Friday, March 31

Hall Call

Artis Gilmore won't be heading to the hall anytime soon, and that's a damn crime!
Once again, the Hall has no love for A-Train.

On Monday, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will announce the latest inductees into its hallowed halls. Here's the shortlist of people from which the Hall will be choosing:

Players: Charles Barkley, Adrian Dantley, Joe Dumars, John Isaacs, Ralph Sampson, Chet Walker, Dominique Wilkins.

Coaches: Geno Auriemma, Van Chancellor, Pedro Ferrandiz, Sandro Gamba, Dave Gavitt, Gene Keady, Don Nelson.

Others: Ben Kerner, Dick Vitale.

First off, as I've written before, Artis Gilmore has gotten the shaft, but that's for another day. The pressing question is: Who would you pick?

Put me down for Barkley, AD, and Dominique. I honestly don't know enough about Big-10 basketball to determine if Keady is worthy, although a college coach who never won a national title seems to be an odd consideration. Heck, Frank Furtado was a trainer for 5,000 years, does that mean he gets a nomination as well?

I could be convinced about Dumars as well. A great player, a great GM, put it together and he's a worthy candidate. Plus, he's like a rich man's Nate McMillan, so he's got that going for him. Likewise, Walker was a consistently very good player, making a half-dozen all-star teams. Still, his numbers are on the fringe, and I doubt he gets in unless the voters are just tired of writing 'no' next to his name.

Thursday, March 30

Sonics Get Rocked

Man, if we ever wanted to know what would happen if Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis were out for an extended period, we sure as hell found out last night. The Rockets tuned Seattle 115-87 in a game that wasn't even that close as Allen had arguably his worst game ever as a Sonic (1-for-10!) and Lewis sat out with a bum ankle.

Strange State # 1: Rick Brunson outscored Luke Ridnour.

Strange Stat # 2: Richie Frahm outscored Ray Allen. Of course, Mike Wilks outscored Ray as well, so I think you can feel what was happening in Houston last night.

That said, the Sonics have got to start stepping up their front-court defense. In the past four games, they've allowed Carmelo Anthony (31 points), Tim Duncan (28), Pau Gasol (44), and Yao Ming (29) to go off. Paging Nick Collison ... Nick Collison to the front court, please.

Wednesday, March 29

Tuesday, March 28

$200 a Day, Plus Expenses

I think we all can agree that this hasn't been the greatest year in Sonic basketball history. Injuries, poor hiring decision, whiny point guards, foul-prone cyborg warriors ... it's enough for a Seattle basketball fan to just plain give up.

But a shining light has emerged that has made this fan, at least, smile. Yes, The Rockford Files is now available on DVD.

I have waited for years for this show to make on disc, only to watch as Hee Haw, Charlie's Angels, and plenty of other crap passed it in line. In fact, I had flat-out given up that Jim Rockford would ever grace my $49 DVD player, resigned to watching it on VHS tapes I had recorded from WGN.

Then, today, while looking at the internet, I thought I would check and see if anything was shaking on the DVD front for Rockford, and, lo and behold, not only is season 1 available, but season 2, extras, and it's been available since December!

Go ahead and lose the rest of your games, green and gold, I could care less. I'm waiting 5-7 days for my small piece of heaven to arrive. All is right with the world.

Monday, March 27

Danny Fortson: Cyborg Smasher, Part 1

Click thumbnail to view complete image.

Let us forget the collective hardwood heartbreak of the past four days (State o' Washington teams 1-3, the one win a rousing though ultimately meaningless Sonic win over the Spurs) and see what merry adventures our dear Mr. Fortson has in store for us.

Warning: viewer discretion advised for some salty language. (And, in case you missed it, here's the front cover.)

Note: When viewing the complete image, Internet Explorer users might have to click the "Expand to full size" button to read the comic.

UPDATE---> To read the entire comic GO HERE!

Friday, March 24

Proposed Blog Use Action


Not like anyone but me and Paul give a Rip Hamilton, but the Danny Fortson: Cyborg Smasher saga finally resumes next week. Paul did his part and supplied the words. I've been too preoccupied this week, earnin' papers and watching the shorties to hold up my end of the deal, but I promise to come through by Monday.

In the meantime, here's a sneak-peek at the behind-the-scenes featurette.

Hughes Dishes

A day after the Zags choked away a seemingly insurmountable lead to UCLA, West Virginia gave up a 3 after they seemed to have guaranteed overtime, and Duke fell to LSU, White America is most likely in mourning this Friday. If I was a black man, I would tread very lightly today.

