When you're a 24-year-old single man living alone in an apartment, you have a lot of time on your hands.
Bored out of my mind I took time Monday to re-watch Game 7 of the 2004 Western Conference Finals between the Timberwolves and Kings. Holy freaking cow. Target Center was going wild that night.
Using a cheap paper towel to wipe salsa from my chin, the first thing I noticed from the game was how many guys were bald. It's the NBA so being bald is fairly regular, but Kevin Garnett, Sam Cassell, Mike Bibby and Doug Christie all sported the clean dome. It just seemed like a lot.
Anyway, here's what really stood out to me while watching the 13-year-old replay.
1. The starting lineups
Garnett was the MVP of the regular season, but to be honest, the Kings' starting five trumped the Timberwolves'.
Hassell and Johnson were solid role players but four of Sacramento's starters averaged more than 18 points per game. Plus, Brad Miller was coming off the bench and he made the freaking All-Star Game that season.
The only threat off Minnesota's bench was Wally Szczerbiak, who, by the way, was the only bench player to score for the Wolves in Game 7.
2. Flip's greatest win
The Wolves were coached by the late, great Flip Saunders. On the Kings bench was Rick Adelman, who weirdly enough, coached the Wolves for three seasons (2012-14) before Saunders returned in 2015 for a second stint in charge of the Wolves.
Game 7 is arguably the greatest win in Timberwolves history, led by the greatest player (Garnett) and coach (Saunders) in franchise history.
And really, aside from some cool moments in the Conference Finals against the Lakers, this was the last magical game Saunders and Garnett were together for as coach and player.
3. Wolves nearly blew it because #MinnesotaSports
The fourth quarter was gut-wrenching. The Wolves were up 64-62 with 9:10 to play before Garnett put the team on his back with 13 straight points, culminating with a 26-foot 3-pointer to put Minnesota on top 77-70 with 3:39 to play – and then he blocked a shot by Webber 16 seconds later.
But right back came the Kings thanks to four straight turnovers by the Wolves. It was 80-75 with 26.9 seconds to play.
Bibby and Sprewell traded free throws and then Christie quieted Target Center for a moment with a deep three to make it a one-point game (81-80) with 16.8 seconds to go.
Even though Sacramento’s offense was lagging, they nearly sent this baby to overtime.
Cassell hit a pair of freebies to make it 83-80 before an airball by Christie led to Garnett's defining moment in the game: A massive block on Miller's put-back attempt.
The Kings had one more chance. This time Christie inbounded the ball to Webber, who pump-faked Garnett for a wide-open look at a triple only to crumple to the court after the ball banged off the front iron. Game over.
Garnett's final line: 32 points, 21 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals and 5 blocks in 46 minutes.
Why you should watch
This one’s easy to get through. It’s only 90 minutes because the genius who uploaded this video basically cut out every commercial and team or media timeout.
It also can be considered foreshadowing for what's to come with this year’s Wolves.
See, Minnesota has yet to be in the playoffs since 2004. This summer the Wolves brought in Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford to put an end to a league-worst 13-year playoff drought.
It’s been the most exciting offseason since 2003 when Minnesota landed Cassell and Sprewell to team up with KG.