In a debut only Kevin Federline would be proud of, the Sonics ushered in their 40th season with a 110-106 loss to the Blazers at Key Arena.
The positive is the Sonics actually played well for a great deal of the game, but they eventually succumbed to their lack of big men. Danny Fortson was out for a suspension, Robert Swift's gone for the season, and when Mouhamed Sene sprained an ankle in the third quarter, the Sonics were forced to use Rashard Lewis against Zach Randolph and Nick Collison at the 5.
What about Johan Petro, you say? Well, when you committ four fouls and score 0 points in 16 minutes, you ain't exactly getting the job done.
Of note, the much-heralded "Frodo at the start, Earl at the finish" rotation failed to materialize, as Ridnour finished the game by playing almost the entire 4th quarter. Credit Luke, he had a great game, while fellow contract extender Collison was dismal, joining Petro in the 0 point-4 foul brigade.
Anybody out there who was at the game, tell us what the feel was like: was it playoff-atmosphere, or sedated? Did they show Clay Bennett on the big screen? Did Howard Schultz and Wally Walker show up on the Kiss Me Cam?
I hate Nick Collison. SCRUB. Dead Weight. SCARED. Seattle fans tend to sit on their hands too much. scared to yell, make noise, etc. good crowd though, got frenzied at times but i wouldn't say playoff atmosphere frenzied. we gave this game away. Portland is not better than the Sonics but their feared front line of...Zach Randolph devoured Petro, Wilcox, and a$$ clown Collison. did i mention that i hate Nick Collison?
I was very impressed with Sene. If he can stay healthy and be somewhat consistent on the defensive end the Green and Gold may just be ok.
You know, it's entirely possible that Seattle played a decent game, but Portland is a better team. The Sonics don't have a bench to speak of, and Portland worked their tails off. They upgraded and added depth at every position this offseason, which has raised the level of competition within the team.
I watched that game and came away impressed. Don't get lazy and say the Sonics simply 'gave' that away. Portland just simply took it.
That was pathetic. Portland didn't take it, the Sonics gave it.
It was really hard to root against the Blazers last night, everytime Roy drove to the hoop or hit a shot, I cheered, i couldn't help it. I've never really hated Portland anyways (except when Bill Walton was there) I hate the Jazz and to me they are more of our rival than Portland is, I can't remember the last epic playoff series between us and PO, but with the Jazz it's fresh in my mind.
I echo chunk's bro, Collison sucks fat donkey balls. Why we just re-signed our white tokens I'll never know, I thought that brand of stupidity went away with Wally Walker, I guess not. If you're gonna sign white guys, please, get them from Europe, not from Oregon or Kansas, we watched them in college and the players we should have drafted from those teams were either Fred Jones (Oregon) or dude from Kansas who played beside collison who now plays w/ Lebron, I am coming up blank on his name for some reason, maybe It's the wake and bake, I don't know.
For the most part, the crowd was pretty quiet (and it there were certainly a noticeable number of empty seats), except when Wilcox or Rashard were throwing down some sick dunks.
The good news was that Luke, Rashard, and Sene looked pretty darn good, and Wilcox had some moments. Ray was fairly quiet most of the game but still managed to get 22. The fastbreak looked excellent, and the lineup they played for part of the 3rd/4th of Luke, Ray, Damien, Rashard, and Wilcox was very effective (as was a lineup pairing Watson and Ridnour).
The downside, as mentioned, was that their post defense outside of Sene was pretty goddamn bad. Collison struggled offensively, Wilcox got into foul trouble, and Petro struggled on the ball (though he did do a nice job of help defense).
I think the general tone around the city is "show me what you got." Last night, the Sonics showed some good and some bad, but in the end a home loss to a mediocre team isn't exactly the way you want to start things out.
For the sake of the NBA, Seattle (and even Portland), I hope the Sonics stay put. It would be tragic to see them leave the northwest.
It's time to make this a rivalry again. I'll do my part by talking a little shit, my Blazers did their part by eating some of your birthday cake. You could have had that punk-ass Fortson on the court, and it wouldn't have mattered. We have enough front-line players to go physical or finesse, depending on the matchups.
Just admit you didn't see it coming.
I totally didn't see this coming ... but from reading the recaps of the game, it sure seems like the Sonics owned 90% of it, and the Blazers clawed their way back in at the end. It's a W no matter how you look at for the Blazers, but it's obvious that neither team can say they are definitely better than the other.
You nailed it, Nuss--Portland was horrible last night except for the last five minutes. Which, of course, makes this loss even worse. I'll post my take late this afternoon complete with pics (if I can figure out how to work my new cam-phone).
It's really too much to bear - at almost the same moment the Sonics started to fall apart against the Blazers, Mr. Eko gets killed on Lost.
Really, I can't take too much more than this. I'm still undecided about which of the two sucked more, though.
Not that we don't know this already, but I need to vent my frustrations right now -- our defense is freakin disgraceful.
