Monday, January 30
1. Rumors persist that the Sonics are pursuing recently traded Marcus Banks from the T-Wolves in exchange for Flip Murray and/or Reggie Evans. Banks is a 6’2” PG/SG (mostly PG), drafted out of UNLV by the Grizzlies – oddly enough – between two guys named Collison and Ridnour in 2003. He’s been a reserve for his career (if you can call 2 ½ years a career), but he does offer some strength that Frodo lacks. Basically, with Banks you’re getting more rebounds, steals, fouls, and free throw attempts, and you’re giving up assists and a small bit of shooting. Neither Frodo nor Banks are outstanding shooters, although Banks should get some credit for improving his FT shooting this season. Banks has sat on the bench for the majority of the year in Boston, only getting serious minutes for a 3-week span in mid-December to early January. Would he help the Sonics? Well, probably not any more than resident mystery man Rick Brunson.
2. Should be an interesting matchup tonight, as the Blazers take a 4-15 road record into Key Arena. Juan Dixon has really come on strong in the last month, regularly scoring 20 points and putting up a 43% 3-pt mark for the month of January, as well as a 50% mark overall. Obviously, he’s not going to keep up that rate, but I’m not expecting Ray Allen to put an end to it. One other item to note: Steve Blake and Luke Ridnour will stage a “World’s Grittiest Man” competition at halftime. Celebrity judges include Chris Corchiani and John Stockton.
3. Welcome back, Nate.
Thursday, January 26
Since the game is on TNT, and I'm not blessed with "fancy cable", I shall be listening to the game on the radio, while watching the highly-anticipated 100th episode of Smallville (Someone close to Clark will die tonight! Please don't let it be Chloe!)
Check out the Sonics Insider preview.
Wednesday, January 25
No, AK1984, I don't mean Paul Pierce. I mean this:
SONICS SELECT ENTERCOM SEATTLE AS NEW RADIO PARTNER
Seattle, WA (January 24th, 2006) - The Seattle SuperSonics organization today announced its signing of a multi-year agreement with Entercom Seattle. All Sonics games will be broadcast on 770KTTH starting in the 2006-07 season.
Talk about culture clash. "KTTH - The Truth 770" boasts a broadcast lineup of conservative media giants--Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Medved and others who pine for the days of "traditional values." What those are, I have no idea, but I think it was last practiced in the 1950s. Anyway, from what I gather, The Truth is targeted at what is commonly known as a "Red State" audience.
Meanwhile, the Sonics are a professional basketball team in the National Basketball Association. You know, that sports league where "all" the players wear tattoos and corn-rows, smoke pot and star in hip-hop videos with big-booty women--things that definitely play better to a "Blue State" crowd (yes, lawd!). Traditional values are about as relevant to modern b-ball culture as short-shorts and the two-handed set shot.
So it's safe to say that these two cultures and their values don't overlap in too many places--well, except for when Danny Fortson is talking about homosexuality or something. But you can't tell me that shacking up with Rush was the Sonics' best option.
Some of KTTH's sister stations--710 KIRO, 99.9 KISW, 103.7 The Mountain and 107.7 The End--attract that core, prototypically-Seattle crowd of upper-middle class liberal-weenies (ahem) who form the bulk of the Supes' following. Why not relocate to one of those stations? Key Arena is packed with the yuppies, butt-rockers, modern-rockers, and aging hippies that listen to these stations... all that's missing are the baggy-pants KUBE 93 types (KJR's sister station).
My only guess is that, just like Commissioner Stern's dress code, the Sonics' foray into Bush-league radio is some kind of attempt to broaden their appeal to Red-Staters. Or conversely, KTTH could be trying to pull some of those heathen Sonics fans into their righteous flock. Good luck with that, guys. If that works, maybe they'll start playing Young Jeezy at NASCAR races and having Big & Rich sing at the NBA All-Star Ga--oh wait.
But whatever. At least I won't have to turn my AM dial, or turn my radio on at all, to get my KC fix. Kevin Calabro is still in the picture (har):
Nineteen-year-veteran Sonics play-by-play announcer Kevin Calabro will continue to handle the television play-by-play duties on Sonics television partner FSN Northwest. The Sonics will add broadcast talent to handle the radio responsibilities. Calabro will remain the primary play-by-play broadcast talent for radio-only regular-season games and Sonics playoff games."The Sonics will add broadcast talent to handle the radio responsibilities," eh? May I be the first to suggest, then, a dynamic duo of Rush and Dennis Miller? If folks like me aren't tuning in, then hell, take this right-wing radio thing all the way.
Tuesday, January 24
However, it does merit some notice in the sense that this deal may have been holding up other deals. Artest was rumored to be heading a number of places, and now that he is confirmed to land in Sacto, that frees up those other teams to begin trading.
