Friday, January 12

Glory Days of '05

Former Seattle Supersonics center Jerome James
As bad as the Sonics have been this year – and it’s been bad – you’ve got to wonder, why the heck are they so terrible? With Lewis, Allen, Wilcox, and Ridnour, you’ve got four average to above-average players, and Collison and Watson are decent bench players, so why is this team struggling so much?

First off, I don’t accept the injury excuse. Robert Swift’s injury, while damaging, is nowhere near as big a deal as the team’s supporters would lead you to believe. And don’t let that “strong pre-season” crap of Swift’s supporters mislead you either. It wasn’t a strong pre-season at all, unless you consider a 33% mark from the field strong. Or 6.7 fouls per 40 minutes. Or 4.2 turnovers per 40 minutes. Obviously, Swift would have been better than Petro, but does that really mean anything? The question is, would Swift have been a significant improvement over Collison and/or Fortson? And, beyond that, considering Collison has gone for 20-10 in each of the past two games – both losses – doesn’t that indicate that it doesn’t matter anyways?

I thought it might help to see what the difference is between this version of the Sonics and the 2004-05 edition. Here’s a quick rundown of the numbers.

2005: 44
2007: 46

FG% Allowed
2005: 46
2007: 48

2005: 36.5
2007: 34

3FG Allowed:
2005: 36
2007: 35

Rebounds-Opponents Rebounds
2005: 41-38
2007: 39-41

Steals-Opponents Steals
2005: 7-6
2007: 8-7

Fouls-Opponents Fouls
2005: 24-24
2007: 23-20

TO-Opponents TO
2005: 14-13
2007: 16-16

FTA-Opponents FTA
2005: 26-26
2007: 23-26

FGA-Opponents FGA
2005: 79-78
2007: 81-80

3FGA-Opponents 3FGA
2005: 22-16
2007: 16-16

Offensive-Defensive Efficiency
2005: 108-106
2007: 108-111

Okay, that’s a lot of statistics to absorb before lunchtime. A few things stand out, though:

1. The Sonics are taking way fewer 3 pointers than they were in 2005, even though they shoot almost as well (36% then to 34% now). I think it might be a good idea to let Damien Wilkins and Luke Ridnour to take more 3’s, considering both of them are hitting close to 40% from beyond the arc.

2. The Sonics are not getting to the line nearly as much as they were before. In 2005, there were five Sonics averaging 3 or more trips to the line a night. In 2007, that has dropped to three players. The biggest difference is Antonio Daniels, who visited the stripe 4 times a night. Contrast that to Earl Watson, who gets there bi-weekly. It’s a bizarre double-dip for a team to decrease both their outside attempts and foul-line attempts in the same season, but that’s the Sonics for you.

3. Rebounding. This is especially noticeable on the defensive end, where the Sonics get killed on a regular basis. Reggie Evans is the key difference, obviously, as no one’s even close to his nearly 10 boards a night.

What can we draw from all of this? Is it helpless?

I think the only solution is to hope for help in the draft. Trading away Rashard or Ray is a short-term fix, and while it would be nice to get out from under Ray’s mammoth contract, he’s not hurting this team. The same goes for Rashard. All the Sonics need is a strong big man who can block shots and rebound.

Perhaps this guy might do the trick.


Anonymous said...

FYI - According to the Bergen Record in New Jersey, the Sonics / Nets / and T-Wolves are looking at a Kidd-Carter-Garnett-Allen deal. The article didn't list who would be going where.

Let's all say a prayer that if this is indeed true, that Garnett would be coming here.

And now let's all realize that if - HUGE IF - this ever happened, there is no way in holy hell that Garnett would ever want to play here, and that the most likely outcome is for us to get Vince Carter. (In the words of Bill Simmons, I'm going to throw up in my mouth now).

Anonymous said...

You know, it's not until you actually start about thinking how Oden would fit into this team that you start getting really excited.


Watson, Collison, Wilkins, Gelabale, Swift off the bench. You know, that's a pretty damned good team right there. I'm thinking if I'm the Sonics, I'm telling Rashard Lewis to take as long as he wants to heal. Don't rush back!

Anonymous said...

I agree that is a pretty good lineup. Only thing it lacks is a good coach to get them to commit to defense.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Durant as the #2 pick - he doesn't get the publicity of Oden, but he could step in and help the Sonics immediately, too, especially if they decide to move Rashard.

Still, Oden would be nice to have.

Anonymous said...

FYI - has the Sonics taking Hasheem Thabeet with the #5 pick overall. Plus, he's from another country, which means it's a lock the Sonics will take him!

Anonymous said...

Us getting Vince Carter would be excellent. He'd opt out of his contract after the season and we would actually have money to not use on a FA or someone decent (Gerald Wallace, Chauncey, Bibby, DARKO.)

Anonymous said...

If the Sonics luck into Oden, what happens to Swift/Petro/Sene? I don't see any of them having any trade value and their potential playing time basically disappears.

Anonymous said...

Well, Pete and Paul, it's nice that you two are still as negativistic as myself.

Frequently, I try to inform the dronish homers over at SonicsCentral that their optimism toward the Seattle Supersonics is unwarranted due to its groundlessness. Yet, as it is, they just keep buying into the bullshit.

Thankfully, though, there are some people at that joint who grasp the fact that the Supersonics just aren't a well-balanced franchise.

In the end, however, I don't think that it'll be worth too much of anything—since the Seattle Supersonics are likely to become the Oklahoma City Tumbleweeds by 2010.

Zach said...

I've thought this all year, that the Sonics went from having a team with a bunch of good perimeter shooters to having very few, especially with Rashard out.

Anonymous said...

I think Swift or Petro still have trade value, and since they're still on their rookie contracts it's not difficult to deal them.

It's tough to say this, but it would make more sense for the Sonics to deal Swift than Petro, since Petro sees better suited for a backup role at the PF and C. Swift seems like the kind of guy who needs to start to have serious value.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they can trade Swift for Boozer. He has been playing pretty well lately.

Ok, sorry for the sarcasm, but I just don't see much trade value in Swift. He's an unproven rookie with a year long injury. Not exactly the kind of talent that GM's line up for.

Anonymous said...

It seems Ray had a pretty good night on Friday.

Anonymous said...

is the team moving to oak city!!!??????

Anonymous said...

^^^where have u been for the past year?

Anonymous said...

Is there more than one "anonymous" or just one schizophrenic one?

Anonymous said...

i dont see how they can get to the line more and shoot more 3s. so what you're saying is no more mid-range game please.