Thursday, November 30

Lenny Joins the Fold

The Sonics announced today that Lenny Wilkens is now their Vice Chairman (credit to for noticing this first).

Of note in the team's press release, "[Wilkens] will also continue as lead analyst on Sonics’ telecasts aired by Fox Sports Net."

Sorry, fans, you're going to have to endure some more of Lenny's ancient ramblings on how to play the game, except that now he knows he can't be fired.

MIA: Chris Wilcox

Seattle Supersonics forward Chris WilcoxWith all the talk recently about Seattle’s bench woes and the ugliness between Hill and Watson another Sonics’ dismal performance has sort of slipped through the cracks.

Try this on for size: Chris Wilcox has scored in double figures once in the past eight games.

To a casual observer, the fault would lie in the lap of the man making $8 million a year, the free agent acquisition that never performed prior to a salary drive in the spring. But if you look more closely, you can tell that it may not entirely be Weezy’s fault.

For some reason, Wilcox has turned into the Sonics’ version of a Saturday night television show on CBS – invisible.

After taking 70 shots in those first eight games, Wilcox has attempted only 49 in the past eight, a decrease of 21%. His rebounding numbers, minutes played, and all other peripheral stats haven’t changed, so it’s merely a matter of not getting looks.

It’s as if on the plane ride back from New Jersey, the team’s luggage – containing the secret ingredient responsible for the successful trip – wound up in North Dakota, while the Sonics continued on to the West Coast. Somewhere in Fargo, a group of kids stumbled across the magic potion, drank it, and are now contending for the state basketball title while the Sonics continue to lose at a Blazer-like pace.

Prior to the flight home, Seattle was averaging 39-for-84 from the floor and 105 points a game. Since the flight, those numbers are down to 35-for-79 shots and 94 points, while Wilcox has gone from 9 attempts per game to 6, and from 12 points to 8. It’s a shocking development, and completely unexplainable.

I can’t see what the root cause of the problem is, as it doesn’t appear to make any difference if Wilcox plays with Watson or Ridnour, so it’s not as if he needs Earl to play more so he can get more looks. It’s not that he’s not getting enough minutes, as that hasn’t changed one bit from the first half of the season to the second.

As always, the Sonics are over-relying on Allen and Lewis, and Allen and Lewis are getting tired of it. Sugar Ray’s comments in the papers the last couple of days seem to indicate a man frustrated with his teammates’ inability to produce. With Coach Hill’s statement last night regarding a new potential starting lineup, how about we offer this suggestion:

SG Allen
PG Ridnour
SF Lewis
PF Wilcox
C Sene

I’d leave Sene in there for 5 minutes, bring Petro off the bench, then bring Collison in with a few minutes left in the 1st quarter. That would allow Wilcox to get some rest and then actually play more than 2 minutes in the 2nd quarter.

And pray Sene doesn’t foul out in 5 minutes.

Notes from last night’s loss: Seattle attempted 8 3’s in the first half, 13 in the second and attempted 14 in paint in the 1st half, 9 in second ... The Sonics made one shot from the right side of the court in the entire game, a Ray Allen 3 in the second quarter.

Wednesday, November 29


Top 5 Greatest Magic-Related Moments in Sonics History:

1. February 24, 2006: The Sonics stop at the wrong restaurant between Orlando and Miami, resulting in half the team getting sick, forcing Bob Hill to play with only 7 available guys. Ray Allen throws up on the bench, both from the food poisoning and from watching Mikki Moore get 27 minutes.

2. January 11, 2006: Ray Allen and Keyon Dooling throw down at the Key, followed by Keyon pursuing Allen into the hallway underneath the stands. Side note: Rashard Lewis drops 45 in 44 minutes in his greatest game nobody will ever remember.

3. March 21, 2004: Admit it, you have no idea why this game is on the list. My friends, when Vitaly Potapenko goes for 21 points, that merits inclusion on any list. Besides, any game featuring Ansu Sesay, Reggie Evans, Andrew Declerq, and Tyronn Lue has to be here.

