Friday, January 28
The Sonics are a week or so away from the trade deadline. Aside from Ray Allen's departure, the lid has been sealed on this cookie jar. No talk about Radman (FA to be), Daniels (FA to be), Jerome (FA to be), etc., etc. While it's possible the trade rumors may be a distraction, I don't buy it. As professional athletes, the Sonics are accustomed to all sorts of nonsense in the press, and they can deal with it without any trouble.
Good Sign: Ray-Ray is healthy and Mac-10 is back in town.
Bad Sign: The Hornets may show up, causing the Sonics to have to break a sweat.
On this date: 1980 - Behind the 22 points of Gus Williams and Jack Sikma's 12 rebounds, the Sonics improved to 41-16 on the season with a 109-94 win over the Sixers in Philly.
Vegas line: Sonics by 13 1/2
Prediction: Sonics 105 - Hornets 95
Record Against the Spread: 14-8
Thursday, January 27
George Karl is back. And this time IT'S PERSONAL!
From the Denver Post:
George Karl was expected to be named head coach of the Denver Nuggets at this hour at a news conference in Milwaukee.
ESPN.com reported that the longtime NBA coach, with 708 wins in 16 seasons, confirmed to ESPN that he would be the Nuggets' new coach.
Karl and the Nuggets worked out most of the details of a contract Wednesday night, a source close to the team said on condition of anonymity.
Karl could be back on the bench tonight for the Nuggets’ game against the Bucks.
Wednesday, January 26
As noted on this fine blog, the Jazz have proven to be rather inept at drawing calls, something Danny Fortson knows a little something about. In the previous meeting a few days ago between these clubs, the Sonics were whistled for 32 fouls, while the Jazz were tabbed for 38, the highest cumulative total for a Sonic game this season. The Sonics wound up with 10 more foul shots than the Jazz, and ran away with the victory.
The Jazz are a turnover-prone offense, especially when it comes to bad passes. Thus far, Utah has thrown it away 287 times to their opponents 183, while the Sonics are at 187-245. That's a bad sign for Jazz fans, and a great sign for those of us who still aren't sure about that Joseph Smith guy.
I've wavered in both directions with this game, which is probably why the oddsmakers have put it as a pick 'em. On the pro side, the Sonics are statistically better than Utah, are coming off a nice win in LA, and they haven't lost in 3 tries against Utah this season. However, the Jazz have won a couple of nice ones lately, the Sonics are on the second of a back-to-back, and the law of averages is on Utah's side. On the other hand ...
Good Sign: AK-47 is not at 100%.
Bad Sign: AK-47 will still be playing, and at 85% he's better than most players in the league, anyway. Plus, the Jazz have knocked off the Suns and Spurs in SLC in the past two weeks.
Vegas line: Pick 'em
Prediction: Jazz 102 - Sonics 98
Record Against the Spread: 13-7
Tuesday, January 25
I was a little off in my last prediction ("we're in for a butt-whuppin' tonight") of the Sea-Den matchup. (Ed. note: yeah, and Geraldo was a little off when he was looking for Capone's vault). But I guarantee nothing but riches tonight in today's issue of "How Much Money Can Pete Win for You?"
Like all good Sonics fans, I hate the Lakers. I detest Stu Nance and his terrible commentary (could someone find Chick Hearn's fridge so we can put Stu in it?), Magic's big mouth, the Staples Center's plasticity, Laker fans' plasticity, and everything else associated with this team.
That said, the Lakers have some cool players. You gotta like Odom, who rolls to the hoop almost as well as he rolls a joint, and Brian Grant's tenacity is always appreciated. Fortunately for us, Ray Allen's pen pal is still recovering, which means the most dangerous offensive player on the Lakers is Chucky Atkins.
Good Sign: Kobe's spent more time at the doctor's office than on the court this month.
Bad Sign: Sonics have lost 3 straight on the road.
Vegas line: Sonics by 3
Prediction: Sonics 103 - Lakers 94
Record Against the Spread: 12-7
The article also singles out my favorite former Sonic (Michael Cage excluded), Corey Maggette, as an exceptional foul-drawer for a perimeter player. Hey, Wally, can you get off your ass and trade for this guy already? Ray Allen's value isn't getting any higher!
