Lost amidst the somewhat poor start the Sonics have experienced has been the phenomenal play of the offense. Tonight’s game against the Heat may change that a bit – those East Coast fellas don’t like the run ‘n gun as much as the West Coast – but let’s take a quick look at the highlights from thus far:
1. Ray Allen & Rashard Lewis – combined 54 ppg. That’s just a sick number, and it would be the best in team history if they kept it up. I’ll take your guesses in the comments section for the best all-time 1-2 punch in Seattle history (Hint: It does not involve Danny Vranes and/or Clemon Johnson).
2. Luke Ridnour – an incredible 57% from the field and nearly 19 ppg. We’ll not talk about his abysmal defensive +/- numbers here (see this page), but if he continues to shoot at anywhere near that rate, we can live with the bad D.
3. Chris Wilcox – solid numbers. 12.7 ppg, leads the team in rebounds, good work on the offensive glass, everything the Sonics wanted/expected. Of note, opposing PFs have scored 28, 30, and 11 against him. Sorry, I forgot this was supposed to be positive.
Again, the defense hasn’t been nearly as spectacular as the offense, which currently ranks first in the league in points per game.
Coincidentally, the team ranked last in ppg is Seattle’s opponent Tuesday night, the Heat. Miami’s defense of its title hasn’t gone according plan thus far, unless the plan was to get blown out in their home opener and lose Shaq to injury the first week of the season. I’m guessing that wasn’t in their season-ticket campaign this summer. If Shaq is sidelined tonight, expect a big diet of Dorrell Wright (who?), James Posey and Alonzo Mourning.
It’s possible O’Neal will play, making it the second time this year the Sonics have gone into a game not knowing if a Hall of Famer will be lining up against them. The first time, they felt the wrath of Mamba. We’ll see if the same holds true against the Big Aristotle.
With the league’s worst offense faced against the league’s second-worst defense, something has to give. I’m guessing the Heat crack 100 for the first time this year.
Line: Heat by 7
PETE’S PICK: Heat 103 – Sonics 97
Overall ATS: 1-1