4. January 5, 1996: This one is a little hazy, but I have a firm recollection of the events, if not the date. This much is sure: The Sonics were losing to the Magic in Orlando, back in the Brian Hill-Shaq-Penny days. With little or no time remaining in the game and the outcome no longer in doubt, Hill reinserts Shaq into the lineup for some statistical achievement. George Karl, sensing this and pissed off like only he could be, decides that he's going to put Frank Brickowski back in. 10 seconds later, Shaq heads to the bench as Brian Hill realizes his future as coach (i.e., Shaq's health) rests in the forearms of the Brick.

5. March 12, 1990: God, I miss the old NBA. Seattle scores 130 points and 7 Sonics score in double figures. Check out the point guards who played for the green and gold that night: Avery Johnson, Sedale Threatt, Nate McMillan, and Dana Barros. My friends, they call that depth. Bonus points for random Reggie Theus sighting.

Tuesday, November 28


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.

Monday, November 27

Weather Frightful; Sonics Moreso

San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker (9), of France, drives past Seattle SuperSonics' Luke Ridnour in the first quarter of NBA basketball action Sunday, Nov. 26, 2006 in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jim Bryant)Frodo tries the matador defense on T-Park. Olé!

I know the beat writers have to look for interesting hooks, but the whole "Bench vs. Bob Hill" thing is a little bit overblown, at least from my perspective.

That said, this quote from Earl Watson post-game on why he was still running on the treadmill (courtesy of the great Percy Allen in the Times) is pretty good:

"Because I need to stay in shape and 15 to 20 minutes just isn't doing it for me."

Ah, sarcasm, the sign of either a very confident team, or a very cranky backup point guard.

I don't know where Hill is coming from re the bench, as it was the starters that killed the Sonics, not the bench. Considering the Spurs' bench outscored the Sonics' 29-25, I don't consider that to be the turning point. I do, however, consider that when two guys (Wilcox/Lewis) who average 33 points give you 15, that might be a factor. Or when your two point guards grab more defensive rebounds than your starting forwards, that might hurt a bit.

According to David Locke, last night was a "lesson" for the Sonics in "championship basketball." This is coming off Friday's "part of the evolution" of Seattle's defense. Just think, if the Sonics can manage to drop 6 in a row, they'll be smart enough to contend for the title!

Seriously, this team is the classic tweener: better than bottom feeder, not good enough for the playoffs. It's a sad recipe for disaster in this town, one that's been cooked for nearly a decade now, one that's been handed down from McMillan to Weiss to Hill. It contains equal parts poor defense, overreliance on outside shooting, and lack of inside presence.

I just hope Oklahoma City likes it.

Saturday, November 25

Somebody Wake Kevin Martin Up

Sacramento Kings' Kevin Martin makes a layup with Seattle SuperSonics' Ray Allen watching after a turnover during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Seattle, Friday, Nov. 24, 2006.<br />(AP Photo/John Froschauer)Who the hell does Martin think he is anyway? Nobody with a shot that ugly should score 31 in a high school game, let alone against an NCAA-caliber defense like the Sonics'.

Well, Martin killed Seattle last night, with an assist from Ray "Don't tell me to stop shooting" Allen. Hopefully, Allen will get out of this recent 3-point slump, and get back to being an all-star caliber shooting guard, 'cause he's killing the Sonics right now. Take a look at his 3-point shooting in the past 8 games: 2-8,2-9,4-11,4-9,1-6,2-8,1-8,1-6.

That's 27% folks, and that ain't going to cut it.

In other news, the official Earl Watson Sweepstakes has begun; I had mid-January in the pool, so I was off by a month and half. The Heat don't have much to offer anything to the Sonics that would match up well salary-wise, unless other teams get involved. Ideally, the Sonics need to get somebody big to either start or help the anemic bench, plus they need to add a backup to Allen, because Sugar Ray's minutes are out of control. At 40+ minutes a night, he can't keep it up for the whole year (and if you think he's always played this much, try this on for size: The last time Ray Allen averaged more than 40 minutes a game, Saddam Hussein was president of Iraq).

One night off, then the Spurs on Sunday. No rest for the weary.

Wednesday, November 22


There are few times I miss living in the States more than Thanksgiving. Canadian Thanksgiving is to American Thanksgiving as Canada is to America: A pale imitation. Nobody here seems to know why they have Thanksgiving, some people celebrate it on Sunday, some on Monday, and there's little if any tradition.