I know I can't be the first to say this, but I'm of the opinion that fouls are the NBA's equivalent to walks in baseball. Everyone acknowledges them, but nobody gives them their due respect (at least until Billy Beane showed up).
For instance, fouls:
1. Are a consistent way to score points that never take the night off (as opposed to jump shots)
2. Hurt the other team in two ways, by putting your team at the line and by putting opposing players closer to DQ
3. Allow your team to catch its' breath, especially for teams like the Sonics and Suns (although it could be argued that it allows the other team to rest as well)
4. Are recommended for preventing tooth decay
I'm not sure about the last one, but the other 3 are legit.
Monday, January 24
The Seattle Supersonics beat the Utah "Why are they still called" Jazz 122-105 last night at the Key.
The Supes overcame a physical Utah team that sent Seattle to the line a season-high 45 times. Seattle improved to 13-1 when they attempt at least 30 free throws
Rashard "Too Smoove" Lewis lead the way with 36 points, shooting 12-17 from the field, and 7-8 (!) from three-point land. The Sonics as a team shot an astounding 59 percent from the floor (38-64).
Almost lost in the shuffle was another great game from Nussbaum's boy, Antonio Daniels, who had 24 points and eight assists.
Utah, which was lead in scoring (20) and rebounding (12) by Carlos "I was a loser and a" Boozer, lost for the fifth time in the past six games.
Seattle's next game is on Tuesday, in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
Friday, January 21
It looks like the Suns are about to acquire Jim Jackson and Samuel Dalembert:
The Phoenix Suns are closing in on the acquisition of disgruntled New Orleans swingman Jim Jackson, league sources told ESPN.com.
The trade for Jackson, expected to be finalized later Friday, would likely send three Suns reserves -- Casey Jacobsen, Maciej Lampe and Jackson Vroman -- to the Hornets. Jackson has refused to report to New Orleans since he was traded by Houston for David Wesley just after Christmas.
The move has multiple benefits for Phoenix, which started the season 31-4 in spite of its serious depth shortage. Jackson, 34, would immediately give the Suns a veteran scoring option off the bench and also give coach Mike D'Antoni a ready-made replacement for Joe Johnson if the Suns can convince Philadelphia to part with center Samuel Dalembert in a swap for Johnson.
(Thanks to Ryan J for the tip!)
UPDATE: It's official: Jim Jackson is a Phoenix Sun.
The PI’s Danny O’Neil even devoted a few trees to the issue the other day, explaining how the Sonics are only 1-7 when they hit less than 30% from beyond the arc.
Guess what. It’s all a bunch of crap.
Writers love to formulate logic based on their opinions, and there few opinions tougher to shake than the one which says the Sonics are a jump-shooting club. To back up their claims, writers point to Seattle’s poor showing in games which they shoot badly from beyond the arc.
What O’Neil neglects to mention, however, is that NEARLY EVERY TEAM IN THE LEAGUE shoots badly from beyond the arc when they lose.
Phoenix? 30% in losses, 39% in wins.
Cleveland? 28%, 37%.
San Antonio? 29%, 39%.
Sacramento? 31%, 37%.
Seattle? 27%, 42%.
This just in ... when you don’t shoot well, you’re gonna lose. Rather than just accept the simple truth in that sentence, writers like O’Neil grasp at tenuous claims like “long rebounds from missed 3’s” and other such nonsense.
Lost in all this supposition is the truth. The truth is that 68% of Seattle’s shots are jumpers beyond 15 feet. What does that mean, though? Well, here’s how some other teams compare:
Phoenix (67%), San Antonio (63%), Sacramento (67%), Detroit (65%), Indiana (67%), Miami (61%).
With the exception of the Heat, ALL of the top teams this year are within a few percentage points of Seattle, meaning all this talk about the Sonics being a bunch of jump shooters isn’t just dumb, it’s flat-out wrong.
Look, the Sonics, when they’re hitting their outside shots, are one of the best teams in the NBA, excepting no one. When they’re not hitting them? Well, they’re just like every other NBA team that isn’t hitting its’ threes. Lousy.
