Tuesday, February 28

Game Night: Not Your Daddy's Sonics

Bob Hill, coach of the Seattle SupersonicsTonight, the Sonics debut what is – in many ways – a brand-new team. As such, there will be a big bulls-eye residing on Coach Hill’s forehead for the next three months. After having to endure an incomplete roster for the beginning of his tenure, Hill has got all of the pieces he should need to create a winning team. I have always felt Hill has/had what it takes to be a successful NBA coach, and now we’ll find out if I’m right.

To me, with their recent moves the Sonics have finally replaced Jerome James and Antonio Daniels by acquiring Wilcox, Wilks, and Watson (add in Wilkens and we’ve got our own W-4!). Watson complements Ridnour perfectly, and Wilcox’ athleticism and aggressiveness are precisely what the Sonics need. One can only hope their attention to defense rubs off on Lewis, Allen, et al. Wilks’ surprising performance against the Heat only adds more excitement.

Watching the Sonics last year, the best lineup in my opinion was Daniels, Allen, Lewis, Radmanovic, and Fortson (at least while Fortson kept his fouls in check). That group’s combination of defense, scoring, and rebounding was exciting to watch. An aspect oft-overlooked was their exceptional foul shooting and – even more importantly – foul-drawing abilities. Unfortunately, Watson can’t hit FTs as well as Daniels, and Wilcox is no Fortson at drawing and making shots at the charity stripe.

Regardless, I’m more excited about the Sonics right now than at any point this season since October. Tonight’s game against the Hornets should be a wonderful opportunity for the Sonics to show Seattle fans that this team can still be factor in the playoff race. The Hornets have added a few pieces (Marc Jackson, Moochie Norris, Linton Johnson, Aaron Williams) to an already surprisingly good team, but the fact that Earl Watson will be wearing green and gold makes the thought of Chris Paul suiting up a little more palatable. This is no gimme in any way; the Hornets are a good team with a winning record on the road against Western Conference opponents and a 19-8 mark since January 1st. Their recent additions have played very well – both Williams and Johnson have posted double-doubles since being acquired – and Chris Paul is, well, Chris Paul. In the Sonics’ favor, the Hornets are 1-11 when teams score 100+ against them, something the Sonics ought to be able to do with their new roster inact.

Can the Sonics win, though? Good Lord, I hope so. Nothing would rev up this franchise at this point than a win against a good team. In a season of disasters both on and off of the court, Sonic fans deserves a ray of sunshine. Let’s hope we see it tonight.

42 comments:

Paul Merrill said...

I'm excited too. Some of these guys, like Wilks (who could be the next great fan favorite) and Wilcox, are playing for a job now, so hopefully they'll be going nuts out there tonight.

Tim said...

I can't wait! Finally a reason to get excited about going to the Key. I may watch noth halves instead of retreating to the Fox Sports Lounge at halftime. I want to see what WIL(3) can bring as a group.

Nuss said...

Wil-power, perhaps?

b_con said...

They cut Brunson too! YES!? He's the new Ibo!

Nuss said...

Thanks for the heads-up, b-con. Indeed, Brunson has been waived:

http://www.nba.com/sonics/news/brunson060228.html

I'll admit I'm surprised with the whole Brunson scenario. What was it that they saw of him this year that was any different than what they saw of him last year in LA?

Lance Uppercut said...

I recall more than a few posters saying that Brunson was a good pick-up. What a difference half an NBA season makes.

Anonymous said...

If Wilks becomes a fan favorite, it will be for his towel waving abilities.

Anonymous said...

Losing Flip and Brunson in the same week is just too hard to take.

Tim said...

So how much are we paying guys we have cut? Arn't we still on the hook for Ibo for a million or so? And Bob Weiss as well? No wonder the Sonics are losing money.

QDaily said...

Several things about this game that I have to sound off on:

1. I didn't think that Robert Swift could get any uglier... I was SO wrong. I think the Collabro "Yugo" comment was one for the ages. I laughed my ass off!

2. It is hard to believe that Luke Ridnour is playing so poorly. "Ineffective" doesn't even begin to describe it. As soon as Earl Waston goes to the bench, they simply stopped scoring. It really makes me ill. I like the guy, I really do, but if he sucks this bad, then we need to play Byron and let Luke ride the pine for a good long while...

-Q

b_con said...

Watson should be fine. Wilcox was pointing for so many alley oops that he didn't get. It was a great game, they have a real team now. Depth at center, pf, sf, ray at sg, and depth at point.

b_con said...

Rashard was invited to USA team training camp, but more amazingly LUKE RIDNOUR WAS! Nate loves that boy!

Eric Reynolds said...

"Sonics' C Robert Swift wore his shorts backward in the first half. They were fixed by the start of the second half." ?!?!?

Tim said...

Not Sonics news, but a great "Where are they now?" article.

Manute Bol, Wife Arrested After Domestic Argument

My favorit part - "The couple, who have been arrested in previous domestic incidents, went together Sunday to police headquarters to report the incident."
They went together so they could be arrested? Maybe someone should explain to them how to avoid prosocution, like don't go to the police station to turn yourself in. Good times. Also, how did she punch him in the head? How tall is she?

http://www.courant.com/news/local/fv/hc-whdbol0228.artfeb28,0,2071985.story

Anonymous said...

They went together because each wanted to report the other one. "You gonna complain about me? Hell, I'll complain about you as well! Wanna ride?" Idiots.

Nice win last night - glad to see we didn't totally crumble when they made their run in the 4th. Watson should be good when he gets back in his groove - hadn't played for 2 weeks, wanted to make a good impression - always a recipe for game 1 mistakes. I wish the Pistons weren't next up though. Not a good way to build confidence! It was fun seeing Collison go off - playing for the starting job again now he has a real threat for minutes? Love it.

