I'll let you guys off the hook. While the rest of the sports-journalist world inundates you with awful metaphors tying together turkeys and bad games, I'll just say the Sonics ran into a brick wall called Kobe last night.
Well, just one. Ray Allen got his turkey carved last night by Bryant, a fact that undoubtably pleased the Lakers' star to no end. Whether on offense (making 3's as if he was an old white guy at the gym draining free throws), or on defense (holding Sugar Ray scoreless in the 2nd and 3rd quarters), Kobe was the difference.
For the Sonics, Mateen Cleaves continued to post impressive numbers. Excluding Rick Brunson (who has only appeared in limited minutes), Cleaves now ranks as the 4th-best on the club in +/-, trailing only Lewis, Collison, and Allen.
Also of note, Radman got some serious PT last night; 40 minutes to be exact. Of course, he only got the minutes because of Collison's foul trouble, but still, at least it keeps Vlade's agent off Bob Weiss' back for a couple of days.
In the Laker's media guide for last night's game, the Sonics' preview concludes with "They're not a good defensive team, but they do everything else very well."
What exactly is everything else? Offense...?
cleaves final showing what hes made of. hes such a good passer wow just fun to watch
That reminds me of the famous quote attributed to an anonymous Hollywood movie mogul when describing his first impressions of a young Fred Astaire: "Has enormous ears, can't act, can't sing, dances a little."
It's safe to say that when asked for their opinion on something they know little or nothing about, people will usually offer vague generalities that really tell us nothing at all.
Saying the Sonics are "not a good defensive team" is like saying Houston isn't a very scenic city. Doesn't really begin to describe the situation on the ground.
What's worse is that it doesn't look like a coaching problem as much as a talent problem. There is no defensive stopper on the team capable of slowing down any other team's big scoring threat. Wilkins, the best of a bad lot, was rather conspicuously ineffective against Kobe, but really, what can you expect? The team's other good defenders, Collison, Cleaves and Evans, are a shade above average at best, and Petro, who shows promise, is not going to give you anything you can count on this year. Everyone else is flat BAD on D. It's just not in their game.
It doesn't help that Weiss doesn't seem interested in running traps or gimmicks, but it's not clear how much that would really help if you don't have a bulldog man-to-man guy to scurry around causing trouble. Right now, any team with a go-to scoring guy is going to have a good night against the Supes.
The longer Nate has been away, the more I'm beginning to realize his importance to last year's team. Everyone (myself included) keeps pointing to the only difference between last year and this as AD and JJ.
Yes, roster-wise. But the change from Mac-10 to Weiss is more than just re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Nate was/is obsessed with defense; Weiss is more interested in up-tempo. Nate, not surprisingly, was interested in keeping his players in line; Weiss is more interested in keeping things loose.
Is it that surprising that the team has degenerated on defense the way it has? Granted, this team wasn't great on defense a year ago, either, a fact often forgotten. Still, the way they are getting beaten (allowing ridiculous opp. FG%, etc.) when compared to a year ago ... well, it makes you wonder if Allen, Lewis, Walker, et al are getting exactly what they deserve.
If Seattle Supersonics CEO/President Wally Walker and VP/GM Rick Sund are intelligent enough to realize that defensive issues are plaguing the team, then they ought to improve the situation; as it is, however, it seems that neither Walker nor Sund know a damn thing 'bout defense. Furthermore, I doubt that they, Walker and Sund, know very much about +/- stats or Player Efficiency Ratings.
Normally, AK, I'd agree with you. However, you have to give the Sonics credit. For one thing, the guy running their website, Kevin Pelton, is a regular contributor to 82games.com. For another, they hired Dean Oliver, one of the more noted basketball statistical experts around, last season. In fact, Oliver has been given some level of credit for Seattle's improved play last season, as he apparently helped the Sonics coaching staff look at areas they may not have looked at otherwise.
Hey, I'm as big of a Walker-hater as the next guy, but you can't accuse he and Sund of not looking at statistical theories when they hire such people as Oliver and Pelton.
The Sonics have, in a sense, righted their ship to a degree. I'm willing to give Seattle half of a season before deciding the Weiss Experiment is a total flop.
Now, if you want to accuse Walker of making a foolish move with McIlvaine/Kemp, go right ahead.
I'm aware of the fact that both Dean Oliver and Kevin Pelton are employed by the Seattle Supersonics; nevertheless, I don't believe that either Wally Walker or Rick Sund are, with regards to their respective selves, that informed on the specifics of statistical analysis and the importance of a good, solid defense.
At any rate, though, Walker and Sund should attempt to trade Danny Fortson, Vitaly Potapenko, and Mikki Moore for players with expiring contracts; the three of them are going to put a strain on the salary cap this upcoming off-season, as they each have contracts that last through the 2006-2007 season.
Similarly, it is fairly obvious that Rashard Lewis does not plan on residing within the Pacific Northwest throughout the duration of his NBA career, so he ought to be immediately traded elsewhere.
ak, I see your point in unloading the monetary albatross that the trio of DFort, the potato and MM could/have become but at the same time, size on this team is in short order. Filling the middle would seem to be a priority in any kind of trade for that matter. As far as stopping big scorers who float all over the court (Kobe, AI, Lebron, Redd...), an interior guy is only going to be able to do so much. It seems to me that a lock down harrasser is what might help cure. Giving up our bigs (however ineffective they may be) won't help. Just my two cents.
Secondly, does anyone have any info on Sonics Torrents? I'm living in South Korea right now and I'm absolutely dying with my sonics. They show about one game a month over here if I'm lucky. If anyone is into capping games or DVRs anything to computer I would be indebted for life. Thanks in advance and great site, been lurking for a while now.
-Kevin in Korea
uuuuugh, can't bear to watch shardy leave. it's gonna break my heart. he's such a great player and a great guy. i totally hope he reconsiders, but i guess if he's not happy, then we should trade him for an equal (or if we can pull it off) better player. :(
kevin, i feel your pain. i reside in vancouver and often go back and forth from there to asia so it's hard for me to catch sonics games frequently (imagine, vancouver's only like, 3 hours away from seattle and we can't even get a lot of sonics games nor sonics merchandise. INJUSTICE! ^___^) the solution? go watch live games as much as i can! :D though it's hard cause' of the distance. :D
as for torrents, well...you could always try searching sites like torrentspy.com. :) though the only torrents i've seen are only limited to big sonics games. (since we aren't one of the more popular teams. UNFAIR! ^___^) i can try to look for some and like, send it to your email or something.
Reggie is starting in place of Petro today! (according to the sonic's website) This is a good move, Petro wasn't rebounding, his defense wasn't that great, and his offense was nothing. Reggie is a proven rebounder and defender, plus he'll get some garbage points. Potopenko, Vlade, Mateen, and Damien should be the only subs Weiss uses. That team should do okay with more effort on execution and defense.
petro just doesnt look comfortable. give him couple years and he will be a different story
Kevin and Rex,
Best bball torrent site I've found is http://bt.davka.info/
They don't seem to have any current sonics games on their front page right now, but they do come up fairly regularly.
Lest anyone be dissuaded, I just overlooked the LA vs. Sea torrent, it's there.
Well, they started Reggie, but it didn't seem to matter much. The Hornets... wow. How a team so much less talented on paper can play sooo much better is beyond me. I actually really like the Hornets though, for all they've gone through, and how much people wrote them off. Plus I'm a D-Mase fan. Chris Paul is making the Hawks look like the idiots that they are.
thanks much for the heads up, carl. this totally helps me out. :D thaaaaanks!
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