Rapped knuckles near bleeding lead into the night. Tickets made two hours before the tip-off that fall back two rows against a Wednesday night in which they were bought one hour prior. Empty is a feeling that covers the stadium with few people actually bustling about aimlessly in the lead up. Seating in the red sea within shows a grand void behind the southern baseline, a smattering of souls taking the sidelines to incrementally fill the numbers.
Songs on the playlist are starting to get better and more current as a few new tracks are heard in the time before the start of the game. Black Eyed Peas, Guy Sebastian and Maroon 5 get a spin, as does a forgotten track that burns as the skips are too much to bear. Their absence in the first quarter makes hearing the game calls and voices of the players and coaches pretty clear.
It starts well for the Kings, scoring first and then leading the board to race away with the points. Cohesion as a team unit is more apparent this time, fourth as their game is on. Heavy and tight on the defence they don't let up as the Kings scramble for every possession, keeping the Bullets of Brisbane swatting at the air. There is absolutely no let up as the purple and gold completely cover the court and the visitors. Scoreboard says 32-24, Kings ahead for the first.
Walking into an obvious ambush, the Lion is covered head-over by a mound of green silly string; little kids run off with emptied cans. Though the facial expression remains the same, the intensity bunches up in the fisting paws to circulates through the plastic eyes. The hunt is on for more silly string, for retaliation, for payback on large.
Announcer Rodney O swells into a pit of guttural smooth as his voice drips some kind of old time radio DJ looking to help the love birds. His drawl noticeable more with Stephen Black of the Bullets. Black. Black. Black. A black lovefest every time he stepped on, off and scored a foul.
The Harlequins are indeed a number of eight, but one of their non-brunette lot is wearing the tongue of her sneakers against the rest who have all taken to wear theirs the same and near non-existent.
Quarter two brings on about the same hurt as did the first for the Bullets. Again, no let up is given as the Kings effortlessly show their mettle and add an extra 30 for the first half. Much floorwork is seen as many times the players throw themselves to the boards batting for the grab. 62-41 into the half-time break.
Dancing in the middle of the court, a girl and two guys face the Lion for some prize that sounds like a singlet or other such wear. The crowd cheers for the girl who barely moves beyond shaking her rump while the two poor guys are left stamping their feet. The results are rigged and one of the stamping sods wins. Boos flow down as the four walk off under the embrace of a hugging Lion.
A remark thrown from the crowd is made on how Derek Rucker from the Bullets resembles E.T. With a day to think about 80's cartoons, the look is more that of Widget, the purple alien being sold as default by hypothetical business people.
Better use is made of the Philips big screen as vision is cast more often to its screen as replays play with a higher occurrence. Screening the final ten minutes of the Kings vs Tigers game just a day or so ago, the vision is distant and shaky, no scores to be had. One of their coaching videos on show she says. Later in the evening they play the Fox Sports broadcast of the last six minutes of Wednesday's game.
Import Mark Sandford plays a lot better this game, even managing to block a shot in the fourth. His free throws are still better than his shots inside the arc though. Jason Smith leads a better ship as the captain of the Kings. The Kings play a whole lot better tonight with fewer turnovers given shamelessly and a higher number of rebounds fought for.
Out for the night on 120-99 with the Kings over the favoured Bullets.
Reviewed on Monday, 18 October 2004