One point people fail to take into consideration with the injury to Steve Nash is that he gets hurt almost every year. Face it, he’s in his ninth season and he’s played 80+ games twice. Yeah, when he’s healthy he’s a very good player, but the Suns have to pay when he’s hurt, too, and if they think it sucks now, wait until he’s 34. ... Am I the only one sick and tired of retro/alternative jerseys? 20 years ago when I grew up loving the Sonics, they had two uniforms: home and away. For some reason, it was enough for everybody. How about a moratorium: teams can wear retro jerseys no more than twice a season. Except for the Celtics, who wear them every night. ... Is the NBA so desperate for help that Urkel merits his own spot on their website?
Wednesday, January 19
Friends, this will not stand. My grandparents did not ride across the Atlantic Ocean in a rickety boat manufactured by malicious Protestants so that their grandson could have a website he contributes to on occasion, but never while taking time away from work, maligned by some punk.
So, in step one of correcting our low ranking, let me introduce some sexy new photos, exclusive to supersonicsoul.com, in an effort to improve our "hot chick photos" score, thereby elevating our overall standing.
Consider the gauntlet thrown.
Tuesday, January 18
We could be in for a good ol'-fashioned butt-whuppin' tonight, fellas. The Nuggets are starting something called a "Greg Buckner" at off-guard, Nene's serving a 4-game suspension, and the Sonics apparently need Rashard Lewis about as much as I need a curling iron.
In fact, the Nuggets have won all of 2 games since December 15th, a 2-13 skid that has ended their chance at decent season. What's been the cause of Denver's misfortune? Here are a few culprits:
- 3-point shooting (26% over their past 10)
- Shot-blocking (20 fewer than their opponents over past 10)
- Carmelo Anthony (34% from the field in the past couple of weeks)
Good Sign: The Nuggets are a team in disarray, and even Michael Cooper can't help it.
Bad Sign: Sooner or later, the Sonics are going to miss Rashard's scoring ability.
Vegas line: Sonics by 7 1/2
Prediction: Sonics 99 - Nuggets 88
Record Against the Spread: 12-6
Monday, January 17
Some recent comments from readers:
"How about commenting on games we won! Big win over the Cavs tonight. Only one and a half back of the Spurs for the 2nd seed in the west."O.K., I'll admit I've been slacking lately. Maybe if you guys would help me get a new computer instead of the Tandy TRS-80 I'm currently using , I'd be able to write more.
"Yeah, where my homies at?"
Also, I've been busy on a project for the man, but now that it's almost over, I promise I'll get to work on more Spine-tingling Tales of Supersonica© . In fact, here are some new stories that will be lighting up your computer screen in the near future:
- "Furball: The rise and fall of the Wheedle."
- "Gerald Paddio: The lost years."
- "Did we mention Radman was in The Nutcracker? No, really!"
The argument against my position regarding Steve Nash essentially boiled down to this, "he makes his teammates better." And, yes, I know the Suns have dropped two games since he got hurt, but they also dropped one on Thursday when he played 39 minutes, and were losing by 11 to Indiana when Austin Croshere smacked him in the thigh.
Well, with all that in mind, here's Amare Stoudemire's ppg until Nash got hurt in the Pacers' game on Saturday
And here's Amare's ppg in the two games where Nash has been missing:
Food for thought.
The Supes overcame the absence of Rashard Lewis to beat Cleveland 105-97 last night at the Key.
Before the season, this match-up looked like it was going to be a real crapfest: the worst of the east vs. the worst of the west. Instead, it was the first place Sonics (!) taking on the first place Cavs (!!) in a battle of two of the best teams in the NBA.
Seattle was led by Ray Allen's 27 points while Vladidunk Radmanovic (whom I stupidly cut from my fantasy team) had 23 points (5-7 from behind the arc) and 11 rebounds off the bench.
Friday, January 14
With the Sonics set to face the Golden State Warriors for the first time this season, Danny Fortson still has bad memories of the city by the bay.
"They let me sit there and rot," he told the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday.
Read more here.
Also, do you ever notice how we never write about the games we lose?
