
Don’t feel bad, Randy. The refs said this was “all ball” too. [image2]
However, besides a referee with 20/20 vision, the other thing sorely lacking from this game was a defensive effort by the Timberwolves. That’s what actually cost us the game. When you play the right way, a bad call here or there won’t change the outcome. Yes, the Wolves play tonight was a step-up from the walking zombies that Coach Casey often lead, as Randy Wittman was able to get this struggling team energized in the second half, but a whole lot more can be done to shore up the Timberwolves’ D. Making good passes and getting quality looks at the basket will only get you so far if you’re going to let your opponent rain wide open 3’s all night. The Wolves certainly showed flashes of an ability to play relentless D, as manifested by their ability to turn a double-digit deficit into a one point lead. But if that intensity was seen for more than a few minutes late in the game, I don’t think there would be much doubt about what the outcome would’ve been tonight.
Once again, this team managed to make this game a close one. But a loss by one or twenty-one all counts the same in the standings. Randy Wittman needs to get this team focused and playing the right way for 48 minutes a night. If he can do that, I’ll guarantee you that there won’t be very many close games for the Wolves in February.