Like most of you, I’ve been puzzled by the Sonics’ start to the season. The same team that nearly sweeps the Heat and Magic and destroys the Nets on the road loses to the Kings at home? How does a running team score 78 points? Whose hair is longest: Gelabale or Fortson?
Difficult questions, but let’s try to ascertain what’s going on in Sonic wins and losses. To wit:
1. Rashard Lewis is shooting 49% on 3’s in wins; 37% in losses
2. Johan Petro shoots 54% in wins, 35% in losses
3. Luke Ridnour hits 53% of 3’s in wins; 37% in losses
4. Chris Wilcox gets 9 FGA in wins; 7 in losses
5. Damien Wilkins averages a steal every 15 minutes in wins; every 30 in losses
There are more stats to look at, but I think it’s important to note that it’s unrealistic to expect Rashard Lewis and Luke Ridnour to hit 50% of their 3-point attempts this year. In fact, it’s flat-out impossible. Yet, unless they do, the Sonics struggle to score.
In looking at those stats, I’d recommend the following to shake this team out of its’ current 5-losses-in-7-games slump:
1. Give Watson more minutes. Earl is not as bad as he’s shown so far. For the same reason that Ray Allen is allowed to keep chucking when he’s hit 4 of 18, Earl needs to be allowed to keep playing. Now, that doesn’t mean Watson gets to take 3’s with 18 seconds on the shot clock, but if Hill can sit down with Watson and tell him that he’s going to be playing 20-25 minutes every night, regardless of the FG%, it will help the team.
2. Beat Wilcox over the head until he understands that this team needs him to take shots outside of fast breaks or put-back dunks. Force Ridnour to feed Weezy the ball down low at least once a quarter.
3. Allow Petro to keep screwing up. At this point, he’s our only legit big man. We have to pray that the good games eventually start to outnumber the bad.
4. Decrease Ray Allen’s minutes and allow Wilkins and/or Gelabale to play some more.
5. Finally, make up your mind with Danny Fortson. Explain to Danny that if he keeps his head about him, he’s going to get 10-15 minutes a night this year. The Sonics need a backup big man after Nick Collison’s graduation summa cum laude from the Benoit Benjamin School of Infuriating Big Men, and Fortson is helpful on the boards and scoring garbage points in the paint.
Easy, breezy. 5 Simple Steps to Make the Sonics Better. Tomorrow’s game against Orlando will be a real test for this team and the Bob Hill tenure as the coach. If the Sonics drop this one, and the bench fails to get the minutes they think they deserve, the sharks will smell the blood in the water.
Will someone explain to me why Hill deems it proper to chew out Watson and Wilkins, but Collison still gets a passing grade, even though he's playing as bad or worse than eithe rof them?
"Nick is playing great floor games," said Hill. "His defense and his rebounding and all that, you can't ask for anything better. He never misses an assignment on defense. He's just struggling to get the ball in the basket, which he didn't struggle with in the exhibition season. He'll get there."
Funny, Collison's Roland Rating is way worse than Wilkins', so why does Damien get chewed out? Why does Kevin Pelton say that Collison's shooting is an aberration that has to self-correct, but doesn't say the same thing about Watson when Earl's problems are obviously a fluke?
I get the sense Watson is going to be traded. Maybe we can get a little post scoring in a deal.
Everybody needs to calm down about the whole bench thing. It's obvious that the whole team is frustrated with not performing well, and Wilkins and Watson took their views public because they were so frustrated.
The bad part about it to me is Hill going to the press. If people are going to critize Earl and Damien for airing dirty laundry, then Hill needs to be held accountable too. If he had come out and said that he understands where the players are coming from, but they should keep their views private, this whole thing would have gone away. (And yes, he did do that previously on the road trip when Earl first starting bitching). But he's continued to bounce guys in and out of the lineup and screwed with their minutes, and that's created a monster.
Hey, anonymous, don't try and make this a racial thing. Yeah, Watson and Wilkins are black, and Collison's white, but that doesn't have anything to do with it. Collison sucks, yeah, but he's at least contributing in other ways, while Watson is just chucking it every time he crosses half court. I don't know why Earl couldn't have just gone to Hill and told him what he was feeling, rather than blabbing to the press.
Wilkins' case is differnt, since it seems like he was hesitant to say anything and was just responding to Hill calling him out.
hey why are you guys gettin on watsons band wagon what the hell he's been a little punk and is gettin paid to much for how he plays
get him out of town i am sick of him he's better then flip murry but he still sucks
i think that ray allen should be getting the same amount of playing time when he`s hot as when he`s not. he`s a talented player no doubt about it. i`d rather have allen shooting than damien wilkins...just my opinion though. everyone`s entitled to one...
It seems evitable at the moment that Watson will get traded before the start of next season but just as November surprised, so can the stretch between now and February or April.
Collison sucks. I don't want him to...I've rooted for him forever but I can't help but conclude that his negatives far outweigh his positives. You don't get points for effort in the NBA.
I think Bob Hill needs to be held accountable for at least some of the crap that is going on. Watson bitching about minutes is nothing new, it started last season if you all remember. Hill has failed to address that yet. With Ridnour sitting out a solid chunk of the 2nd half against Magic, I'm not sure if either Watson or Ridnour are happy with their floor time at this point. Hell, even Ray might not be crazy about playing 42 minutes a night.
Bob Hill has managed to make Sonics defense worse than it was under McMillan. The offense is worse too. Throughout the Magic game it was evident that the Sonics didn't have a well-planned offense, overrelying on Allen of course. We got practically no defense, and a two-man offense that just doesn't cut it in today's NBA.
Bring Lenny back! Get rid of half of the roster. Pick up big men who can play basketball to some extent (rebounds anyone?). Keep the guys who bring energy to the team. Look what Evans is doing for the Nuggets. He's bringing down 8+ rebounds and is making over 62% from the field. And we traded him...
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