But that aside (and, really, why does anyone from this side of the Cascades even root for Gonzaga?), Frank Hughes of the TNT had an interesting piece over at hoopshype.com where he took questions from readers. Okay, the Q&A is now nearly a week old, but, still, where else can you find out that:

1. Flip Murray was the least media-friendly member of the Sonics
2. Rashard Lewis is the most frustrated player on the team

Pretty good stuff. Hughes is a bit of a headline-grabber with his articles, but he still seems to work hard at getting Sonic news.

(Our pal, Jeff at Celtics Blog, also has a great piece on this year's draft: apparently it's really going to suck! -Paul)

Thursday, March 23

Dance-off? Dance-off!

The Sonic Dance Team continued its miraculous voyage to a championship with a stirring 59-41% victory over the Houston Rockettes.

Many will look back on the 2005-06 season as a sad one, fraught with trades, injuries, firings, and disappointments, but, I, for one, will relish the memories of the Sonics Dance Team posting double-digit triumphs over a myriad of opponents. In joining the Heat in the Final Four, the Dance Team has shown that you can never underestimate the heart of a champion, or pictures of women in bikins.

Buck Wild

Earl Watson of the Seattle SupersonicsWell, it was back to the old ways last night for Ridnour/Watson, as Bob Hill went with Earl Watson for the fourth quarter (they actually played together for a couple of minutes mid-way through), and the Sonics came away with another win, despite an off-night from Sugar Ray.

What can you say about Chris Wilcox that hasn’t already been said? The guy has been flat-out amazing since his arrival in Seattle, and the only man more excited about his performance than us has to be his agent. For crying out loud, Wilcox has probably made his unborn grandchildren rich by his performance the past few weeks. After all, if Jerome James and Calvin Booth can get 5-year deals based on a week’s worth of average performances, how much does The Beast get for playing near-All Star-like for a couple of weeks?

For all the Ridnour-bashing of the past week, you have to give him credit for posting a strong +11 last night, for nailing all 8 of his FTs, and for dishing out 10 assists (his third double-digit performance in four games). Face it, people, the man can run an offense; if we could get him to trade places with Watson as he runs back on defense, we’d have one of the three best PGs in the league.

All in all, a stellar game for the Sonics.

Wednesday, March 22

Kinged

Luke Ridnour was out to prove something last night, and he was successful, but not in the way he hoped.

Fresh off some somewhat stinging comments to the local media regarding his dissatisfaction with sitting in the 4th quarter of games, Frodo was given the opportunity to be The Man last night as Earl Watson sat out with a throat injury. How did the Young Duck react?

By going 2 for 10 from the field and scoring as many points in 33 minutes as Mike Wilks did in 15 (six). Oh, and did I mention he was -17 while on court? I didn't? Well, now you know. Or that the Sonics went on a 9-0 run when Wilks entered at the end of the 1st quarter? Or that they went on an 8-3 run when he sat in the 3rd?

Luke, feel free to test the free agent waters, because the tide is beginning to turn against you in this town.

Tuesday, March 21

Boo-Hoo Baggins


Frodo during happier, hairier times.

Not one, but two local papers are reporting today that Sonics guard Luke Ridnour is unhappy in Seattle. It seems Frodo doesn't think the arrival of Earl Watson and the subsequent improvement of the team adds up to good times:
"It's tough because I went on such a good stretch and [was] feeling so good, just playing and playing pretty well and then something like that happens," Ridnour said after Monday's practice at the Furtado Center. "I still played well, but it's tough to go through. (from the Seattle Times)
O.K., Luke, but tell us how you really feel:
“It sucks,” Ridnour said. “It is frustrating, and especially when I felt that I have played well for a long time now, and just like that, even when I played well, it hasn’t mattered, I still haven’t played. It has been tough. I am trying to stay focused and stay positive because it always comes back around. But it has been tough, I am not going to lie.”

“It is something I have to pray a lot about and see where I want to go." (from the Tacoma News Tribune)
Well Frodo, maybe if you spent less time worrying about What Jesus Would Do, and more about What G.P. Would Do, maybe you wouldn't be sitting on the bench in the fourth.

Monday, March 20

Goodbye Mr. Fizz

The Seattle Supersonics cut Marcus Fizer todayIt's back to the D-League for you, Mr. Fizz.

The Sonics decided not to renew the 10-day contract for former lottery pick (4th overall!) Marcus Fizer. How sad is it to get cut by the Sonics?

