Toronto Raptors v Orlando Magic @ the O2 London
A NBA game in London is never quite the same as a NBA game in the States but it is still a NBA game.
The O2 was packed, despite rumours you may have heard about large numbers of empty seats. However the massive queues outside the O2 for entry were a disappointing start to the night.
I was security checked to entry the O2 and then again to enter the main arena area.I understand the need for enhanced security in the current climate however I think the O2 should have provided more security staff, and perhaps should have made people aware that two separate checks would be carried out on the night.
An additional hiccup was the incorrect seat numbers in one of the sections. This affected two young men near me. The staff spent most of the first quarter trying to figure out what was wrong with the seat numbers before finally finding a solution at the start of the second. Given that the O2 holds events most nights they really shouldn’t be experiencing these kinds of problems.
The Magic brought their cheerleaders and both teams brought the mascots. I think the mascots got some of the biggest cheers of the night. Yes that’s right, the mascots , not the cheerleaders.
The game was very entertaining, as you would expect from a NBA game. Neither team seemed to be experiencing any ill effects from travelling over. The Raptors had a good lead at the end of Q1 and it seemed that the Magic had forgotten how to play. In Q2 the Magic started to fight back and from that point on most of the game was pretty close. An overtime period was an unexpected bonus of NBA playing time.