"If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then unto me."
The prediction season is upon us, so let the indignation begin.
You say my team can’t win its division? You’re an imbecile. You say my favorite player can’t defend the pick and roll and shrinks in the clutch? Well, you can’t possibly have watched as many of his games as I have.
In all honesty, none of us know what to expect. If the weatherman on my television set can’t even predict what it will do tomorrow with any semblance of accuracy, how can we expect any more when predicting the behavior of 300-odd professional athletes? After all, look only at my prediction last season of the Sonics finishing so far in the basement they would need a sump-pump to see playoffs.
This year, though? Cautious optimism is my way of thinking. Lewis and Allen are still in their peaks, Ridnour and Collison are on the way up, the Omen looks good, and Frenchie may have some skills after all.
Of course, lest we forget, our starting center is apparently physically incapable of stringing together two consecutive healthy months, our starting power forward couldn’t hit two consecutive jump shots if his mother’s life depended upon it, and our backup power foward is as likely to score 2 points as he is to score 22.
Still, the NW Division is a shoddy one. Denver is this year’s trendy pick, but I fail to see how Camby, Melo, and K-Mart will be healthy for 82 games, and the George Karl milk carton is rapidly approaching its “Best By” date. The T-Wolves have a rookie coach and a suspect backcourt. Oh, and their center is Michael Olowokandi.
Utah is supposedly better, but the jury is still out. I’ll like them better with 82 games of AK-47. Funnily enough, the Blazers seem like a reasonably good team to me. If Nate can get the young fellows to keep their heads about them when the inevitable losing streaks pop up, they could approach .500.
But enough of the prelude. Where will the Sonics see themselves this spring? I’ll be honest, I like the Potato. I don’t like Mr. Glass. I’m ambivalent about Radman. I think Collison could average double-figures in the right situation this year. I think Rashard will get 20+. Sugar Ray will be Sugar Ray. And Ridnour is plenty good enough.
Mark it down as 48 wins, first in the NW, and the 2nd round of the playoffs.
Nuss, I'm even more optimistic than you, though the playoff predictions are more for my amusement than anything else.
I don't see where Denver is going to be as good as the "experts" think. I agree with Nuss in that Karl is still the same guy that likes to have a power struggle with ownership and create drama for the sake of creating drama. By mid-year, the Nuggets will be on top or close. By years end, they will suffer a meltdown of Chernobyl proportions and finish behind Minnesota in third place. The sonics should be OK, maybe not as many wins as last year, but not 3rd or 4th in the NW div like some predict.
Off this subject, but on an old one. This is from today’s PI.
MVP Sheryl Swoopes admits she's gay. And yesterday Fortson said he would have a problem with a gay teammate.
"I sure would," Fortson said. "I wouldn't want to be on that team. It wouldn't be a good idea.
"As athletes, we still have a grade-school mentality where we pick on people a little bit. It's not going to work with us. I don't think it's very acceptable behavior for men as far as I'm concerned."
Fortson also said "he wouldn't doubt it" if there were a gay player in the NBA but hopes he's not a Sonic.
"That would be a bad deal," Fortson said. "He might want to keep that one in the closet."
As much as I like they guy, he really comes across as an idiot on this one. The odds are he has played with a gay athlete, whether in college or the NBA. As a former Marine, I understand the thought process when you have a bunch of guys working together without a female influence. But they aren’t stuck in the middle of nowhere, they are in cities across the US. I got out of the Corps in 1990, you would think in 15 years there would be some progress made. Oh well, he only plays a game for a living, he isn't in a position to make a difference in peoples lives with his political views.
I know polls are unscientific, but ... (from http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/sportsnation/polling?incomming=1&event_id=1724&question12381=51022&question12382=51027&question12383=51030&question12384=51034&question12385=51037, with most popular results in [brackets]):
1) Where will the SuperSonics finish in the Northwest Division (with Denver, Minnesota, Portland and Utah)?
2) Oddsmakers set the over/under on SuperSonics wins at 42.5. How many games will they win?
[43 or more]
3) What are your thoughts on the Sonics signing 30-year-old Ray Allen for 5 years?
[They had no choice]
4) With Antonio Daniels gone to Washington, Luke Ridnour will get big minutes at the point now. In which area(s) does Ridnour need to improve the most for the Sonics to win 50 games again?
5) Seattle was able to retain most of its free agents, though. Besides Ray Allen, which player's re-signing was most integral to success this season?
Worth noting that 80% of respondents thought the Sonics would 43+ games, the biggest consensus of all responses.
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