Wednesday, March 8
Game Night: Grizzly
A few pieces before looking at tonight’s matchup with Memphis…
According to espn.com, Bob Hill is the 6th-least hated coach in the NBA, ranking ahead of former Sonic assistants Terry Stotts and Dwayne Casey, as well as Larry Brown (natch). It should be noted that his approval rating has dropped since December. Why? … This just in! Reggie Evans felt underappreciated in Seattle! Yeah, Reggie, we all know you’re hard working and all, but, seriously, when the entire NBA decided you’re not worth a long-term deal this past summer, don’t ya think that maybe it’s not just Seattle doing the underappreciating? … And, last but not least, the Sonics have officially inked one Marcus Fizer (congrats to sonicscentral for breaking this way ahead of the big boys). You want to hear a bizarre list? If Fizer makes it to 500 games played, he will join these guys as former Iowa State grads to have played that many games: Zaid Abdul-Zaid, Kelvin Cato, Fred Hoiberg, and Jeff Hornacek. Somehow I’m guessing that’s not a foursome you’ll be seeing at a golf course near you.
On to tonight’s affair. The Sonics are only favored by a point, which to me is a steal. Just like the beginning of last season, the oddsmakers are going to be skeptical of the Sonics for awhile, but, to me, this team is easily capable of dusting the Grizzlies tonight. If you look at the two previous games, the current Sonics bear no resemblance to the team(s) that lost in those two outings. I’m not even worried about Collison’s injury affecting the outcome.
It will be interesting to see the Sonics match up with Memphis’ slow-down tactic (which, as this piece shows, even some Griz fans are getting sick of). Here’s some numbers for you: The Sonics take 42% of their shots in the first 10 seconds of the 24-second clock. Memphis takes 32% in that time frame. Memphis takes 20% of their shots in the final four seconds; the Sonics 11%. It’s two completely different styles: Fratello’s Slothball Crapola vs Hill’s Runners. As if the Grizzlies’ style of play wasn’t bad enough, they’re paying this guy about $6mil a year until 2010. I like to call it the Bill Curley Rule: NBA teams will always go out on a limb for a 6’9” white guy. It’s as if they think that if they keep drafting them, sooner or later they’ll find another Larry Bird. Good luck with that.
As you can tell, I’m picking the Sonics, 103-89.
Posted by PN at 12:09 PM