Plus, the only football on Thanksgiving in Canada is the CFL. The CFL's fun and all, but it ain't exactly the National Football League. So, while you're digging into your third helping of stuffing tomorrow and debating whether to fight Uncle Fester for the dark meat, send a sentimental thought north of the border to us poor, dislocated Americans who have to work.

With that in mind, here's a few random thoughts as we head for the holidays:

1. It'd be nice to see Seattle pull one out against the Clips tonight, but LA's undefeated home record has me thinking it's a little less than likely. Let's be thankful the Sonics have an extended home stand coming soon, with a delightful Hawks-Hornets-Warriors trio of games.

2. Surprisingly, Bob Hill did not emerge as one of the 5 coaches on the hot seat in an SI piece today. I'm not saying Hill should go by any means, but the Sonics' off-kilter start certainly has to have some wondering how long he'll last.

3. This is totally off-topic for a Sonics' board blog, but, hey, it's our site, right? I was listening to Dan Patrick on Tuesday, and he brought up the whole Michigan vs USC vs Notre Dame debate. Patrick's argument was that if SC knocks off ND and UCLA, they should be playing for the title, with the reasoning that SC's only loss would be against Oregon State, "and they're a bowl team."

Let me get this straight, Michigan's only loss came in a nail-biter on the road against the #1 team in the country, and somehow that's not as good as losing to a team that's going to play in the Las Vegas Bowl? In what universe does that make any sense?

Hey, I can understand if you're going to argue that two teams from the same conference shouldn't play for the title, and while I don't agree with that argument I can see the logic. But to say that SC's loss to Oregon State is superior to Michigan's loss to Ohio State is flat-out stupid.

Of course, as a Duck fan, I assume the BCS is stupid to begin with, so I guess that makes sense.

Tuesday, November 21

Thank God for the Nets

Seattle SuperSonics' Johan Petro, of France, keeps the ball away from New Jersey Nets' Jason Kidd, back, in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Seattle on Monday, Nov. 20, 2006. Seattle won 99-87.<br />(AP Photo/Ron Wurzer)Can you imagine how bad it could have gotten in the next week if the Sonics hadn't pulled it out in the 4th quarter last night? The next three games are at the Clippers, then home against the Spurs and Kings. Add 3 losses to a loss last night, and you've got yourself a nice seven-game losing streak. Bob Hill's seat would have been so hot you could've boiled Michael Cage's hair gel on it.

Instead, all Sonicdom is rejoicing the Johan Petro sighting. Thought to be extinct, Petro re-emerged and scored 12 points against the Nets, or 6 more than Jason Kidd did.

Honestly, the Sonics and Petro are as likely to keep this up as a Steven Seagal Honourary Oscar, but that's just my opinion. What do you guys think&mdash are the Sonics in need of drastic changes, or should they stay the course and play the hand they've been dealt? What trades should Rick Sund be exploring? Let us know your thoughts.

Monday, November 20

Game Night: Nets

So, here we sit, 11 games into the 2006-07 season and the Sonics are showing little or no signs of being the playoff team some of us (yours truly not included) hoped they would be.

Coming off a trio of losses to Philly, Utah, and Golden State, Seattle's record of 4-7 is, wait for it, .... worse than their record at this point last season.

I'll let you digest that for a moment.

Yes, the Sonics are thusfar underperforming from last season, which was perhaps the most disappointing season in team history.

Of course, we all know that a healthy Robert Swift would have catapulted the team to the top of the NW Division (Seriously, does anyone really believe that getting tattoos and adding 40 pounds means anything? Did anyone really think Swift was going to make a lick of difference on this team? Consider Johan Petro; it wouldn't be a stretch to say that Petro outperformed Swift last season, at best they were equal. So if Petro sucks so far, why couldn't Swift have sucked as well?).

Hopefully, the numbers indicate that despite the record discrepancies, the team is improved. Last year at this point, Seattle was being outscored by an average of 105 to 98, while this season's they're being outscored 103.5 to 103. Of course, last year's numbers were skewed by 3 blowout losses on the road; taking those 3 games out and the numbers are almost identical.

