When I first moved to Vancouver a decade ago, about the only thing that reminded me of the U.S. was the Grizzlies. Between the metric system, Celsius, an obsession with America’s ignorance of Canadian culture (whatever that is), and all the other bizarro-world qualities of Canada, at least I had the NBA. I was even fortunate enough to glom onto a press pass for a couple of years, enabling me to see Bryant Reeves far closer than any man should.
With the departure of Stromile Swift to Houston, the only remaining piece of Vancouver Grizzlies’ basketball has left the franchise. Yes, there are remnants of Vancouver scattered throughout the league – a Bibby here, an Abdur-Rahim there – but they left the franchise long ago. Stro was the last link to a dismal franchise, and now even he has left the ship.
I suppose I may be the only person bemoaning Stromile Swift’s presence – or, rather, the lack thereof – on Memphis’ roster. In our world, we quickly move from what was to what is, and, besides, nostalgia is a vain emotion at best.
Still, I miss the Grizzlies. In a way, rooting for the Grizzlies in Vancouver was like rooting for the Mariners in the 1980s – another fruitless passion of mine. Neither team rewarded us with many victories, but there was something to be said for staying with your team despite the ridicule you faced from other, much-wiser fans (in fact, if you replace the Seahawks with the Canucks, you’d get a pretty good picture of what it was like). Just as I vividly remember being mocked for rooting for Phil Bradley and Mike Moore, I just as vividly remember the joy in seeing Shareef post another 20-10 game, or Big Country putting on his bi-monthly displays of skill.
In any event, the Sonics play the Grizzlies tonight in Memphis. Somewhere, Grant Long and Cherokee Parks are watching.
SPREAD: Grizzlies by 4 1/2
The Griz turned in a good-ol’ fashioned barn-burner the other night against the Cavs, winning 113-106 behind 29 from Sr. Gasol. Like Seattle, Memphis will be spending much of the next two weeks on the road, so they’ve got high motivation to grab a win here. That said, the Sonics played well against the Griz last year, taking both games in Memphis. Add in the Grizzlies’ weak rebounding and the Sonics’ strong showing in that department, and you’re looking at what could be a very winnable game for Seattle.
PICK: Seattle 102 – Grizzlies 96
PETE’S RECORD: 0-1
Rashard is being aggressive tonight, as he's been all season, but is actually playing well on top of that. And he's posting up more. Good news here, hopefully he'll get back to where he was at midseason last year when he was dominating. We're still quite thin in the backcourt, and its showing.
So much for being one of the great perimeter shooting teams. 4/22!
Wow, what a shame this is.
Well, I definately saw this coming . . . why didn't all of you?
we actually held a team to under 50% shooting. The Grizzles shot a mere .496%...YES! Weiss is a defensive GENIUS.
GM Rick Sund can't trade either Reggie Evans or Ronald Murray; in addition, neither Vladimir Radmanovic, Damien Wilkins (until August 24th, 2006), nor Mateen Cleaves can be traded. As it is, Evans, Murray, Radmanovic, and Cleaves signed one-year qualifying offers, while Wilkins signed an offer sheet. http://www1.realgm.com/src_trade_restrictions.php
In all reality, Sund needs to rid of Danny Fortson, Vitaly Potapenko, and Mikki Moore as soon as possible, since each of their contracts runs through the 2006-2007 season. For what it's worth, I've already proposed trading Fortson ($6,415,584) to the Indiana Pacers for Scot Pollard ($6,274,937) & trading Potapenko ($3,000,000) and Moore ($1,???,???) to the Toronto Raptors for Aaron Williams ($3,375,000) and Pape Sow ($641,748); both Pollard and Williams have expiring contracts.
Anyway, many Supersonic fans have overrated both Rashard Lewis and Luke Ridnour; likewise, numerous fans don't seem to pick up on their defensive ineptitude, along with both of their issues on offense (Lewis: ball-handeling/dribbling and distributing; Ridnour: shooting and driving.) -- which is noticeable to any intelligent observer. At this point in time, however, I'm not sure if it possible to upgrade at either position.
