I've travelled from down under to watch the team I've worshipped all my life in person. Figured I may as well blog about it because that's what the Internet is for!
(note: I'm typing this on an iPad so blame spelling and punctuation errors on apple spellcheck)
This was the first NBA game ive ever seen live and it was a blast regardless of result. The Kings fans were crazy tonight, as they turned out in force to support the team staying in Sactown. I saw an old lady when I arrived an your before tip off holding a sign that read "I'm 93 and I don't want my Kings to leave. Here we stay" she gave me a hi 5 but I missed the opportunity to grab a photo with her.
The official crowd number was about 1000 under capacity, and while a quick seat count in the 3rd quarter suggests this was a bit of a lie, the arena was still pumping. I counted 3 fans in jazz gear, plus myself, among a sea of purple and black. Kings fans are a real classy bunch too; there was a lot of jazz booing but all of their chants and cheers were directed at saving the kings, rather than putting down the jazz. I didn't even get abused for being the only guy in my section cheering for the jazz and booing the Kings-biased calls in that 3rd quarter. In Australia that would never happen!
I was deep in the upper bowl, but the Kings arena was intimate enough that I had a great view of the game. As I said this was my first live NBA game, but I imagine the live entertainment at nearly all other arenas must be better than what I saw tonight. There was nothing at halftime, but for a short video that was cut short as the jazz exited the locker room just 4 minutes into the break for some shooting drills. I noticed Burks drain a couple corner threes, only to get no change from Enes or Evans who were shooting g midrange's in front of him. Curiously even the ball boy didn't give burks the ball, instead throwing it to Evans. Was super weird. Burks eventually threw his arms up and Kanter chucked him the ball. Burks hit the 3 again.
Back to the sub-par entertainment: ummm, nothing else happened. There was a fat lady who was matched up against a skinny lady in a giant taco building race, which was something. Other than that, just a bunch of videos on the Kings' decidedly un-jumbo jumbotron. I hope things are better at the ESA.
As for the game itself, I think anyone who watched would agree it was a disaster for the Jazz. Isaiah Thomas absolutely tore apart the players guarding him - Tinsley and Watson. Watson was in, during the game deciding 3rd quarter, for what seemed like forever. I shouted some choice words at Corbin that I doubt he heard, since Watson wasn't subbed out for the longest time, but that was just the beginning of what I feel was a coaching disaster.
I know slcdunk, the game threads in particular, tend to hate on Ty more than is fair. So I'm going to list the events I saw in person (that may not have made it to the tv broadcast) and let people make up their own mind.
1. There seemed to be a large number of BS calls against the jazz and Coach did not exhibit his usual almost-a-tech ref harassment. He was standing from the 2nd Q onwards, but didn't really interact with anyone.
2. I took a pic of this but not sure how to upload it on the iPad - ill try post it later. After Corbin waved the white flag with 4 mins to go (which could be considered a WTF in itself) by subbing in Murph and Evans, there was a game break with about 2 mins to go. The Kings (still playing mostly starters) huddled up with Coach for the duration of the break. The jazz, well, the players on the court got together but Coach was nowhere to be found. In fact he was standing at the bench with Al And Sap. Now even if it is 'garbage minutes' (it wasn't) you should still be mentoring your young guys getting those few rare minutes they wait weeks for. Or maybe I'm being a stickler....thoughts on this behavior by Coach Ty? This pissed me off more than anything else, personally.
3. This is nothing new, but seeing it in person made it all the more harrowing. Favors comes in and basically plays the Al or Millsap role on the court. He stands high post, is thrown the ball in Iso, and either passes or is forced to make a post play (which was, in every play I noted, a spin move). Now I'm simply an NBA 2k coach, but this seems like an absolute waste of Favors' talents. I told my brother before the game what each player was good at, and as a basketball novice he asked me in the 3rd why Favors wasn't dunking and cutting and was instead standing still and trying to create dribble moves. Now this could be a Favors problem or a coaching problem, but I personally feel it is the latter.
4. When Al was pulled in the 3rd (due to foul, I should add) he was head down for most of the remainder of the quarter. In the first half I LOVED seeing all the players crane their necks to watch the game (subjective judgment: Enes and demarre did the most neck craning and watched the game the most) and Al was the only guy I saw show disinterest for a short period. Maybe not a coaching issue, but irksome all the same.
5. During the pregame shoot around only Tinsley and Millsap wore their warmup shirts tucked in. Nothing to do with coaching, I just thought it was cool and very Jazz. I also managed to get a hesitant wave from Enes ("who's this mid-20s guy shouting at me?") which was pretty much the highlight of my life.
Overall I had a blast. I joined the Kings fans in the 4th chanting "here we stay" and doing the Mexican wave (that lasted for at least a good 2 minutes of game time) and some guy even let me wave his cow bell around. But I thought it worth sharing some observations that you just can't make from sitting at home on the couch. Im a fan of Ty, but after watching this game I do wonder if I'm only a fan because I LOVE the jazz and he is a jazzman. If I had to list my fav coaches in order, I do know that he would be last on that list (horny first because duh).
Ill be in SLC for the warriors game next week (and LA for the clips game after that), so if you're there hit me up! I'm the guy with the blue eyes, aussie accent and receding hairline (hello ladies).