Regardless of the numbers, whatever optimism I had about this team before the season started is rapidly beginning to dwindle. Wilcox' horrible foul-line performance against G-State, Collison's continued mind-numbing ineptitude, Ridnour's Jekyll and Hyde performances, Watson's inability to resemble anything close to a $5 million a year player, and, most notably, the complete and utter lack of anything from Petro and Sene mean this team would be overachieving to win 40 games this year.

The bottom line? Never doubt Vegas, folks. Despite our hope the Sonics would win 40 or even 45 games in 2006-07, the oddsters were right to put this team's over-under for wins at 36.

Oh, yes; the Sonics are home tonight, against the Nets.

Spread: Sonics by 2 1/2
Pete's Pick: Seattle 112-New Jersey 108
Record ATS: 2-3

Friday, November 17


Want to scare the kids? How about a Carlos Boozer puppet?

Earlier this year, I wrote that there's no team easier for a Sonic fan to get up for than the Blazers.

I was wrong - I'd forgotten about the Jazz.

I think I speak for all Sonic fans when I say the greatest playoff win in team history was knocking off Utah back in 1996. It wasn't just that Seattle was going to the Finals, it was that Malone, Stockton, and Hornacek were all going home. In honor of that wonderful series, I'm asking all fans in attendance tonight to start a 10-count when Carlos Boozer steps to the foul line. You know, for old times' sake.

One thing in particular worries me about the Sonics this year - the amount of minutes Lewis, Allen, and, especially, Ridnour have been hauling thus far. Both Lewis and Allen are over 40 minutes on the season, and Frodo's been 40+ in each of the past three games. Considering Luke's never averaged more than 33 minutes a game in his career, how long can he maintain this Sprewell-like pace? Likewise, Allen and Lewis are both averaging career-highs in minutes (albeit not as extreme as Ridnour's case).

Unfortunately, Bob Hill doesn't have much in the way of options. It would have been nice to see the Sonics pick up an experienced 2-guard to back up Ray, and it would have been nice to see Earl Watson shoot better (at this point, I think Earl Hickey could pretty much do what Watson's done so far), but it didn't/hasn't happened.

Still, Hill's going to have to start going to the bench more, or else this team's going to crash and burn in January or February.

But enough of my pessimism - how about tonight's game?

Why I like the Sonics: Home team, coming off a strong road trip, second game of a home stand, Kirilenko's out, Giricek's out, great offensive rebounding, unbelievable foul shooting, strong play from the big 3.

Why I like the Jazz: Best start in team history, strong defensive rebounding, smart shooting, outscoring opponents by 8 a game.

Believe it or not, this could be a fantastic game tonight. Aside from seeing Utah wearing black sneakers (this is what passes for news in SLC), we've got two clubs seemingly on the upswing, and with K-Mart gone for the year in Denver, they are the favorites to win the NW Division. The Boozer-Wilcox matchup will be a good one (look for Carlos to easily get 20-10 against Chris), and when the top two most efficient offenses in the league get together, well, you know points will be scored.

Luckily for Seattle, they'll be facing a team that gets killed at the line. Both the Sonics and Jazz have seen opponents get to the line way more often than they do, but tonight it shouldn't be a factor, which will hopefully even out the field.

SPREAD: Sonics by 4
PETE'S PICK: Sonics 110 - Jazz 104

Thursday, November 16

Sonics Deep Sixed

SEATTLE - NOVEMBER 15: Allen Iverson #3 of the Philadelphia 76ers goes up against the defense of Rashard Lewis #7 and Chris Wilcox #54 of the Seattle SuperSonics on November 15, 2006 at the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2006 NBAE (Photo by Terrence Vaccaro/NBAE via Getty Images)<br />NBAE/Getty Images
I have a confession to make.

Even though I write about the Sonics on a blog, I've yet to see them play this year, with the exception of via the magic of Paul Silvi and KING-5 sports. You see, as a resident of Vancouver (the exciting one, not the one next to Portland), I don't get FSN or ESPN, which means I don't get the Sonics.

So it was with much excitement that I saw in the local listings that the Sonic-Sixer game would be on Rogers SportsNet ("Where Curling Matters!") Wednesday night. I set the VCR to record and got ready to see Luke Ridnour go up against his alter-ego ... and 30 minutes later the power went out.