Wednesday, January 12
1. Luke Ridnour's beautiful up-and-under move to the hoop, that may not have resulted in two points, but nevertheless was probably the prettiest move of the night.
2. Danny Fortson drawing a foul while setting a pick, something I don't I've seen a Sonics player do in quite a while.
3. The play in the third quarter wherein Allen fed Lewis in the low post, Lewis swung it out to Ridnour, who sent it to Collison (?) who fed Radmanovic in the corner for a three. I half-expected the Sonic dance team to set a pick they got so many people involved.
4. Jerome James garnering two blocks in one Clipper possession in the first quarter.
5. The Sonics picking up for their fallen comrade, Lewis. How many teams in this league can play well with their 2nd-leading scorer rendered ineffective?
Tuesday, January 11
Jerome James: MVP?
Danny O'Neil uncovers the secret origin of the Sonics' postgame huddle in today's P.I.:
It's not hard to find the guy who shepherded the Sonics into that first postgame huddle.
He's the tallest player on the team. The one with his jersey number, 13, etched into the 20-inch silver rims of his H2.
Last season, Jerome James was the guy benched for a game for falling asleep in a team's film study. This season, he is the guy who gathered everyone together Nov. 5 after playing one of his most energetic games of the season.
He had leaped over the Sonics' bench chasing a loose ball out of bounds. Later, he took off on a dead sprint to block Kenny Anderson's layin attempt. That James was called for goaltending didn't matter. The effort did. Afterward, he stood on the floor and waved his teammates together in what might have turned out to be his best move of the season.
Read the rest here.
Monday, January 10
From The Detroit News:
"You kind of hope Seattle General Manager Rick Sund isn't repeating his own history here. He famously low-balled Allan Houston during contract talks with the Pistons back in 1996, which led to Houston leaving for New York. Now he is apparently low-balling Ray Allen. The most the Sonics could offer Allen is a seven-year deal worth $95 million, and he's not even asking for all of that. The bid the Sonics have on the table is about $75 million, which is insulting to Allen and his agent, Lon Babby. Sund and Babby met in Washington last week, and nothing apparently came of it. It would behoove the Sonics to get a deal done soon. If they feel they are at an impasse, they have only until Feb. 24 to trade him. Otherwise, they could lose him without compensation this summer. "When February comes, if I haven't signed a deal, I know the speculation will be out there," Allen said. "Who wants me? Where I might end up going. All that stuff. That's just part of the business." "
According to this site, Steve Nash is 7th-best PG in the league. Funny, you'd expect a league MVP candidate to at least finish in the top 5.
1. Fortson standing up to Shaq
2. Collison's beautiful backdoor pass to AD for a nifty layup
3. Ridnour turning on the ABA feel when the Sonics needed it
4. The look on Eddie Jones' face in the 4th quarter when the Sonics began to take control
5. Radman, Radman, Radman
Thursday, January 6
Who wears short shorts?
It's nostalgia time, baby!
The Sonics duel with their victims in the 78-79 Championship Series. Of course, as bad as Sonic fans feel about the length of time between championships, Bullet/Wiz fans have to feel even worse. Christ, has this team won a playoff game in the interim, let alone a series? The Wiz organization has been so inept, fans have filed a suit in family court for lack of support.
Good Sign: When Gilbert Arenas is a key to your team's success, you know something has gone painfully awry.
Bad Sign: Reggie Evans is out with the flu (part II)
Vegas line: Sonics by 2
Prediction: Sonics 96 - Wizards 90
Record Against the Spread: 11-6
Seeems to me this is a perfect situation for Karl. He'll be taking over a team that is already playoff-ready, is set with quality players at nearly every position except SG, and is primed to explode.
Wednesday, January 5
Grant Hill, everyone's feel-good story of the season, is beginning to tail off, but the biggest difference for Orlando appears to be on the defensive end, where the Magic are allowing 106 ppg over their past 10 outings. And it's not like the Magic are playing champions, either. The past 4 losses have come against the Knicks, Bucks, Bulls and Raptors.
