Friday, January 13

Game Night: Love the Glove

Seattle’s all-time greatest player returns home tonight as the Sonics match up with Gary Payton and the Miami Heat. The Glove is now merely a Mitten, but he’s still likely to be the first guy ever drafted by the Sonics to make it in the Hall of Fame (unless you count this guy, and that's just mean).

Anyway, the Heat are rounding into shape under new coach Pat Riley. Antoine Walker has moved into the reserve SF role nicely, JW and Payton make a nice PG combination, and Shaq appears to be finding his legs. Combine Shaq’s improving ankle and Seattle’s dearth of big men, and we could be looking at a big night from the big fella.

It’s still not known whether Sugar Ray will be in the starting lineup, but let’s assume he’s not, meaning The Omen gets his fourth start of the season. Ordinarily, this would be a disaster, but even more of disaster would be trying to watch Ray Allen guard Dwayne Wade. Quite frankly, I think I’ll take Wilkins’ D and marginal O over Sugar Ray’s marginal D and superstar O in this case.

Last year, much was made of the Sonics’ statistical staff noticing that Wade favored going in a particular direction when he had the ball, enabling the Supes to hold him to 39% shooting in their two matchups (both of which the Sonics won). Can the same statistical insight benefit Seattle again? Somehow, I think DW will have figured a way to get off.

Of course, the big question – as mentioned at sonicscentral.com – is how many fouls the Frenchie/Swifty combo will rack up guarding the Big Diesel? Can we be approaching the rare double-6? Will there be a Potato sighting? Is the question mark button still work on my keyboard after this paragraph?

Bottom Line: Heat 101 – Sonics 90

Bonus Prediction: Gary Payton's Line: 15 points, 7 assists

(Update: Ray Allen is out for 3 games, while Keyon "The Menance" Dooling was tagged with a 5-game suspension. You can read the Times' version here.)

12 comments:

rich king said...

Allen suspended 3 games. Going to be tough.

Sonic EJ said...

I still love Gary...

Pete Nussbaum said...

Thanks for the heads-up, Rich.

Lance Uppercut said...

It's a good thing Shaq is still playing or Payton wouldn't have anyone to follow around hoping to get a ring. When you get outclassed by Karl Malone, you know you're in trouble.

Paul Merrill said...

Man, you'd think Ray-Ray would appeal the suspension. At least that way he'd be able to play against the Heat tonight while the case was under review.

Nuss said...

Sorry, Lance, you're not going to get away with slagging GP at this site (at least not when I'm here; Paul, on the other hand ...). Call him loud, call him petty, call him selfish, but don't insult him by using the K-Word. GP may be many things, but he's not the flop-taking, truck-driving, WWF-playing pain in the rear Karl Malone is.

And really, does a guy who operates a Trail Blazer blog really want to get into a insult match when it comes to class? Hey, Lance, I think I hear Qyntel Woods' pit bulls scratching at your door. Don't run too quick, though, you don't want to trip over Damon's bong on your way out.

Lance Uppercut said...

Nuss, you can knock on Qyntel and Damon all you want, at least they both have the slight shred of dignity with allows them to be their own (albeit flawed) men. Though neither hold any special place in my heart. GP is nothing more than a tick attached to Shaq's ass, trying to hold on just long enough to have a championship fill the hole in his soul that most people reserve for things like love, self-respect, and humility. And just for the record, I'll be tripping over my OWN bong.

b_con said...

If Swift vs. Shaq isn't entertainment, I don't know what is. And for the record, Gary is not the Glove, nor is he a "Mitten". More specifically, he has "The Oven Mit" since Chauncey burned him in the Finals.

Anonymous said...

Best part of last night's game? Saint Swift's meat all up in Shaq's grill! Ripped the ball right from his hands!

And the drumline was interesting, no?

Nuss said...

Lance, I noticed that you failed to mention one Ruben Patterson (to be fair, so did I).

Hey, man, again, Gary's petty and so forth, but in the list of horrible things to do in life, riding Shaq's coattails to a ring has to rank somewhere below beating your wife and forcing your nanny to give you oral sex, right?

Just to be clear, Gary's run through the league has certainly taken the bloom off his career, no dispute. But to jump on him for these latest indiscretions while giving the Trail Blazers a free pass seems a little odd to me.

Rich King said...

are you really comparing Qyntel to Gary Payton?

Qyntel won't ever have the luxury of choosing his suitors. He doesn't have any besides the Blazers.

Certainly PETA won't be calling him anytime soon.

Lance Uppercut said...

Nuss, you're right. Rich, Qyntel is playing for the Knicks as we speak. In all honesty, I just hate Payton because he's a beaver.