God, in His infinite wisdom, apparently wants me to continue living like it's 1958, where I only get to see the Sonics live, in person, and not through the magic of television.

A lot of people in the Northwest will remember November 15, 2006 as the night of a massive storm that wiped out power, closed roads, etc. I'll remember it as the night a rainstorm cost me a shot at watching the Sonics lose to Philly.


So I guess Jay-Z likes basketball.

The recently unretired rapper/producer/bigshot appears in a new series of videos for the NBA on TNT (Jay-Z Uncut Video 1 and Jay-Z Uncut Video 2). He's also appearing as an unlockable player in the new NBA Live 07. Oh, and he's a co-owner of the New Jersey Nets.

Maybe we can get Sir Mix-A-Lot to buy the Sonics. Courtney Love? Anybody?

Tuesday, November 14

A New Hope?

After winning three in a row on the road, including an impressive victory over the New Jersey Nets on Monday, you'll have to excuse our giddiness. Just when the Supes looked like their heads were already in Oklahoma, the boys have started to play like the team we dared not hope they could be&mdash fast, furious and fun to watch. It seems we're not the only one high on the Big S&mdash check out what ESPN's David Thorpe has to say:
SEATTLE'S BETTER: The Sonics have me scratching my head more so than any other team thus far. Lost their first two games by 10 points total, lost their next two by only 4 points. The Nets expected to see a lowly Seattle team, and got their butts handed to them in the first half.

This team has some moxie to them, and they have Ray Ray too. Imagine their frontline with a healthy and effective Robert Swift (now imagine they took David Lee two drafts ago instead of Johan Petro). They are closer to getting back to the playoffs than I originally thought two weeks ago. -- David Thorpe
Dare to dream, my man, dare to dream.

(thanks to Jason for the tip)

Monday, November 13

Sonics win third in a row--then stupid blogger jinxs them with headline

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 13: Luke Ridnour #8 of the Seattle SuperSonics shoots against the New Jersey Nets on November 13, 2006 at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Sonics defeated the Nets 119-113. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2006 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)If wonder if the Sonics can play all of their games on the road?
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.(AP) Luke Ridnour scored a career-high 32 points and Seattle opened a 28-point, first-half lead and then held off a late New Jersey Nets rally in posting a 119-113 victory on Monday night, giving the road-weary SuperSonics their third straight win.

Rashard Lewis added 27 points, Ray Allen and Chris Wilcox had 22 apiece for the SuperSonics who saw the Nets get within five points in the final 1:39 before Ridnour sealed the game with four free throws.

Read the rest here.

Buzzer Beater

I've been doing so much shameless self-promotion lately that I thought I'd spread the love a bit and point out the Seattle Weekly has an excellent new Sonics blog, Buzzer Beater, written by none other than Managing Editor Mike Seely. Head over there and check it out. But then hurry back here, because we're lonely. So. Very. Lonely.

Supersonicsoul in the NY Times!

I know the Sonics won a couple of huge games on the road over the weekend, but let's focus on ME for a second, people! I'm on the front page of the NY Times today! O.K., the Sonics story is on the front page--you have to continue inside to read about me. Still, I managed to plug both Supersonicsoul and my fledgling stand-up "career" in the same paragraph, so that's a good day for me.

Friday, November 10

Weekend Reading Assignment

Author and Sonics fan Sherman Alexie has a great piece about the team in (of all places) this week's Stranger. It completely sums up how I feel about the Sonics and the whole stadium fiasco. Read it and weep.

Oh, and I'm going to be in the New York Times this weekend. More details to follow.

Go Stay Sonics!

Thursday, November 9

Sports Execs Love their Hoops

In an otherwise relatively interesting piece in the PI regarding the passage of Tuesday's sports-financing ballot measure, I came across this nugget from UW AD Todd Turner.

"And Turner, in an interview, said losing the Sonics could hurt Washington's recruiting efforts of elite basketball players, who like being in an NBA town."

So having the Sonics will make the difference for the Huskies, huh? Maybe if Turner would take a look at the top 10 teams in the pre-season AP poll, he might re-evaluate that position. Of the top 10 schools, guess how many play in cities with an NBA team?

