As the Sonics approach the final pieces in putting together A DEFENDING NORTHWEST DIVISION CHAMPION ROSTER (Whoot! Not in Our House!), here’s some interesting info culled from the fantastic 82games.com site.
The three pieces yet to be finalized for the Sonics are the Omen, Radman, and Flip. 82games has recently put together a “Player Pairs” piece, showing how different players produce when paired with a specific teammate. Of note:
1. Radman makes everyone better, with the exceptions of – wait for it – Flip and the Omen.
2. Murray and Wilkins may need to change their nicknames to “Typhoid” Murray and “The Oh, No” Wilkins. Murray and Wilkins negatively affected almost every player on the roster. As one example, if you looked at Ray Allen’s stats from last year, you’d see that he played above average with every player but two: Wilkins and Murray. Or, if you looked at Antonio Daniels’ stats from last year, you’d see that he played above average with every player but two: Wilkins and Murray. Or, if you looked at Luke Ridnour’s stats ... okay, I think you get the point I’m trying to make here.
3. Rashard Lewis and the Potato really play well together. Of all of Lewis’ pairs, Vitaly is clearly the best.
4. Radman hits the boards quite well when paired with Nick Collison. His normally pedestrian rebounding figures jump to more than 7 per 40 minutes when he’s with NC.
5. Vitaly Potapenko helps the Sonics’ offense in a myriad ways. Almost every Sonic posted phenomenal offensive stats when the Potato was peelin’. Just as one example, Sugar Ray averaged 30 pts/40 min. (!) when Vitaly was alongside.
What can we conclude from all of this?
1. The Sonics would be wise to let Flip and Wilkins walk, unless they can get a sign-and-trade for Flip (the Omen’s not eligible for such shenanigans, so we can dismiss that possibility).
2. Vitaly’s not going to slow the Sonic offense down one bit if he’s named the starter.
3. Seattle should sign Radman ASAP, either to the one-year extension they want or the six-year deal he craves (and which I’m leaning to with each passing day).
4. Pairing Nick and Vlade won’t hurt us. In addition to their expected offensive efficiency, the Sonics also did well on the defensive end with those two in the lineup, holding foes to 93 points if the stats are extrapolated to a full 48 minutes.