Ever have one of those nights where you’re not sure if what’s happening is actually real? Where you actually start to believe that this might just be some strange dream?
That was tonight at the Air Canada Centre.
It started before tip-off, when it turned out that dozens of season seat holders (including me) had tickets that didn’t scan properly. We were told that we must have printed our tickets wrong, and that we wouldn’t be allowed entry. This kindly looking old man flew off the handle, yelling things like “loyalty” and “customer service” at the poor guy who worked for the Raptors and just happened to be in the way. I experienced a moment of inner hilarity when I almost said to the angry guy, “you do realize that you’re upset because this guy is stopping you from seeing…Toronto vs. Sacramento, right?”
Anyway, eventually we were allowed in. Which was great, because it was one of the weirdest (and worst-played) games in professional basketball history. Here’s the run-down:
– Sacramento was called for over-and-back on their first possession. Over-and-back? Is this junior high?
– The teams combined for 35 turnovers.
– Anthony Carter threw a pass to James Johnson, who wasn’t looking, and was quite surprised to hear it whiz by his nose, missing him by inches.
– I stopped counting the travelling violations after five.
– The Raptors’ leading scorer was…wait for it…Leandro Barbosa.
– The Raptors’ leading rebounder was Andrea Bargnani, despite missing most of the second half with an injury.
– Amir Johnson hit a 3-pointer.
It was when Johnson hit his three that I started to wonder whether I had accidentally slipped into a parallel dimension. Where was I? Had I discovered a portal to another universe? Was this bizarro world? Then the Raptors threw the game away in the fourth quarter, and I knew that everything was okay. This was definitely the real world.
The Kings managed to scrape out an ugly road win, despite shooting only 37%.
You’re welcome, Sacramento.