So strange that I sit here, as the calendar prepares to turn to April, with the knowledge that the Lakers will not be in the playoffs for the fourth straight season. Before this stretch, they had missed the playoffs only twice in my entire lifetime.
But I don't expect anyone to feel too sorry for me. The Lakers have also won 10 titles in my lifetime and appeared in 16 NBA Finals. Several teams have never even been to the NBA Finals.
Hell, the Clippers have been around since 1970 and they've never even played in the conference finals.
(When I was 21, my friend Cara and I planned a road trip to Idaho a month in advance. "We can't be travelling on that Sunday, I said to her. "The Lakers will be playing in either Game 3 or 4 of the NBA Finals." I shudder now to think how smug that must have sounded. But then again... I was right.)
I might tune in to see some of the Lakers at Spurs next week, or the Lakers at Warriors in the last game of the season, just to see if either of those teams can eclipse the 49-point ass-whooping that Dallas delivered in January, but outside of that morbid curiosity, this will probably be the last full game I watch this year.
- I slow-cooked a pork tenderloin in a mixture of chicken broth and dried onion dip mix. Tenderloin is much, much leaner than pork butt so you need to add moisture to compensate for the lack of fat. (I'd wanted to get a pork butt at the store but the only one they had weighed 18 pounds. That seemed excessive.)
- After 4 hours in the slow cooker, I removed the pork, chopped it up, and returned it to the cooker along with some sauce for another hour.
- I made my own relish over the weekend, so I mixed up a mustard sauce and added the relish to it; that sounded good with this pork. That concoction went on top.
- I picked up some red cabbage slaw at a local supermarket deli and added that as well. I enjoy making my own types of slaw, but I can never seem to make a red cabbage version as good as this one.
- I read an online article that claimed Target's "Market Pantry Crispy Shoestring Fries" are the best frozen shoestring fries. So I bought a bag and fried them up. They were fine, but I've certainly had better.
NOTES ON THE GAME:
- Right before this started, I was watching SportsCenter on ESPN when it cut to the NIT championship game. The announcer started the broadcast by saying "Tonight, we crown a champion!" That made me laugh. Yes, 15-loss Georgia Tech vs. 15-loss TCU. Who did you have in your office NIT bracket?
- Brandon Rush is starting. It's good to see him again. I always enjoyed watching him and his brothers.
- He's 31 now and the oldest player on this Timberwolves team. I kinda wish I hadn't heard that.
- Ricky Rubio! Will it ever stop being funny that the Wolves drafted not one, but TWO point guards ahead of Steph Curry? I don't think it will. In fact, let's take a look at it again, just for laughs:
- The Wolves just scored 13 points in a row. I have a hunch I might not be watching all of this game, after all.
- It's actually tied at the end of the first quarter. The Lakers sneakily went on a nice little run of their own.
- Of course, it's tied at 37. This is not exactly a defensive struggle. For comparison, the exact same number of points have been scored in the Brooklyn-Detroit game: that one is 39-35... at halftime.
- Rubio has 20 points in the first half. That might seem to be at odds with my snarky comment. On the other hand, 20 points against this Lakers "defense" is like scoring 8 points against Utah or San Antonio. (And Curry still has two MVPs and a championship.)
- Karl-Anthony Towns has somewhere between 5 and 40 dunks in this game.
- Randle and Russell each picked up technical fouls within a three-minute span. The Wolves are now up by 12. You know, NBATV is showing Michael Jordan's 69-point game from 1990. I'm gonna watch that for a few minutes.
- Nevermind, I just saw the Bulls are beating Cleveland in the 4th quarter. My God, the Cavs are in a free fall. I'm going to watch that for a bit.
- Lakers lose by 15. I didn't actually watch any of the 4th quarter.