April 12, 2018 06:36 PM
Who can blame Minnesota Timberwolves fans for being excited?
After all, the team hasn't made the playoffs since the 2003-2004 NBA season.
But that 14-year drought came to an end when the team edged Denver in overtime in the regular-season finale Wednesday night, earning the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.
Minnesota will take on top-seed Houston in a first-round series scheduled to begin Sunday.
"Definitely was a long time coming, for sure," Timberwolves fan Matt Marek said Thursday - less than 24 hours after the team's dramatic regular-season finale win.
Timberwolves vs. Rockets
Here is the schedule for the NBA first-round playoff series between No. 8 seed Minnesota and No. 1 seed Houston
Game 1, 7 p.m., at Houston (TNT)
Game 2, 8:30 p.m., at Houston (TNT)
Game Saturday, April 21
Game 3, 6:30 p.m., at Target Center (ESPN)
Game Monday, April 23
Game 4, 7 p.m., at Target Center (TNT)
Game Wednesday, April 25 (if necessary)
Game 5, TBA, at Houston
Game Friday, April 27 (if necessary)
Game 6, TBA, at Target Center
Game Sunday, April 29 (if necessary)
Game 7, TBA, at Houston
Of course, back in 2004, the Kevin Garnett-led Timberwolves not only made it out of the first round, they lasted all of the way into the Western Conference Finals.
And a whole lot has changed in the decade-and-a-half since that time.
For instance, back in April of 2004 - when that year's NBA playoffs started - gas cost an average of $1.79 per gallon.
George W. Bush was still in his first term in office, and among the top shows on TV was season one of "The Apprentice," presided over by current President Donald Trump.
A whole lot has changed for everyday Minnesotans too.
"I'm an empty-nester now," Lorie Neer said outside Target Center Thursday.
"Downtown's changed quite a bit," said Randy Hughes, pointing to light rail.
And Arnold Joseph laughed as he added, "Got divorced."
Even the celebrities have changed a bit.
Sightings from those 2004 conference finals in Los Angeles included Jimmy Jam, Ray Liotta, and Melanie Griffith, alongside Antonio Banderas in a very bright green shirt.
But fans who spoke to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS said they hope there's another key difference between this upcoming playoff run and the one back in 2004.
This time, they said, they want to win it all.
Updated: April 12, 2018 06:36 PM
Created: April 12, 2018 01:52 PM
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