Friday, April 29

Kings refuel at Arco, take Game 3

 Bibby taking it to the Sonics   </
Bibby taking it to the Sonics

Sacramento 116, Seattle 104
Sonics lead series 2-1
Next Game: Sunday at Sacramento 7:30PM Pac time

Player(s) of the game:
Mike Bibby and the Elbow (see below) Brothers: Kenny Thomas & Brad Miller. Final numbers: Bibby- 31pts, 6rebs, 4asts. Thomas & Miller- 36pts & 10 rebounds. As Simmons would say: And it’s NOW a two to ONE game series. Re-write the state of the union Lewis, it’s a whole new ballgame.
For the Sonics Allen poured in 32, and Jerome James, much to Cuttino Mobley’s ire, had another great performance with 22pts and 9 boards.

Breakdown:
-Pre-game decision: Mike Tirico & (ughhhh) Tom Tolbert or Calabro & Ehlo. Hmmm… Tough call.
-Pre-game decision #2: Fortson going with the ponytail over the pigs.
-As you may all know Sacramento runs this Princeton style offense. Super-duper All Star Chris Weber used to handle the task of hanging out at the elbow of the FT line and decide whether to a) drive, b) dish to guards in motion all over the place (especially off the curl) or to Peja chillin’ at the arc, or d) shoot the open J. Because of his versatility from the 4 spot (especially pre-injury) he was good at this. Well now that he’s gone Thomas & Miller are the primary guys taking this job on. The Sonics dared the big men to shoot the open shot in games 1 & 2 and for the most part this “defense” was effective. Today, in game 3, James & Co. were once again giving the shot to them, only this time Miller & Thomas were making them pay. 1st half? 9-16 for 23 points. Sacramento: 54 points.
-We may never again see the incompetent Jerome we’ve all come to know and love over the season. If, due to this, he gets the Wally Walker 5year multi-million $ blue plate special like McIlvaine & Booth did, please proceed to the Seattle Center with a loudspeaker and try to talk me off the edge of the Space Needle.
-Speaking of oddities, Ridnour now has back-to-back games with 2 blocks. Yikes.
-In the 2nd qtr, during a Sonics run, Ray got several 3-point plays by aggressively taking it to the hole. If he ever added a consistent desire to drive and look for the foul (aka The Fortson Special), it would add a significant addition to his game by allowing him to utilize that gaudy FT% of his.
-Adelman had Jackson & Bibby out on the floor together for extended periods of time. This combo worries me since it leaves either Allen or Ridnour forced to defend a playmaker with a quicker 1st step than them. Of course, this is only a concern if Jackson has his pre-injury speed.
-Rashard, yet again, played passively, going 0-6 in the 1st half, with very few aggressive moves to the rim. He finished with a very quiet 9 points.
-I believe the 3rd qtr went as most pundits predicted the series would: scoring in bunches off of great shooting & smooth offensive execution/questionable defense: Seattle scored 36 & Sacramento 38.
-So let me get this straight, Kings shoot (or are held to, whichever you prefer) 39 & 42% in games 1 & 2 and lose, and in game 3 shoot 50% and win. Really?

Question of the night:
Can the Sonics take the series with Bizarro Jerome taking over Lewis’ production should Lewis fail to assert himself throughout the series and should Jerome continue to play at this ridiculous level?

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