The main idea I have regarding Lewis ($8,571,429), though, concerns using him as the central piece -- with Fortson and Robert Swift ($1,764,480, were they to still be on the team, as the kicker -- in acquiring Paul Pierce ($13,843,157) from the Boston Celtics.
Yet, since the abovementioned move is highly unlikely to occur, another possiblity would be to trade Lewis, Fortson, the draft rights of Peter Fehse, the draft rights of Paccelis Morlende, and the draft rights of Mickal Gelabale to the Dallas Mavericks for Keith Van Horn ($15,694,250) and Josh Howard ($873,880); Van Horn would become the team's third scorer in lieu of Radmanovic, while Josh Howard would give the Supersonics a true stud at the small forward position.
In the end, ultimately, most of what I've just written are ideas—so don't take it too seriously.
I didn't get to watch tonights game because I spent too much time drinking after the heart wrenching loss all progressives took in the elections tonight (god damn, what just happened to the Port Commission?).
However, in the interests of saving my sanity through engaging in mental junk food, I have to disagree with you...Paul Pierce ain't solvin' shit! PP does not compliment Ray, and does not compliment the rest of the team. For us to be successful this year, we need ray, shard, and either vlade, luke or nick to have great years. We lack a true game-changer....we've got Ray - one of the clutchest sg's in the game.
Our problem is our best player plays at the position least likely to be able to dominate. Other than MJ, there isn't a 2 guard I can think of that led his team to a championship. What exactly did 'Nique or Reggie do? (for that matter, Clyde-pre-dream or Ally-I).
The only way we win is as a team like the 2004 Pistons. I may be a homer, but I think we have all the pieces, minus a good backup combo-guard.
If we need to trade, lets target someone realistic. We're not getting PP, and he doesn't take us over the edge.
What about Earl Watson, Eddie Jones, Speedy Claxton? What we're gonna get is a complimentary piece.......and what we need is a complementary piece.....Not a pseudo-super-star!
Anyways, I'm drunk.
Oh man, I forgot to engage your more realistic scenario.
Please don't advocate KVH. Any more.
Van Horn is Damien Wilkins with minutes and no heart. The big white stiff has been an ineffective 3rd scorer on enough decent teams (Bucks, Sixers) to invalidate him from serious consideration.
And Josh Howard might be alright, but he is no Shard.
Fortson may be a homophobic, crazy, out of shape MF - but at his best he is a plus. Howard and KVH for Shard and DaFort trades the grit and legit upside of this team for a pussy and a player with the most common skillset and body-type in the nba.
I say no!
And in case you were wondering...I'm still drunk
The Sonics have some pieces, but right now it seems like they're a 500 piece puzzle in the hands of an infant. A good coach makes the most out of what he has, but once again last night Weiss seemed to be getting the least possible out of his players.
AK, if they made the deal for KVH, sure, he becomes their third scorer...and who's their second? Howard? He's like the 6th scorer on the Mavs.
Like it or not, the way this team looks is going to remain the same. And honestly, I don't mind the players. I just wonder if the Supes didn't make a terrible mistake in hiring Weiss.
I haven't been this excited about the Sonics since the glory days of, erm, Paul Westphal. Trade Lewis. He's overpaid for what he provides. Get rid of MM, Evans & Flip while we're at it. Hell, the Storm could beat these guys right now.
I've seen enough of the 'Bobby' Weiss era; it's not too late for a coaching change to salvage the season.
This team looks disorganized; lacks a consistent defensive/offensive approach to the game, i.e. bad coaching.
Yeah, losing both Nate McMillan, Dwane Casey, and Dean Demopoulos has greatly hurt the franchise; the current coaching staff, along with the front office, has come up remarkably short this season.