Two. That's right, 8 of the top 10 teams are in cities sans NBA. Shocking, I know, that a "sports executive" would use a flat-out false statement to make a point. It's a pretty good rule of thumb that when people make up ridiculous arguments to back up their points, their points aren't worth making.

Wednesday, November 8

Sonics Looking for Magic

...and Carlos is looking for porn!Sorry about the headline, I'm running low on creative juices today. If last night's game was somewhat winnable going in, tonight's is definitely so. The Magic have gone 2-2 thus far, with wins against the Bulls and Wizards, and losses to Philly and Atlanta.

The surprise story to me about Orlando is the strong start of Carlos Arroyo. The King of Puerto Rico has been dazzling for the Magic, easily compiling the best +/- numbers on the team and piling up 17 points in only 23 minutes. Conversely, Jameer Nelson has struggled, which means a change a the point could be coming.

It'll be interesting to see how Ridnour handles Arroyo in their matchups, or if Coach Hill opts to go with more minutes for Earl Watson in an attempt to contain the quick Arroyo.

Want a weird stat? Nobody on the Magic is averaging more than 3.5 assists a game. I don't know what it means, but it's weird, man.

Want another one? Carlos Arroyo is shooting 80% from 3-point range. Yeah, that's right, 80 per cent. I'm guessing that number may slide a little as the year progresses.

The Sonics will struggle a little in the second of a back-to-back, but I can see this being a winnable game. With the Magic favored by 7 points, it's a good bet.

Spread: Orlando -7
Pete's Pick: Seattle 105-Orlando 102
Record ATS: 1-2

Tuesday, November 7

Follow the Money

Seattle Supersonics owner Clay BennettWith today being Election Day, I was trying to think of something election-related to write about the Sonics. Then True Hoop swoops in with a nice piece about how NBA folks donated their money, politically. And with a one-sentence blurb about new Sonic owner Clayton Bennett amidst that article, I was off and running. These are some of the folks Mr. Bennett has donated his money to in the past 3 years:

1. John Sullivan (R), Rep. 1st District – Sullivan believes life begins at conception, opposes stem cell research, opposes gun control, believes in building a fence along the Mexican border, voted to make the Patriot Act permanent, loves the flag burning amendment, got a 0% rating from the ACLU, thinks we should keep the troops in Iraq forever, and has been arrested 4 times. Other than that, he’s great.

2. David Boren (D), 2nd District – Former Oklahoma governor, a fiscally conservative Democrat. Currently the President of the University of Oklahoma, Boren called for the NCAA to throw out Oklahoma’s controversial loss to the Ducks this year, because, you know, as the university prez, he didn’t really have much better to do with his time than worry about a football game.

3. Tom Cole (R), 4th District – In favor of privatizing social security and father of this delightful quote from the ’04 election, “What do you think Hitler would have thought if Roosevelt would've lost the election in 1944? He would not have thought American resolve was strengthening. What would the Confederacy have thought if Lincoln would have lost the election of 1864? ...I promise you this, if George Bush loses the election, Osama bin Laden wins the election.”

4. Ernest Istook (R), 5th District – Thinks collecting intelligence on US citizens is great, pro-private social security, pro school prayer, anti-abortion, pro flag burning amendment, pro amendment on same sex marriage (against the marriage, for the amendment), and received money from Jack Abramoff.

There’s more, but that’s enough for now.

You know, when I was in high school and college, the Oakland A’s were the team Mariner fans loved to hate. I was an M’s fan, so I hated the A’s. In fact, I went so far as to boycott Levis jeans, because the Haas family – the patriarchs of Levis – owned the A’s and I sure as hell wasn’t going to buy a pear a pants that went towards paying Jose Canseco’s salary.

In retrospect, it was silly, because the A’s didn’t need my $19.99 to whack the Mariners on a regular basis. But the principle remains the same, and when you buy a Sonics ticket, when you buy a jersey, when the City of Seattle and State of Washington are bullied into building a $500 million edifice sufficient for the Sonics and Storm, our tax dollars will be going to subsidize Clayton Bennett’s profit margins.

Just thought you should know.

Sonics Meet the Heat

Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat take on the Seattle Supersonics tonight.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

Monday, November 6

Fo' Fo' Fo'

Looking for tickets for an upcoming game? The Sonics just announced some new 4 games for $40 packages. See our ticket page or the banner at the top of the page for more info. And be sure to tell 'em Supersonicsoul sent you!