In happier news, it appears The Hardest Working Man in Green and Gold may be getting an extended tryout for next year.

And, back to the crappy news, it seems Flip Murray suddenly remembered how to play ball. Great.

Well, at least we still have the Huskies and Zags, right? (Oh man, I hope I didn't jinx them. Nooooooo!)

Friday, March 17

Watson and Ridnour

Earl Watson and Luke Ridnour of the Seattle SupersonicsThere was a lot of talk when the Sonics acquired Earl Watson as to how his arrival would impact Luke Ridnour. Frodo’s had the best year of his career this season, but there was a concern among many that he was playing too many minutes (of course, according to some people who read this site, two minutes is too many minutes for Luke, but I digress).

I thought I would take a look at the brief run of Watson-Ridnour to see how it has affected Ridnour’s game. Is he playing better? Making more turnovers, or less? Shooting more conscientiously? How many hypothetical questions can I ask before you become annoyed and start reading bowling.com?

The one area of Ridnour’s game which has changed the most since Watson’s acquisition is 3-point shooting. Prior to this season, Ridnour was an acceptable option from long-range, but this year he was off, never rising to more than 33% in any month and bottoming out at a Lloyd Daniels-like 15% in February.

Enter Earl Watson. This month, Frodo has been draining long-range jumpers to the tune of 43%, a remarkable number. That ties in with fewer minutes and fewer attempts, which leads one to believe that Ridnour is being more selective in his shot attempts, and therefore more successful.

Another area of improvement is turnovers. After turning the ball over once every 17 minutes for most of the season, that figure has shrunk to one turnover every 22 minutes, a 30% improvement. Again, I think this can be attributed to fewer minutes and a reduction in fatigue. Concurrently, his assist figures are up slightly on a per-minute basis, to the point that this month he posted the best per-minute assist numbers of his career.

As for defense, it’s hard to tell. 82games doesn’t break down +/- figures on a daily or monthly basis (geez, guys, how hard could it be, there’s only 300-odd players to crunch numbers for), but it’s worth noting that Frodo’s +/- has been mostly minus lately, despite the Sonics recent spate of wins. Obviously, Earl Watson can do many things, but improve Frodo’s defense is not one of them.

On the whole, I’d say it’s pretty obvious that the Watson trade has improved Ridnour’s game. Has he improved enough that he merits starting for the near future? As an Oregon grad, a proud Duck fan, and a UCLA hater, it pains me to say no. Watson is clearly outplaying Ridnour right now, and it seems obvious to me that the Sonics play better with Earl than Luke running the show. If Frodo is willing to come off the bench for 20-some minutes a night, I think he’d be a great fit. But as a long-term starter for this team, the Sonics seem to be better off with Watson.

Thursday, March 16

Schadenfreude

From the "Sucks To Be You" Department, the Nuggets have gone from having too many point guards to not having enough in the space of about 1 month. Earl Boykins, the Mighty Might who serves as Andre Miller's caddy - and the reason why the Nugs thought they could offload Earl Watson on the Sonics without missing a beat - has broken his hand and could be out for up to 5 weeks (according to Dr. George Karl). All of which means that Howard Eisley will now have to be taken down from the cabinet in Kiki Vandeweghe's office, dusted off, and inserted at the beginning of the 2nd quarter in Denver's next game.

Wednesday, March 15

Trades Redux

It’s early, but I thought it would be interesting to see how the 3 trades the Sonics pulled off recently have played out. I know we’re all thrilled with the way Watson and Wilcox have done in green and gold, but how are Flip, Vladi, and Reggie Evans (oh, yeah, the Potato, too) doing in new jerseys?

FLIP MURRAY
Ah, the Flipster. Young Ronald has started 8 of 10 games in Cleveland thus far, averaging 13 points, 2 boards, and 3 assists. However, his increased production is only from increased minutes, as his FG% is the same as in Seattle, and his 3-pt mark has gone from bad (22%) to worse (12%!). Also worth noting: Cleveland is 4-6 since acquiring Murray; they were 32-22 before he showed up.

REGGIE EVANS
Mr. Glass has gone at the boards with alacrity since arriving in Denver, putting up nearly 9 boards a game in only 22 minutes, a remarkable number. It’s clear what he’s up to, though, when you see his 37% FG mark and 43% FT mark: Evans is going Rodman – grabbing boards at the expense of the rest of his game. His 20-rebound game against Toronto notwithstanding, Evans’ negative +/- rating in a Nugget uniform belies his contribution to Denver. The Nuggets are 6-3 since he showed up, though, so he’s obviously not an obstacle to their success.