The Magic are definitely deep, though, with six guys capable of scoring in double figures. But here's a weird one for you - Stevie Franchise has made 2 3's in the past 10 games.
Good Sign: Magic in a tailspin, the Sonics looking for a clean sweep on their road trip.
Bad Sign: Reggie Evans is out with the flu.
Notes: Francis' 3-point decline is an odd one. After attempting at least 250 in every season of his career, he's on pace to take 140 this year ... The Magic's most effective 5-man unit is Francis-Hill-Turkoglu-Howard-Cato ... Cato was activated from the DL a few days ago ... The Magic like to put it up quickly, as 45% of their shots come within the first 10 seconds of the shot clock; the Sonics take 34% of their shots in that same time frame ... Both teams are averaging more than 100 ppg ... The Magic are last in the league in points allowed.
Trivia: Who is Orlando's all-time leader in coaching wins?
Vegas line: Sonics by 3
Prediction: Sonics 108 - Magic 98
Record Against the Spread: 11-5
Looks like Flip Murray may be on the move ...
From ESPN Insider:
"Murray, the SuperSonics' darling last season when his high-scoring ways helped compensate for an injury to Ray Allen, might be trade bait.The Detroit News reports the SuperSonics are thinking of trading "Flip", who might be anxious about getting playing time.
The third-year pro can become a free agent this summer, and the Pistons were fond of him coming out of Shaw University, a Division II school in North Carolina.But Murray's not a defensive ace, which would make minutes hard to come by in the Pistons' rotation.
The Nuggets also reportedly were interested in Murray, though the team denied that rumor.
-----I'd have to think that these are only rumors with little basis in fact. I'll say it again: Murray is incredibly cheap insurance for Allen and it just doesn't make sense for the Sonics to deal him unless they can get something useful in return.
Tuesday, January 4
A website that tracks the upcoming NBA draft has the Sonics selecting UW’s Nate Robinson with the 29th pick in the draft ... In between checking on his 6,700 business endeavors, Magic Johnson found time to check out the Sonics/Heat the other night. Apparently, Ridnour is the sole reason for Seattle’s success this season. Anyone else wondering if the fact Magic played PG has any influence on his opinion? ... Reggie Evans is out with stomach flu for a couple of nights. That sound you just heard was Nick Collison’s agent dialling Nate MacMillan. ... Radman has a backhanded swipe at GP’s leadership skills in relation to Allen’s same in the Washington Times. Wonder if Radman thought Ray-Ray was such a great leader last season, when the Sonics had to watch the playoffs on TV? Funny, it seemed like GP was a good enough leader to take the Sonics to the Finals; it’s just too bad everyone in the organization seems to have forgotten that. And I’m guessing that all this warm and cuddly crap regarding Ray’s contract wouldn’t be so warm or cuddly if the Sonics were 6-23 instead of 23-6 ... Allen has moved up to 5th in the Roland Rankings, trailing only Bryant, Nowitzki, Kirilenko, and Marbury.
Monday, January 3
Eddie Jones faces the Sonics' dreaded 15-Finger Defense
The Seattle Supersonics beat the Miami Heat 98-96 Monday night in Miami to end the Heat's franchise-record 14-game winning streak. Miami had a chance to send the game to O.T., but with 0.4 seconds remaining, Eddie Jones missed two out of three free throws that would have tied the game.
Miami had several chances to win or tie the game down the stretch, but were denied each time by the tough Sonics "D". Jones missed a desperation three with 0.4 seconds left on the clock, but was fouled (Nooooo!!!) by Rashard Lewis.
With a chance to tie the game, E.J. took the ball, strode right up to the free throw line and, without pausing to contemplate the importance of the shot he was about to take, tossed up a rushed and off-target free throw, thereby sealing Miami's doom.
The two teams will have a rematch this Sunday back in Seattle.
Since Nussbaum is still nursing a post-Boxing Day hangover, I will handle the Supersonicsoul Pre-Game Show. Lord have mercy.
- Who: Miami Heat
- When: Right now! Turn on the TV, damnit!
- Good Sign: The Supes just beat the Bobcats. YES!
- Bad Sign: Miami has Shaq. We have Jerome James. Let's move on.