Kemp still wants it

Seattle Supersonics great Shawn Kemp dunks in Jordan's face.At halftime of the Sonics 117-110 win over the Lakers Sunday, the team introduced most of the members of the 40th Anniversary Team, including Supersonicsoul favorite Shawn Kemp. And, in case you hadn't guessed, he's still trying to make a comeback:
SEATTLE (AP) - Shawn Kemp still isn't ruling out a return to the NBA.

Kemp was honoured on Sunday night as part of the Seattle SuperSonics' 40th anniversary team as voted on by fans of the franchise.

Kemp, who played in Seattle from 1989-1997, was one of 16 players selected.

After receiving the loudest ovations during a halftime ceremony, the six-time All-Star said he will be headed to Italy next month to play for a team in Rome, and still wants another shot at playing in the NBA.

"I've still been in contact with a lot of teams. I played ball all summer," Kemp said. "Between you and me, I would love a chance to win a ring."

read the rest here.
You and me both, buddy! Of course, we know this isn't the first Kemp comeback, and it certainly won't be the last.

BONUS: Video of Kemp playing in 2006 Summer League!

Sunday, November 5

Glyni-mania: Sonics sign center Glyniadakis

Goodbye Rush, hello Glyni!
SEATTLE (AP) -Thin in the frontcourt, the Seattle SuperSonics signed free agent center Andreas Glyniadakis on Sunday.

To make room on the roster, Seattle waived guard Kareem Rush, who the Sonics hoped would provide scoring off the bench. Rush could not overcome a groin injury sustained in training camp.

The 7-foot-1 Glyniadakis was with the Atlanta Hawks during the preseason and averaged 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in five preseason games. Last year, Glyniadakis played in the NBA Development League with both Roanoke and Albuquerque. He averaged 10.5 points and 4.8 rebounds in 39 games, and scored 21 points for Albuquerque in the league's championship game.

Read the rest here.

Saturday, November 4

Comeback Falls Short

It was turn back the clock night last night in Los Angeles, to an era when high-scoring affairs were routine, when 11 players scoring in double figures was the norm, and when the Lakers cleaned the Sonics’ clock with regularity.

My 112-103 prediction was off, but the gist was right – it was high scoring and the Sonics got beat, thanks in no small part to Kobe Bryant’s return from injury, Luke Walton’s career-high 20 points, and Lamar Odom’s continued brilliant play.

Let’s look a little closer at the game:


1. Ray Allen, quarters 1 through 3: 30 points
2. Rashard Lewis. 21 second-half points
3. Danny Fortson, +5 in 12 minutes
4. Sonic runs of 14-0, 7-0. and 12-2
5. Chris Wilcox’ double-double
6. Earl Watson’s 13 points and 7 assists
7. Allen’s six steals
8. 9 turnovers, compared to 18 for the Lakers


1. Allen, 0-for-6 in the 4th quarter
2. Lewis/Luke Ridnour, combined -34
3. Sene, -8 in 11 minutes
4. Lakers’ 26-7 first quarter run
5. Lakers outscore Seattle 37-13 at the line
6. Only 2 blocks to LA’s 7
7. 1-for-10 from 3-point range in the 4th quarter
8. Ronny Turiaf in the 4th quarter
9. Lakers shoot 72% in the 1st quarter

Most importantly, Johan Petro was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat prior to the game during the Sonics’ workout in LA. It’s not known if/when Petro will return to the lineup, but you’ve got to feel for the guy. He spent the entire pre-season being chided for poor play, he lives in a foreign country, playing a game that’s still sort of new to him (i.e., NBA rules), and now he finds out he’s got an irregular heartbeat. I know, he makes a ton of money, but, still, not exactly the best couple months of his life.

The big story from last night was the ridiculous differential in FTA. I didn’t get to watch the game (in their infinite wisdom, the Pacific version of Canada’s ESPN broadcast the Warriors-Blazers game in Vancouver rather than Sonics-Lakers; go figure), but can anyone tell me if the calls were as ticky-tacky as Hill and the players claimed?