VLADIMIR RADMANOVIC
Here’s where it gets interesting. Vlade has clearly enjoyed his visit to LA. 49% from 3-point range (!), 7 boards a game, nearly 13 points a night, and, most important to Vlade, 33 minutes a game are all positives. So long as he keeps draining from outside, it’s all good for Radman. But with 89% of his shots coming from jumpers, is this likely to continue? After all, he’s only hit 40% or better from long-distance once in his career, so it doesn’t seem likely he’ll be able to hit 50% for the rest of the year – or the playoffs. His arrival in LA coincided with a 4-game Clip losing streak, but LA has rebounded to post a 6-6 mark with Vlade in tow. The surface analysis says that Vlade’s a great fit for LA, as his outside game complements Elton Brand’s inside prowess. All that said, I think the Clips are plenty glad to have him around. (Although, can I ask a question here? Why is Mike Dunleavy starting something called Quintin Ross at small forward, when he’s got Corey Maggette and Radmanovic sitting on the bench? Okay, the Clips have gone on a 3-game win streak since he did it, but it’s still weird.)

VITALY POTAPENKO
You can look at two ways. 1) The Potato has played 5 minutes for Sac-to since they acquired him from the Sonics. 2) The Kings 7-2 since the Potato showed up. You say tomato, I say Potapenko.

I’ll look at the Sonics’ side of this equation later on.

Tuesday, March 14

Danny Fortson: Cyborg Smasher!

Click image to view at full size.

The seemingly illogical ejections. The bonecrushing elbows. The months of chillin' in street clothes at the end of the bench. Finally, the truth behind these and other mysteries can be told in this feature exclusive to Supersonicsoul.

Ladies and gentlemen, in the grand tradition of such timeless classics as "Shaq Fu," Dennis Rodman's "Double Team" and "Michael Jordan's Chaos in the Windy City," we proudly present:

DANNY FORTSON: CYBORG SMASHER.

[At least the cover of it, anyway.]

Wilcox Rocks

Supersonics.com has a little propaganda article about our new favorite Sonic, Chris "Rocks Your Box" Wilcox:
What makes Wilcox arguably the Sonics best finisher since Shawn Kemp was patrolling the paint is not merely the frequency of his slams, but also their ferocity. Wilcox is able to dunk through traffic as well as anyone in the league because he attacks the basket so relentlessly.

"That's my aggressive side," Wilcox said. "I just want to go out there and take everything to the basket strong. Some of the dunks I do miss are because I'm going too hard to the basket. Me, I just want to finish everything; that's the best way to finish is to go hard."
Maybe someone should pass that quote along to The Rash. Or staple it to his forehead.

Monday, March 13

Everything Must Go!

From the "How to Know When Your Team Is Getting Ready to Can Your Pig-tailed Behind" Department.

Nice to know you, Danny.

Guess who's won TWO IN A ROW?!

Seattle SuperSonics' Chris Wilcox dunks over Los Angeles Lakers' Chris Mihm in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game at Staples Center in Los Angeles Sunday, March 12, 2006.<br />(AP Photo/Branimir Kvartuc)Seriously, guess. OK, it was the Sonics, who beat the Lakers 120-113 on Sunday. The biggest surprise, of course, was that Ray Allen played defense (!), holding Kobe to 22 points (1-13 from 3-point range. Ouch!). Check out the gruesome boxscore here if you dare!

Also, tune in later today for an exciting new comic from Chunkstyle!

Saturday, March 11

Weekend Anchor

Much like when the weekend news telecast is staffed by the JV news-reader squad (KING 5: BAILEY Sports!), good ol' chunk is here to tide you over 'til Pete and Paul return from their weekly two-day break from high-speed internet connections.

I was there last night! It was a schizophrenic game, with a strange rhythm to it. The Supes would fall behind by 9 or so, giving the ball away, forcing shots in half court, letting the T-wolves shoot open jumpers. Then they'd pull even on good d, rebounding, and running the ball. Repeat. They seemed to flip some kind of switch in the 4th though. Watson's aggressiveness seemed to infect the whole team--even Lewis and Swift got aggressive.

I was really surprised that, given the dearth of street parking last night and the draw of a genuine superstar in Kevin Garnett, that the arena was so empty. Lots of red seatbacks were visible. Where were all the people who took my free parking? Was there a Yanni concert at Memorial Stadium I wasn't aware of?