You have to at least partially blame the offense anytime you blow a 9-point lead with 4 minutes to play, but we just missed layups and open shots we normally make, so I can't get mad about that. It wasn't a matter of poor decision-making. Our D, on the other hand, is something that's gonna cripple us for all 81 remaining games.
The most frustrating thing about yesterday was that we were in the penalty at about the 5:30-minute mark of the 4th quarter, which meant free-throw city the rest of the way for the Blazers. If this is what it's gonna be like for the rest of the year, I don't know if i can handle it. It felt like we were getting burned on every possession in the 4th and then fouled. Wilcox just let Randolph establish position real easily, and then proceeded to let him get away with the same freakin move for the entire 4th quarter -- set up on the right block, back Wilcox up, put his head down, and dribble left toward the basket and scoop it in.
It's also obvious that whatever work we put into our screen-roll defense this summer wasn't enough. EVERY time they ran it, Ridnour or Wilkins would go under it and let Brandon Roy or Jarrett Jack get off a wide-open shot. They didn't even try to get on top. I don't understand how Bob Hill doesn't notice this and point it out during a timeout. It seemed to happen the entire game.
I'm used to us sucking on defense, but I had some hope for improvement after reading so much about the drills we ran this summer.
hey tkpdk, you're feeling pretty good right about now huh? Portland's a better team after one game? I guess you're not used to winning very often.
We had a 9 point lead with 4 minutes ago and found a way to lose. The critical point to me was when Wilcox fouled out; not only did we lose him, it put the Blazers in the bonus, Randolph goes to the line and pulls Portland within 2.
We go down the court, miss a shot, and inexplicably, Collison fucking commits a silly foul after Portland had secured the roubound. Back to the line with no time off the clock. Tie game.
Then Collison fails to box out Ime Udoka on missed free throw. Brutal. It was one of the worst games I've ever seen Nick play.
I love B Roy, but the Blazers can forever suck it.
Oh man, I nearly rammed my fist through my TV when Udoka rebounded that missed free throw. Gave me flashbacks of Jeff Hornacek weaseling an offensive rebound against us in the closing minute of Game 5, I believe in the '99 playoffs.
Daniel brings up a great point about the fouls. It's scary when you think about the 4 guys who will be getting the most minutes at the PF and C position this season:
What do they all have in common? The uncanny ability to rack up 5 fouls in 25 minutes. Normally, that's an isolated thing and only hurts the player because he has to sit, but when both your PF and C are continually committing fouls, the other team will be getting into the bonus way before you do. Swift wasn't as bad at this as the other guys. It might be something that kills the Sonics all year.
I said this during the pre-season, Collison looks good because he was playing against the backup squads as the Sonics #1 or 2 option. In these real games against real players, we see the same things that happened last year--his physical limitations.
Did anyone catch that Pryzbilla block on his spin move jumper. It was funny because it just seemed like a little kid playing with an adult. Too easy for such a supposedly smart player.
Man, we need a veteran C.
Not sure which game you were watching, but the Blazers didn't play horrible except at times in the first half. Every time Seattle made a run, Portland roared back. Goddamn, you're so pissed right now, you can't admit they went punch for punch?
I'm not saying the Blazers are a great team, just marginally better than the Sonics. You got your Allen and Lewis, Portland just has more weapons at all positions, which is obvious from our bench play.
Throw some water on your face and watch the game again, if you can bear it.
Oh yeah, the one positive is that Lewis has suddenly not looked like such a sissy... he took it the rack hard quite a few times. I liked that intensity.
Just to throw more salt in the wound...
Looking at the box score, it's really hard to claim Portland 'stole' this one, as some have claimed. They outscored the Sonics in 3 of 4 quarters, (solidly)led in FG%, rebounds, blocks, and FTs. On the road, no less.
Let's put this whole "who controlled the game" nonsense to bed.
Here's the link to Popcorn Machine's game flow for last night's game. Everyone go take a look:
... Waiting ...
... Waiting ...
Okay, in the middle of that page is a chart listing who was ahead at each point of the game. The Blazers led the game 3 times: The beginning of the 1st quarter, a couple of minutes in the 2nd quarter, and the end of the game. In told, they led the game for about 5 minutes of 48.
People, when one team leads the game for 43 minutes and the other team leads it for 5 minutes, and the team that led for 5 minutes wins, wouldn't you say that the 5-minute team stole the win?
I know we're all homers here, but come on, already.
"It's really too much to bear - at almost the same moment the Sonics started to fall apart against the Blazers, Mr. Eko gets killed on Lost."
thanks a lot jackass i hadnt seen lost yet... i was gonna watch it later on tonight but now i dont see the point
I am so sick, just sick, almost threw up. what freakin defense we've got.
I blame Bob Hill for this lost, you know why, I like "pre show/introduction" of the team, but what the hell was wrong with Bob? he didnt stood up when he was being introduced, was it just me, or was he being rude to the fans? and to his players? freakin showed his players he doesnt care, and they want us to pay for their arena?
