I love basketball. I truly do. It was my first love growing up. For the longest, outside of my family, it was the only thing that I truly cared about. But Tuesday night’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves had me questioning if I even enjoy the sport I grew up loving.
The game that determined who was going to receive the seventh seed in the Western Conference NBA Playoffs and play the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round was filled with low IQ decision-making, terrible shot-making, dumb fouls, stupid turnovers, and an insane ending.
As one user on Twitter put it: “THIS IS CTE BASKETBALL.” But even though the play on the court was erratic and unpleasant to watch, I could not take my eyes off it. Whenever the Lakers did something unintelligent to try and lose the game, the Wolves one-upped them and said, “We can be even dumber”—and vice-versa.
Leading up to the matchup between these mediocre squads, there was already drama. During the last game of the regular season, the Timberwolves thought it would be a good idea to hit everything in sight and ignore the consequences of their actions.
Their $200 million center, Rudy Gobert, was suspended for the all-important play-in game after he threw a punch at his teammate Kyle Anderson during a timeout against the Pelicans.
Later in that same game, defensive stopper Jaden McDaniels broke his hand after he punched a wall.
As a result, The young Wolves were down two important rotation players on Tuesday night. But despite this, they still found themselves up by as much as 15 against the Lakers in their Tuesday night matchup.
The Lakers vs. Timberwolves
If you haven’t watched the highlights between the Lakers and Timberwolves, I implore you not to. Although the game featured the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, a young star, one of the best shooting big men in the league and a dominant NBA talent, the clash between these two Western Conference squads was anything but pleasing to watch. Anthony Davis grabbed his leg every time he bumped into someone, LeBron James was passing the ball to people that weren’t even there, Karl Anthony Town couldn’t help but foul every Laker in sight and Anthony Edwards couldn’t make a basket into the ocean. I felt like I was forced to watch it, and the end of the game did not make it any better.
Despite LeBron and the Lakers doing their absolute best to try and lose the game, they found themselves tied with the Wolves with 21 seconds to go. As King James drove into the lane, he found Dennis Schröder wide open in the corner to win the game with 1.4 seconds left. It looked like the game was over.
But what did I tell you? If one team did something dumb, the other was going to do their damndest to do something dumber. So with 0.1 seconds left in the game, Davis fouled veteran guard Michael Conley in the corner while he was shooting a three. He drained all three free throws. Overtime.
As you would imagine, I was disgusted that I had to watch more of this game and NBA Twitter agreed with me.
Thankfully, the Lakers closed the game out in OT, and I never had to watch a second of this game again. But even though the game was filled with questionable moments and baffling decisions, I admit that it was an entertaining watch. But for a second, I truly wondered if my love of basketball was going to dissolve over one poorly played basketball game between two mediocre NBA teams. Thankfully, it didn’t.