It seemed to verify the fact that Seattle fans will always back a winner, and ignore mediocrity. Plus, you can't discount the fact that the games from here on out are meaningless. There were times last night, however, that the crowd's noise level would fool you into thinking it was a full house cheering for a playoff contender. Sigh... If only that were true...

Still, I think this team is loads more entertaining to watch now than it was, say, 2 weeks ago. For example, my unofficial statistics show that, since the trades for Watson and Wilcox, the rate of alley-oops has gone up a staggering 3000%. Bet you didn't know that. Seriously though, when Flip Murray would miss as many dunks in a game as Wilcox, Petro, and Swift are making, it makes for a more satisfying brand of b-ball.

after the buzzer thoughts:
  • The past two games I've attended (G-State, Minny) have not featured half-time "entertainment" per se, but rather more basketball of a less polished variety, to which I say bravo. At G-State a biddy b-ball team from Redmond scrimmaged. Last night, the Sonics youth wheelchair team had an intra-squad exhibition. This kind of halftime show is exponentially more entertaining than some lame magic act or the "#2 ranked doubles trampoline team in the nation" (they really had that one time. ugh.)
  • Sonics Boom Squad? Good. Sonics Dance Team wearing yellow rain slickers while dancing to "It's Raining Men"? Not good. Sonics Dance Team peeling slickers off at the chorus? They were wearing clothes underneath, but still: Good...
  • I've mentioned this before, but the more I watch him, the more it bugs me. Rashard Lewis has forgotten how to dunk. Even as recently as last season, when he boomed that baseline slam against the Mavs in Dallas, 'shard used to take it strong. No more. Even with a full head of steam and a defender pinned under the basket, he still jumps and floats, waiting for contact, and then flips up a weak-ass layup. After such a play last night, I thought, "Shawn Marion would have dunked that. Ricky Davis would have dunked that. Flip Murray would have... tried to dunk that." Point is, how is it that dudes smaller than Rashard are unafraid to take it strong, yet this 6-10 kid with hops is going for dipsy-do scoop shots?
  • If Supersonicsoul ever hit it big, there's no way our luxury box would ever, ever be empty, no matter how many games out of first the Supes are. There were two at the southeast(?) end of the arena that were totally dark and deserted. Probably belonged to some dot-coms that went nipples up in '01. What a fuggin' waste...

Friday, March 10

Sonics vs. Tee-Wolves

The Sonics are playing the T-wolves right now. Of course, it's hard to tell since the ding-dang game ain't on TV (stupid Pac-10 tournament . . . ).

In happier news, this Monday Chunkstyle will be bringing you the first installment of a brand new comic, "Danny Fortson: Cyborg Hunter". It was written by a very talented and sexy man, so I promise you it won't completely suck.

Sadly, the same can't be said for tonight's game (sigh).

Wednesday, March 8

Game Night: Grizzly

The Seattle Supersonics take on the Memphis Grizz tonight at Key Arena
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.

Tuesday, March 7

My Olympic Team


(click for full size)

This has been talked about all over the internet recently, and it's a good discussion point (especially when your favorite team stands 7 1/2 games out of the last playoff spot with 23 games to play). That is, which 12 guys deserve to be on the Olympic team in 2008?

Well, here's my list:

C: Shaq
C: Ben Wallace
C: Chris Bosh
PF: Shawn Marion
PF: Elton Brand
SF: LeBron James
SF: T-Mac
SG: Kobe Bryant
SG: Joe Johnson
PG: Chris Paul
PG: Dwayne Wade
One empty spot for someone like Dwight Howard or someone else who emerges (Adam Morrison, high schoolers, etc.)

That gives us 12 guys who I'll take over any other 12 (assuming that Duncan and the rest of the non-volunteers don't want to play, either).

Monday, March 6

Collison Out 1 Month

If you haven't already added Chris Wilcox to your fantasy league team, I suggest you head on over to your home page and do so RIGHT NOW. Why? Because Nick Collison is out for 4 weeks, that's why.

March 6 Cartoon: "He Who Asks Last"


Click image to view full size

One last arena post... from me anyway. I'll leave any further political commentary to my SSS colleagues, Saints Peter and Paul.

And you thought Kenny G killed Jazz


In honor of the Oscars, it was "Brokeback Mountain Night" at the key last night.

The Sonics murdered the Utah Jazz 113-81 last night. The new guys stole the show with Earl "Wattstax" Watson lobbing a couple of Payton-like ally-oops to "Wilco" Wilcox, and a nice behind the back dish to "The Rash". Lost in the razzle dazzle last night was a solid performance from "The Omen", who snagged a career high seven (!) steals.