Stole it? No. Again Nuss, relying on dubious aspects. Fact is, we couldn't capitalize on a double-digit lead. Fact is, we only outscored them in the first freaking quarter. Fact is, they came into our house, hung around until the end then beat us. If the shoe were on the other foot, you'd be the first to proclaim it a great victory. I'm sure we'd be hearing about how great it was we didn't get disheartened by being down by 12 or 14 or whatever, how we calmly stayed in the game and won the last 3 quarters in hostile territory blah blah freakin blah. If you're going to 'report' on something, try a little objectivity for a change. I'm a die-hard Sonic fan, but it does me nor the team any good to make lame ass excuses each time we lose to a bottom dweller. We lost the game, Portland won. No theft invovled.
Take it easy, man, I'm on your side. I predicted the Sonics would win less than 37 games this season, so it's not like I think they're on their way to the Finals. I wrote what I did only because I overreacted to what the Blazer fan was saying about how Portland controlled the game. The fact is the Sonics had the lead for 90% of the game, which means they controlled it, then blew it at the end.
The crazy thing is, even if the Sonics had won it wouldn't have meant anything since neither of these teams will likely go to the playoffs. Trust me, Frank, if the Sonics suck eggs, we'll be the first to say it (and I think we'll be saying that a lot this year).
And by the way, if you do find us being to Sonic-positive, feel free to call us on it. Ask Paul and Chunky, I'm all about the crankiness.
Yeah, waking & baking is the life of a winner.
"The fact is the Sonics had the lead for 90% of the game, which means they controlled it, then blew it at the end."
There's a difference between being ahead and being in control. I was getting tired of Lenny constantly saying "the Sonics need to separate". Bring a little more to the table, Lenny (*snore*).
If you're going to 'report' on something, try a little objectivity for a change.
OK, obviously Frank is a little new to this "Blog" thing. We don't REPORT, we COMMENT! We are to the Sonics what Daily Kos is to liberals (except with far less readers).
If this is too much for you to handle, and you hate the Sonics so much, then kindly go back to reading the Wall Street Journal.
I did forget to mention, that dunk Lewis had on Prissbilla was filthy.
Rashard has got to attack the rack more often.
Sorry Nuss, my bad. Too much coffee!
Hey Paul, I don't hate the Sonics - like I said, die hard fan here. Don't read the WSJ either - right wing shit rag that it is. 'Sup man, you still hurting over your totally off-base pre-game prediction? It's ok, we all get it wrong sometimes.
frank, you don't seem to fit the "die hard fan" description. rooting for your supposed favorite team as opposed to betting against them is normally one of the criteria. yeah, you're totally a die hard sonics fan.....
two days later and your still gloating about being right on game 1 of......82. WOW. you're undefeated...go ahead and keep patting yourself on the back homeboy. we all need to reassure ourselves once in awhile, you just need it more than others.
I didn't bet against the Sonics, dude, I just realised we hadn't adjusted for any of our shortcomings from last season. It's called being realistic. And I'm not gloating - it pains me to expect to lose, but that's where this team has brought me. Above I was jjust reacting to the crap Paul posted, which to me seems like sour grapes over the crap he posted before the game (something about me being on crack for my stupid prediction that the blazers would beat us). But hey, if y'all just want to be blind Homers instead of facing up to the realities of this team, go for it. You have a long season of pain ahead of you, just as I do. Difference is, I can be pleasantly surprised if we pull ourselves out of the shitter sometimes - you can't, as you seem to be expecting it. But hey, no worries - I won't rain on your parade any more. I'll return to being a quiet fan why'll you spend the year reminding us how much you hate this player, that player, any player who you decide to blame the latest loss on. Have fun hating, bro - hope it makes you feel better.
"Don't worry there's no reason to watch Lost anyways if you watch that show you are a loser who is at home watching some stupid ass TV show."
As opposed to sitting at home posting on an internet message board? :)
It's not a big deal, I was just trying to make it through the day without finding out what happened because I was too busy to watch it on Wednesday. I guess I didn't expect to find out while I was reading SSS.
Back to the subject... I don't see how anyone can be really disappointed with the Sonics. If you watched the game you could see the energy they were putting out. If you were at the game you could feel it. They were playing better and harder than the season we had 2 years ago. They just completely fell apart at the end.
Effort and Defense: A+ (compared to last year)
Closing Out the Game: F
Wilcox looked like Vince Carter!!!
Anon, you have to be careful when reading SSS--you never know what you're going to find out! Two years ago, we had a series of articles on Dawson's Creek. (The writer of that article has since been fired, tarred and feathered)
i have learned my lesson :)
hug another tree, do a doobie, feel sorry for yourselves, buy some starbucks stock, and listen to poor poor pitiful me. ths sonics are history in the emerald city.
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