Friday, January 19, 2007

Garnett ejected for fighting

There were early signs that tonight was not going to be the usual game at Target Center. In no particular order:
1) The game was being broadcast on ESPN
2) Bobbleheads for free and cheap t-shirts for sale that said "I like Craig" and "I like Randy."
3) Pyrotechnics during the player introductions
4) Bill Russell was in the house!
5) The dance team had new routines
6) "Flip 2 The U" signs in the crowd
7) Attendance was near or at capacity
8) The Pistons were trying to avenge their OT loss from Monday's matchup
9) The two teams were neck and neck throughout the whole game

The above items led to heightened intensity and excitement in an arena that's not normally accustomed to such emotions. Perhaps the following was a result of these things (Need4Sheed has video of the incident):

Minnesota's Kevin Garnett chucked a dead ball at Detroit's Antonio McDyess in the fourth quarter with the Timberwolves and Pistons tied at 70 Friday night, leading to an angry tangle and technical fouls and ejections for both players.

McDyess gave a forearm shiver to knock over Minnesota's Mark Madsen while they were underneath the basket jockeying for position on a rebound. Garnett got mad and fired the ball at McDyess, who charged at him with his fist cocked.

Garnett retreated, but was also ready to throw a punch. No blows were thrown, and teammates and officials stayed between the two to prevent any serious trouble.

It'd be ridiculous to place the blame for this on ESPN for broadcasting the game and making team operations go to great lengths to shape the environment for purposes of the tv audience. Regardless, I just couldn't imagine this happening at a game like Wednesday's against the Hawks where there was nothing but fatigue and disgust among the few fans at the game.