"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.