So, was this just a case of the Sonics beating on a crappy team, or are the Supes back in action? Or a little bit of both? Maybe we'll find out Wednesday night against the Grizz.

Friday, March 3

23 Games to Go


Will Hill step "One Toke Over the Line" again?

I’m guessing the odds for Seattle pulling an upset tonight rank somewhat lower than the odds of Rocky Balboa losing to Ivan Drago in “Rocky IV.” The Pistons, already established as the NBA’s premier team, are fresh off a dud in Denver where they played lousy basketball. And you know what that means, right? Yes, Detroit is ready to show that that game was an aberration, for if there is one thing great teams do, it’s snip losing streaks in the bud.

With that in mind, there’s really no point in breaking down the matchup. However, here’s how the other important games on the schedule tonight look:

Denver: 4 point underdogs at Houston
Lakers: 2 point favorites at Golden State
Kings: 3 point favorites at Atlanta
Jazz: 5 point underdogs vs Clippers

The way I see it, Denver, Utah, and the Lakers will probably lose tonight, while the Kings might win in Atlanta, and even that’s a toss-up. Still, it’s too bad the Sonics have to play Detroit, since they have a good opportunity to close within a half-dozen games of the playoffs. As it is, it’ll be a night of treading water in the Western Conference.

Thursday, March 2

Race



In keeping with the “keep hope alive” sentiment, here’s how the teams Seattle is chasing fared last night:

Denver (current record: 31-27): W (oh, come on, Pistons!)
Hornets (31-27): L (16 points in the 2nd half?)
Lakers (29-29): L (thanks, Nate)
Kings(27-30): W
Jazz (27-30): L (gotta love that, no matter the situation)

Seattle (22-36): off

The net result is that the Sonics are now 7 games out of the playoffs, which is a full half-game better than they were yesterday. There are no games on tap for tonight featuring Sonic rivals for the playoffs.

Well, I figure at this pace, they’ll pass the Lakers by next Wednesday. Look, I know the “Sonics” and “playoffs” really don’t belong in the same sentence, but if we can’t root for the team we created a website for when they’re 7 games out, then why the hell did we make a website in the first place?

Wednesday, March 1

Goodbye Brrrryon, Hello Noel?

Noel Felix of the Seattle Supersonics.
Look at the intensity on this man's face! Watch out Pistons!

The Seattle Sonics waived Bryon "My first name is retarded" Russell today. So much for our "Weak-ass Bitches Who Got Killed by MJ" feature with Russell and Craig "Mint" Ehlo.

And who's going to take Bry-Ru's spot on the roster? Our pals at Sonics Central say it's "The First Noel" Felix.

(Update: It's official. The Sonics signed Felix to a 10-day contract.)

Race to the Finish

With March upon us, the Sonics have 24 games remaining on their schedule, and they currently are looking up at the last (8th) playoff spot, 7 ½ games back of the Lakers, or 8 ½ games back of the Nuggets for the NW Division lead. Coming off a rousing win over the Hornets on Tuesday, how likely are the Sonics to make a comeback?

Let’s look at the schedules. The rest of the way, Seattle’s 24 opponents have a combined winning percentage of 54.2%, the equivalent of the Grizzlies or Hornets. The schedule is front-loaded, though, with most of the dangerous games coming in the next 3 weeks, while April is relatively easy, with matchups against Portland (twice), Houston, and Sacramento – all teams on the outside looking in for the playoffs.

In a somewhat realistic world, the Sonics could conceivably finish the season by winning 18 of the remaining 24 games, which would put their record at 40-42, definitely out of the playoff race. But by winning a couple of road games they shouldn’t (against, say, the Lakers or Memphis), the Sonics could pull themselves to 42, 43, or 44 wins, which would give them a fighting chance.

With 14 of the 24 games at home, the Sonics have an edge over the Nuggets, who will play the majority of their games on the road the rest of the way. In fact, the Sonics need only look at what Denver did last season, when Denver went on a 25-4 tear to nearly unseat the Sonics from the Division throne. It will take a similar maniacal finish for the Sonics to do the same thing. Yes, the Nuggets were starting near .500 when they went on their tear last year and the Sonics are 14 games below that right now, but the team Denver was chasing (Seattle) had a very good record, while the team Seattle is chasing (Denver), currently stands only 3 games over .500.

Can it happen? Absolutely. Will it? Well, we’ve got two months to see.