Nuss said...

Re: Watson and Ridnour

Hard to believe, but according to Popcorn Machine's +/- from last night, Ridnour (+13) had a much better game than EW (-11). Of course, it helps when Frodo's passing to Ray Allen and EW's passing to the Omen, but still ...

Other things to love about last night:

Sonics shoot nearly 60% (!) from the field...Swifty blocks 3 shots...Petro goes for 12 and 6...Sonics scored 114 points on a team that's only allowed 100+ points 12 times all year.

Let's all take a deep breath, though. The Sonics can't possibly continue to shoot 59.7% from the field, or 50% from beyond the arc. The fact they turned they ball over 18 times isn't good, and they still aren't getting to the line often enough.

A win's a win's, though, and considering they beat up on a team that's been playing great lately says something. With 4 more home games on tap, perhaps we can get somethin' goin' here.

Nuss said...

And about Ridnour on the Olympic team tryout roster: WTF? I read the whole story, but I still can't figure out why Allen Iverson - easily the most undefendable small man in NBA history - a guy who wants to play on the team, and said so, isn't on the roster, but Luke Ridnour, who isn't even the best point guard ON HIS OWN TEAM does? Can someone explain this to me? What about Baron Davis? Or Andre Miller? Mike James? Or Mike Bibby?

Anonymous said...

Luke Ridnour is the NBA equvalent of Bode Miller.

Zachary Geballe said...

Anonymous, that makes no sense...and I think the reason they didn't invite AI is because as great a player as he is in the NBA game, he's much less effective in the international game, where you can zone against his penetration, and where the premium is on shooting ability. Plus, do you really think his teammates would appreciate him chucking up 20-30 shots per game just to get his points? That's the exact kind of ball that the US team is trying to avoid, the kind of ball that results in a bronze medal.

Nuss said...

You have a point, but what about Gilbert Arenas? He's as much of a ball-hog as AI, and he's not nearly as tough. I guess I'm a little biased in that I've always liked Iverson, but for Colangelo to completely toss him aside seems weird to me. The guy wants to play, does everything he's asked, and so forth, then gets thrown under the bus.

Basically, if Colangelo felt AI's game didn't belong in China, then he had no business inviting Arenas, either. He can't have it both ways. (I should also fess up that I've always detested Colangelo, from his shenanigans with the Diamondbacks to the fact he's associated with the Suns, who've always been on the second tier of teams I despise, just below Utah and - yes - Portland).

Anonymous said...

Zachary Gellaballebaleblelblelbaleb,

Your name makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

Bode Miller is a loser, Ridnour is a loser. What do you mean "makes no sense"??

Nuss said...

I'm with Zach on this one; I didn't get the comparison, either. Maybe if Bode was short, white, and totally overrated, I'd get it, but he's fat, tall, and one of the best skiers on the planet.

Maybe we can call Luke the Bob Costas of the NBA. They're both short, white, and drive me nuts.

Anonymous said...

If he's one of the best skiers on the planet how come he fuckin blew it??

doubledribble said...

hey, uhhh "dude" you may have the worst comebacks in the history of blogging. "your name makes no sense"...
Wow... How should I explain this so that you can understand because I know it is hard for you to pronounce more than 2 syllables... how about "suck".
As in, you. You Suck.
Got that?

Paul Merrill said...

I think Anon meant:

Bode = tanked at olympics.

Frodo = will tank at olympics?

Now will you stop taking about the olympics, because olympics is trade-marked by the olympics and everytime we say olympics we have to pay the olympics ten dollars.

Damnit, now I owe those bastards seventy bucks! Start talking about Vincent Askew or something already!

Lance Uppercut said...

No kidding good riddance to the Olymics, it pre-empted the "Joey Show" for 3 weeks!

Nuss said...

Quit your whining. My city (Vancouver) is on the hook for $6 billion for the next two-week party in 2010, and we don't even get to see NBA players - just a bunch of lugers.

Now, if only I could figure out a way to rent my basement for $5,000 a night; hey, maybe Bob Costas could stay with me!

Lance Uppercut said...

Costas could probably fit in one of your dresser drawers. I'd save the basement for someone a little bigger, say Al Roker.
BTW, the only thing better than getting stoned and watching curling on TV is getting stoned and watching curling live. Vancouver here I come!

Nuss said...

Even better, you can buy pot legally in Canada, and especially so in Vancouver. Can you imagine if the Grizzlies were still in Vancouver? They'd go 41-0 at home!

Biggie said...

Getting stoned and watching the sonics win is the most fun!

Anonymous said...

"Now, if only I could figure out a way to rent my basement for $5,000 a night"

One word - hookers.

Anonymous said...

They need Luke on the olympic team because he will pass the ball and play a team game. Look who is coaching you have Coach who takes some of the best HS recruits in the nation and turns them into team players that great for college sucsess but doesn't translate to the NBA. And Nate who loves Luke and small white PG guards that share the ball. (hence him starting Steve Blake in Portland)

If they took more players like Battier and Luke over Arenas and Kobe. They would win the Gold with there Euro like team play.

Anonymous said...

Coach K is what I meant to say

Paul Merrill said...

Does playing a "team game" mean not playing defense? Because Frodo is going to get lit up like a splif in the Oly...er...International Games.

(Ha! Almost got me Olympics! . . . GODDAMNIT!)

Biggie said...

2 f's in spliff chief. lol

Paul Merrill said...

Dag, I knew I should've spell-checked that!

Biggie said...

lol, you probably forgot, like towlie you should get high, then you'd remember.

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