"Gasp! Chocolate! Ooh, half price!"
Since no one else on the supersonicsoulsquad had the guts to go head-to-head against the P-Bomb, it basically fell on me to take the opposing view in this two-parter. Me, chunkstyle, the supersonicsoul Fashion Correspondent/Production Artist. Talk about lambs to the slaughter.
Luckily for me, Mr. Nussbaum did me the favor of going first with his “Why the Sonics Will Lose” troll. This had the predictable result of fomenting the customary wave of dissension and controversy from people way more informed than I. Which gave me a nice foundation of commentary to build my half-baked notions on.
I did make a few feeble attempts to back up my “Why the Sonics Will Win” arguments with some token stats. And came up empty. Much like my colleague Booth52’s recent failed thought exercise, the numbers didn’t support my theories either.
I was going to contend that since the Sonics already play a very efficient, low-possession style (totally biting David Locke here) built around their excellent 3-point shooting, offensive rebounding and low turnover rate, surely that style would serve them well in the playoffs. Throw in the Sonics superior defense and bench strength and it’s a clean sweep, right?
Turns out, most of those categories were a wash. Sure, the Supes have the edge in rebounding and turnover differential:
Big whoop. Though the Sonics rank only behind #1 team Detroit in rebound diff, the #3 team is Cleveland. Who led the league in turnover differential? The Los Angeles Lakers. So much for leading economic indicators.
Even what I considered the Sonics’ other advantages also happened to be areas in which the Kings are almost equal or better. Three point shooting? Dead heat. Opponent field goal percentage? Same. Bench production? Their bench contributed 42% of the points. Ours? 39%. No matter how hard I tried to get the stats to prove that the Sonics would undoubtedly prevail, all I could get out of them was a resounding “Eh, it could happen.”
So I got nothing. No proof, no statistical mumbo-jumbo to back me up. But something's going to prove to be the edge in this series. Hell, it'll probably end up being those time-honored and beaten-to-death Sports Cliches. Intangibles! Experience! Clutch...ness! And let's not forget the dreaded Who Wants It More! You can't tell me a supposed expert with a pile of stats is any more prescient than the Sports Cliches.
Here's what I'll do then. I'm just gonna go ahead and say what I think (hope) will happen, at the risk of being mocked later for how far off I was when the Sonics lose. Mm-kay? Greeaat...
Game 1 @ SEA: Kings 1-0.
The Kings make all the pundits look like geniuses by taking game 1 on the Sonics’ home court. The Sonics will fall behind, scrap enough to make you think they can come back, but ultimately fall short.
Game 2 @ SEA: Sonics 1-1
The Supes redeem themselves and even the series.
Game 3 @ SAC: Kings 2-1
In a raucous Arco Arena, the Kings dismantle the Sonics. Out of disgust, I turn off the TV in the 3rd quarter. Vlad-Rad returns, but goes something like 0-11 from the field. Here come the I-told-you-sos.
Game 4 @ SAC: Sonics 2-2
What’s this? Vlade and the Sonics catch fire.
Game 5 @ SEA: Sonics 3-2
In a triumphant return reminiscent of Game 6 of the 1993 Western Conference Finals vs. Phoenix, the Sonics blow the Kings out. No! Not In Our House!
Game 6 @ SAC: Sonics 4-2
The Maloof Brothers watch in disgust as the Sonics do their Sister Sledge huddle thing on the Kings logo. Arco empties quietly.
Sonics win in 6. Somewhere in the distance, I can hear Marge Simpson shaking her head, muttering.