Anyhow, Josh Howard (14.7 ppg, 9 rpg, & 2.33 spg) -- the #2B scorer on the Dallas Mavericks alongside #2A scorer Jason Terry -- is one of the most underrated players in the NBA; Paul Pierce is one of the most undervalued players in the NBA. In addition, both players are defensive stalwarts, which is something that nobody else seems to have any appreciation for at this point in time; I'd rather have either Pierce or Howard on my time instead of Rashard Lewis. In any event, sadly, you all seem to be way too comfortable with the inherent flaws in Lewis' game.
In an off-topic comment, Eddie Jones and Earl Watson are both highly overpaid; there is a reason as to why Watson is sitting behind both Andre Miller and Earl Boykins. Moreover, Craig Claxton is not going to be made available by the New Orleans Hornets; I can't believe Byron Scott gave some of Claxton's minutes to Dan Dickau last season, as Dickau is even worse than Ridnour.
There is nothing wrong with the tandem of Reggie Evans and Nick Collison at power forward, so long as Evans plays within himself -- which, considering his apparent selfishness, may be hard for him to do -- and Collison continues to improve on offense.
Vladimir Radmanovic -- who is way more of a pussy than the maligned Keith Van Horn (Radmanovic: 4.6 career rpg; Van Horn: 7.1 carrer rpg) -- and Ronald "Flip" Murray will both be gone at the end of the season; thus, there is no need to worry about either of them—especially Murray. Also, Van Horn may have been an ineffective second scorer, but he's definitely been an effective third scorer.
Anyway, if anyone is a pussy, then it's Luke Ridnour; McMillan may have been wrong about Reece Gaines being talented, but he was damn right about Ridnour not being able to shoot well or guard anybody. Conversely, as was previously mentioned, Kirk Hinrich -- who is a contemporary of both Ridnour and Gaines -- has the all-around game of a truly great point guard.
On the other hand, however, the gigantic albatrosses known as Danny Fortson, Vitaly Potapenko, and Mikki Moore should be immediately "dealt" with, for each of their contracts last through next season. It seems to me, unfortunately, that this season may already be a lost cause; yet, it is still possible to properly reshape the roster in 2006-2007.
Also, Wally Walker and Rick Sund both come off as an idiots. Hell, every time either one of them talk at a press conference or is interviewed on the radio, they appear to be wholly inept with regards to the intricacies of front office management.
Lastly, I feel bad for Ray Allen; he is a legitimate superstar playing for what appears to be a poorly operated organization.
Your mancrush on Paul Pierce is starting to frighten me. There's no way PP comes to Seattle and does anything but tank his way out of town. Trading Rashard for PP makes this team worse, no matter how much better it may appear on paper.
yeah, the Season is a lost cause after 3 games. The Sonics, along with Denver, Sac and Houston should just pack it in and get ready for next season.
Your guys' love affair with Rashard Lewis is more inane than any ideas that I've come up with regarding this damaged ballclub. Yet, I will admit that it's not as sickening as the infatuation that Luke Ridnour receives from the front office; it is complete and utter idiocy.
The Supersonics, with the assumption that they don't make any alterations to their roster, are going to tank this season.
Mancrush, that is hilarious. AK you do have quite a love afair with peepee. Way back in the summer you were preaching that we bring in your "boy".
The problem is that Rashard is a 3rd option and not a second. Were is the beef? A bunch of inept pussies on the boards. Gooden made them look like sloppy gashes on the glass.
Can Weiss, shoot Cleaves, trade Radman, trade Rashard and get some big guys that can board and put shit back. Let ray shoot the shit out of it.
There is no way to trade Vladimir Radmanovic; they could, however, inactivate him for the rest of the season if he gets to be too much of a jackass. Yet, with the possibility of Rashard Lewis being seriously injured, there might be a need for Radmanovic in the starting lineup at small forward. In any event, though, this team is in dire straits.
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