By all accounts, the Timberwolves' 124-96 loss to the Grizzlies in Game 2 of their playoff series on Tuesday was a mess — particularly for Minnesota fans.
ESPN NBA analyst Kirk Goldsberry tweeted a fact that summed up how stagnant the early part of the game was:
It was unwatchable, in a figurative sense. Unfortunately, it was also unwatchable for some fans in a literal sense.
If you were going to miss any Wolves game, this was a good one to skip. That said, if you expected to be able to watch it — and you were unable to do so — your frustration level would be sky-high regardless of the outcome of the game.
That was the case for a lot of Wolves fans, who added a new frustration to the longstanding beef with streaming services that no longer carry Bally Sports North.
Tuesday's game was carried on both BSN and NBA TV.
As I talked about on Wednesday's Daily Delivery podcast, subscribers to YouTube TV — which dropped regional sports networks like Bally Sports North about 18 months ago in a carriage dispute — were hoping to be able to watch the game on NBA TV, which is carried by YouTube TV.
But restrictions caused that channel to be blacked out, leading to frustration.
Here is a sampling of reactions sent to me on Twitter:
Plenty of other YouTube TV subscribers had a similar message, saying they were blacked out on NBA TV as far away as Des Moines and Fargo.
Some vented their overall frustration that providers like YouTube TV, Hulu and Sling originally offered regional sports networks and then dropped them.
While that's an old gripe that can be solved by paying for BSN via cable or DirecTV, it is still a valid concern when it comes to the diminished outlets to watch pretty much every major team in this market other than the Vikings.
There is one streaming option — Direct Stream, formerly AT&T TV — that carries Bally Sports North. But adding to the comedy of errors Tuesday, at least one fan says he added a free trial of that provider in order to watch the Wolves game only to have this happen:
If there is any good news, it's this: The nightmare on the court is over for the Wolves, and the nightmare for fans should subside for Games 3 and 4. Those games are carried on BSN but also nationally with no restrictions on TNT (Game 3) and ESPN (Game 4). National TV information has not been determined yet for Games 5-7.
Whether Game 3 of this 1-1 series at Target Center is more watchable on the court remains to be seen.