Friday, November 3

Game Night 2: Lakers

BREAKING NEWS- The Sonics just announced that Johan Petro is out with an irregular heartbeat. No word on whether Jack Sikma is suiting up. More info soon. -Paul

ESPN reports that Kobe will play tonight, according to his website, which I will not list here because he doesn't need our help getting hits on his site.

Kobe takes on the Seattle Sonics tonightAs it stands now, Kobe Bryant is still uncertain for tonight’s game in LA – which means the oddsmakers have taken the game off the board.

Regardless of Bryant, the Lakers are off to a fine start, 2-0 with both games featuring strong performances in the second half. In fact, the Lakers employed a Phil Jackson classic – the dominating third quarter – to win both games. Against Phoenix in game 1, LA outscored the Suns 34-21 in the 3rd quarter; against Golden State it was a 38-25 advantage. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that Bob Hill must get his troops to focus coming out of halftime.

A quick look at the Lakers game against the Warriors shows that 4 guys scored in double figures (Radmanovic, Odom, Walton, Turiaf (!)), and that 3 others scored either 8 or 9 points, meaning the scoring is going to be coming from all angles. I’d expect Turiaf to play quite a bit tonight as well, even if Bryant plays. The 4 key guys for LA in both games were Walton, Smush Parker, Mo Evans, and Lamar Odom as the quartet was on the floor for each of the 3rd quarter runs that led the Lakers to victories.

What to expect tonight? Depends on if #8, err, #24 plays. I expect Allen and Ridnour to have strong games again, for Collison to rebound from a miserable first game, for Lewis to have to work very hard to stop Lamar Odom, and for Danny Fortson to rack up a lot of fouls in not very many minutes. Most importantly, I expect a lot of points, almost 80s-esque in fact. In the end, the Lakers should be able to put the Sonics away in the 3rd and 4th quarters.

PETE'S PICK: Lakers 112-Sonics 103.
Overall Record ATS: 0-1

Thursday, November 2

Blazers Edge Sonics

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?

Wednesday, November 1

supersonicsoultoon: Opening Night

supersonicsoultoon: Opening Night

(click to enlarge)

I'm really more optimistic than this, but I couldn't resist the idea.

Going to the game?

You are going to the game tonight, right? If Chunkstyle and I can pry our near-middle-aged selves out of our comfy chairs for one night, you can too. Do it for the team. Do it for America. Do it so you can buy me a drink because I am poor.

If you're still looking for tickets, contact Jason Rubestein at the Sonics. If you tell him Supersonicsoul sent you, he might even hook you up with a special deal!

Oh, and don't forget to check out Nussbaum's special Portland-Bashing Preview of tonight's game.

Game Night # 1: Blazers

Zach Randolph and the Blazers take on the Seattle Supersonics at Key Arena tonight.Is there any team worth hating more than the Blazers? Okay, they've fallen on hard times recently, so it makes it tougher to despise them, but is there any other team that gets us wanting a win more than the black and red?

For the first, last, and only time this season, the Sonics are favored by 9 points against an opponent, and, surprisingly, it's not a bad bet. As long as Portland has Zach Randolph (Captain!) they will be a tough team to figure when it comes to wagering, simply because Randolph is so unreliable. When you factor in Chris Wilcox' "defense," big Zach could easily go for 30 and 15 tonight. Or he could go for 12 and 3. You just never know. Throw in Magloire, Pryzbilla, Aldridge, and, well, the Blazers have some beef up front.

The optimist in me sees the Sonics rolling to a 110-92 victory as Ray Allen drains 3's in Brandon Roy's first real game defending an elite NBA 2-guard, Wilcox throws down some fast break dunks while Randolph et al suck on oxygen masks, and Damien Wilkins and Nick Collison continue their hot pre-season play.

The pessimist sees the Sonics dying for an inside defender to keep Randolph off the boards, Collison getting into foul trouble early, forcing Hill to use Sene and Petro more than he would like, and the offense struggling to support Ray and Rashard.

Luckily, it's sunny in Vancouver today, leftover Halloween candy abounds, and Wally Walker is no longer employed by the Sonics. Like Ice Cube says, it's a good day.

With that in mind, here's my first prediction of the season: Sonics 105-Blazers 93.

Sonics. Blazers. Bring it.