A recap and a rant: Utah tops Minnesota 111-105

Look at Paul Millsap work! Hes so dreamy. Hes the best power forward in the NBA. -Matt Harpring, probably

"Look at Paul Millsap work! He's so dreamy. He's the best power forward in the NBA." -Matt Harpring, probably

So the Timberwolves lost a heartbreaker to Utah Thursday night. After playing three and a half quarters of fairly unenthusiastic basketball, Minnesota responded to a 12 point deficit by knocking down several threes, tying the game on a rebound put-back by Nikola Pekovic with less than a second remaining. The game went into overtime after Paul Millsap blew an easy alley-oop that should have been a buzzer-beating game winner. (From my notes: “HAHA FU MILLSAP.” I’m the ultimate in journalistic integrity.) Instead, the Wolves were given a chance to win the game in over-time. Tonight wasn’t Minnesota’s night, however, as key misses and turnovers in crunch time doomed the Wolves.

Kevin Love suffered a sprained left thumb after landing on it awkwardly in the third quarter. According to Jerry Zgoda, he is probable tomorrow against the Lakers.

Minnesota fell two games behind Houston in the race for the Western Conference 8th seed.

There. I gave you 143 words recapping tonight’s game. Now I’m going to spend some time ranting.

I love League Pass, especially when the Wolves’ games escape Fox Sports North. I can watch on my computer, which is very convenient. I can pause, take notes, and continue at my own pleasure. I can re-watch later as well, taking screen caps, and generally studying the action a little more than when the game is on FSN. (Note: I don’t get cable, so I have to go to my school’s student activity center when the game is on FSN. Being broke is cool.)

The problem is that watching League Pass means listening to the opposing team’s announcers who, um, aren’t always unbiased.

Example A: Utah’s broadcast team, Craig Bolerjack and former Jazz player Matt Harpring.

Several ESPN writers hinted on Twitter that they were annoyed by Harpring’s biased crap-announcing, but ESPN company policy dictates that they can’t criticize a rival network’s announcers. I, however, do not work for ESPN and I can say whatever I damn well please about Utah’s announcers.

Certainly, the homerism rankles. Harpring spent most of the game hinting that he thought Paul Millsap, a fine player in his own right, is better than Kevin Love. This is, naturally, ridiculous.┬áMy favorite moment was when Harpring attempted to discredit Love as the best power forward in the game by saying (paraphrased) that Dirk Nowitzki is the best power forward in the game “until Kevin Love wins some playoff games.” *Taking a calming breath* Ok Matt. Let’s set aside the fact, for a second, that this season, Love’s Player Efficiency Rating is higher than Dirk’s by a full 3 points, or the fact that Love’s TS% is actually higher than Dirk’s, or the fact that Love averages a full 5 more rebounds than Dirk per 36 minutes. Let’s set aside statistics COMPLETELY and point this out: YOU JUST MADE A FREAKING RINGZZZ!11!!! ARGUMENT. DO YOU REALIZE THAT YOU JUST USED THE SAME LOGIC AS EVERY IDIOT LAKER/BULLS FANBOY IN THE WORLD? You are getting paid as a professional TV reporter to spew the same bogus crap that ignorant Kobe-lovers post all over the darkest corners of the internet.

Another gem from Harpring, in reference to Love re-entering the game after spraining his thumb: “I know he’s on the other team, but I like when guys play hurt. It’s very respectable.” Scientific evidence that shows aggravating an injury by coming back too soon can keep you out for longer be damned, I sure do love it when players re-enter the game at 60 percent!

If a Utah fan reads this, please feel free to correct me, but Jamaal Tinsley hasn’t honestly made Utah into a different team, has he? Like, he’s not Utah’s version of Ricky Rubio? Because one of Harpring’s funnier quotes (again, paraphrased because I can’t find it on LP): “You know guys on the bench are saying ‘Put me in coach!’ [so they can play with Tinsley].” Yeah, that’s probably how the Jazz bench is reacting. I bet everyone is thinking “Man, I just want to play with Jamaal Tinsley so bad! He’s the best. If I was in right now, I’d be having a blast!”

More Tinsley related humor: “Boy, Tinsley sure controls his speed well.” Uh, yeah he does. He controls it by being 34 years old and slow. Nikola Pekovic is GREAT at this particular characteristic too.

Am I bitter because the Wolves lost? Of course. Minnesota’s lackluster effort through three quarters would be enough to make anyone edgy. But Utah’s announcers made the entire debacle incredibly unwatchable.

So thanks for that, guys!

About Jonah Steinmeyer

Been a Wolves fan for probably way too long to be considered a sane human anymore. An avid golfer in my free time.

Tom Westerholm
Tom Westerholm

I'd really be interested to hear what fans from teams around the league think of Hanneman and Peterson because in my totally biased opinion, they seem to be pretty unbiased.


Yeh Tom, I watched this game on league pass aswell (as I do every game because our wolves get no ESPN games here in Australia) and agree with everything you said.. I fought hard not to turn off volume and just listen to music whilst watching game, there have been a few teams this year with absolute homers calling games, Hornets for one but the Jazz's crew takes the cake. I think Tom Hanneman and Jim Peterson do a quality job IMHO at providing fair and unbiased commentary, especially when compared to the announcers of some other teams. I would find it annoying to have obviously bias commentary on a nightly basis. I thought the officials missed on a few calls tonight also, namely charging/blocking calls..


Absolutely correct to have a rant about this Tom. I felt exactly the same way and am about to have a good old moan myself. Paul Millsap's industry and effort can be interpreted as "hacking" too...at least half of his so called steals were fouls....weak officiating in this one for me, Joey Crawford's finger seemed to be incessantly pointing in the faces of the Twolves. Utah put the "crap" in scrappy and have managed to injure K-Love into the bargain. He was hit from behind as he went to dunk the ball, not as he fell to the floor. Kevin http://faither-howlatthemoon.blogspot.com/