Basically, the first two paragraphs are a long-winded way to say that Reggie, Flip, and the Potato may be heading for new homes soon.
Update - As of 3:45, Artest has nixed the deal. Thanks to B-Con for pointing out my whole story was moot. In other news, Ron Artest has decided he no longer wishes to be an American citizen, claiming the U.S. is no longer a playoff contender and fails to utilize his unique skills. President Bush is exploring options of trading Artest to Brazil for "one of them hot-lookin' chicks."
Monday, January 23
Sunday, January 22
On a night when everyone was watching the Seahawks seal a Superbowl berth or Kobe going off for 81 (!), the Sonics and Suns played the most exciting game in the NBA in years.
PHOENIX (AP) -- It was an unofficial turn-back-the-clock night in Phoenix, to the days when everybody in the NBA loved to run and shoot, and nobody played much defense.
Ray Allen made a 30-footer at the second-overtime buzzer to break the NBA record for most combined 3-pointers in a game, giving the Seattle SuperSonics a 152-149 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night in the league's highest-scoring game in 11 years.
"When I was open, I just knew it was time to make a shot," Allen said.
The teams combined for 32 3-pointers, breaking the mark of 31 set by Toronto and Philadelphia on March 13, 2005. The 301 points were the most in a game since Dallas beat Houston 156-147 in two overtimes on April 11, 1995, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Read the rest here.
Thursday, January 19
Does it really make any difference, though? Well, according to 82games.com, it might. Watson is the top-ranked Denver player in +/-, and, unlike Frodo, he can play a lick of defense. While Watson's and Ridnour's PERs are remarkably similar on offense, when they grab their shorts and assume the position on defense, dissimilar results emerge. Ridnour allows an eFG of 56%, while Watson's is a paltry 41%, a massive difference.
Now, I'm not saying Earl Watson is going to take us to the promised land, but he would be a heck of a step in the right direction. For his salary info, you can click here. Most trade scenarios involve combinations of Mr. Glass, the Potato, and Flip Murray being dealt to Denver, with some including 3-way deals involving the T-Wolves, who apparently covet Evans and Murray.
Tuesday, January 17
This is what it has come to, Sonic fans. From Warriors coach Mike Montgomery, after yesterday's game between Golden State and Seattle:
"This is one we had to have. (The players) knew that. I knew that."
That sound you hear is the remainder of the air being let out of last year's balloons. Somebody notify the autorities, because we have now become the team that mediocre teams expect to beat. The team that if the Warriors had not beaten, Monty would have had to explain why. The team that was getting 9 points against the flippin' Golden State Warriors.
Folks, it just doesn't get much worse than this. Unless Ray Allen was resting in a hyperbaric chamber filled with Michael Jordan's mojo while enduring his 3-game suspension, we have no chance at even being on the "bubble" for the playoffs, let alone making them.
Monday, January 16
Anyway, the Sonics stand a chance for a victory this afternoon, but I'm not laying any money on it.
But what really struck me in watching the video was the point guard talent on that squad. Take a look:
1. Nate McMillan (4,893 career assists)
2. John Lucas (6,454)
3. Avery Johnson (5,846)
4. Sedale Threatt (3,613)
That's more than 20,000 assists - on one team! Amazing, really.
All of which leads me to a request. Does anyone out there know how I can transfer the VHS tape to my computer, so we can upload random bits of the footage? I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd like to see Hakeem take on Michael Cage in a one-punch fight (you've got to see it to believe it), or Derrick McKey throw down over Manute Bol (again, see to believe).
Friday, January 13
Anyway, the Heat are rounding into shape under new coach Pat Riley. Antoine Walker has moved into the reserve SF role nicely, JW and Payton make a nice PG combination, and Shaq appears to be finding his legs. Combine Shaq’s improving ankle and Seattle’s dearth of big men, and we could be looking at a big night from the big fella.
It’s still not known whether Sugar Ray will be in the starting lineup, but let’s assume he’s not, meaning The Omen gets his fourth start of the season. Ordinarily, this would be a disaster, but even more of disaster would be trying to watch Ray Allen guard Dwayne Wade. Quite frankly, I think I’ll take Wilkins’ D and marginal O over Sugar Ray’s marginal D and superstar O in this case.
Last year, much was made of the Sonics’ statistical staff noticing that Wade favored going in a particular direction when he had the ball, enabling the Supes to hold him to 39% shooting in their two matchups (both of which the Sonics won). Can the same statistical insight benefit Seattle again? Somehow, I think DW will have figured a way to get off.
Of course, the big question – as mentioned at sonicscentral.com – is how many fouls the Frenchie/Swifty combo will rack up guarding the Big Diesel? Can we be approaching the rare double-6? Will there be a Potato sighting? Is the question mark button still work on my keyboard after this paragraph?
Bottom Line: Heat 101 – Sonics 90
Bonus Prediction: Gary Payton's Line: 15 points, 7 assists
(Update: Ray Allen is out for 3 games, while Keyon "The Menance" Dooling was tagged with a 5-game suspension. You can read the Times' version here.)
Thursday, January 12
It brings back fond memories of the epic Xavier McDaniel vs. Wes Mathews fight in the 1980's. Remember that picture of X-man choking the life out of Mathews (which Nussbaum had lamenated on his Pee-Chee in high-school) and Mathews' famous "Your bald head is mine!" quote?
Sigh. You know your team is struggling when the highlight of the season is a 10-second slap-fight.
Wednesday, January 11
"You shall soon feel my wrath, Mr. Dooling!"
Don't mess with Ray-Ray.
After receiving one too many hard fouls from Keyon Dooling, Ray Allen turned into Chuck Norris, putting the beat-down on Key-Doo. The fight spilled into the stands and looked eerily like last year's Artest Fest. Luckily, this is Seattle and we are all pussies, so the fisticuffs ended quickly.
Inspired by Raging Ray, the Sonics went on to beat the Magic 113-104, leading by as many as 20 points in the second half.
Rashard Lewis carried the team with 45 points, while Lil' Frodo chipped in with 23 points, including 4-4 from three-point range.
Tuesday, January 10
So, do you think this would be a good deal for the Supes, or do you have a better idea? The floor is open for debate.
(And please, for the love of God, no Danny Fortson for Paul Pierce trades!)
Friday, January 6
While all eyes are on Rick Sund, the Sonics’ GM explains in this article that there won’t be any moves for at least two to three weeks, until Coach Hill has had a chance to take a look at his new rotation.
Hill also tossed in this beautiful swipe at The Magician, “You can't rotate 10 or 12 guys. You've got to have 8 1/2, nine guys max. And maybe Robert (Swift's) that half guy. And Robert's got to play.”
Amen, Bob. I can’t count how many times I anguished over the chaotic substitution pattern Weiss used during his reign. Of course, if the Sonics lose five in a row, Hill may be changing his tune. Losing tends to spoil one’s plans.
Anyway, the Sonics are, as they say up in Canada, “in tough” against the Pistons in Detroit tonight. One big fear is who will guard Chauncey Billups – because Ridnour is going to have a hell of a time defending him when he posts up. Oh, and there’s the question of getting rebounds when you’ve got Frenchie going up against Big Ben, and Radman trying to box out Rasheed Wallace. Oh, and can Sugar Ray put any stops to Rip Hamilton? Yikes.
Folks, the Bob Hill era may be experiencing its first slaughter tonight. That’s okay, though, because even Phil Jackson couldn’t help the Sonics tonight. But there’s no need to worry, Sonic fans, because right after the Pistons it’s a trip to the Big Apple for a matchup with Isaiah and his Big-Money All Stars!
Wednesday, January 4
Bob Hill will try to resisitate the struggling Sonics tonight as the team faces off against the Chicago Bulls at 5:30.
In case you missed it, Art Thiel wrote an interesting article about the new coach to get you prepared for the Hill Era.
A day after firing head coach Bob Weiss, the Sonics released point guard Mateen "Meat" Cleaves.
Could this be a precursor to a trade (possibly involving former Sonic Earl "The Hurl" Watson), or does new coach Bob Hill just want to show everyone who's boss by axing a popular player? Maybe it's a little bit of both, how should I know? I just work here for God's sake, get off my back! (Runs off to cry in men's room.)
Tuesday, January 3
I really wanted this to work out. Honest. After Nate and Dwayne left, and Phil Jackson and Larry Brown signed on with other teams, and Paul Silas didn’t want to come here, you were my top choice to coach the Sonics.
After another humiliating blowout loss last night, however, it’s clearly time for you to go. Nothing personal. You’re a great guy. Everyone loves your card tricks. You just can’t coach worth a crap.
I know it wasn’t all your fault. AD and Garbage Bag left. Vlad’s a bitch. Every team’s got problems, Bob. Great coaches figure out ways to make it work (see last season).
You’ve always been a team player, Bob, so now it’s time to take one for the team. You know Wally and Rick won’t fire you. Not their style. Quit now, before the entire season goes down the tube. I know you’ll end up on your feet, Bob. You’ve always got that modeling career to fall back on.
Lots of Love,
H.R. Dept, Supersonicsoul.com
p.s. Do you know where we can reach Paul Silas?
(UPDATE: Dag, that was quick! Bob Weiss was officially canned today. If I knew the Sonics would grant my every wish, I would've asked them to bring back the Wheedle too!)