Tuesday, January 9

Luke's Cool Hand Hurting Sonics

Seattle Supersonics guard Luke Ridnour

The big story with the Sonics right now – other than their ability to take suckiness to new and previously unseen levels – is Earl Watson usurping the starting PG role from Luke Ridnour.

Now, hey, I like a good usurping as much as the next guy, and Lord knows I’ve rattled on and on for more than anyone about how Earl is more deserving than Luke to hold the reins of this team, but with the Sonics playing the Suns tonight, I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at how Ridnour compares to Steve Nash, the White Man’s Favorite Basketball Player.

Per 40 minutes, First 3 Years

Assists (year 1, 2 and 3)
Ridnour (5.9, 7.5, 8.4)
Nash (8.1, 6.3, 6.9)
Mystery (9.4, 7.9, 6.3)

Ridnour (13.7, 12.8, 13.8)
Nash (12.5, 16.6, 9.9)
Mystery (10.5, 12, 17)

Ridnour (2.9, 2.3, 2.5)
Nash (3.7, 2.4, 2.6)
Mystery (3.2, 2.7, 2.3)

Ridnour (1.9, 1.5, 1.9)
Nash (1.2, 1.5, 1.2)
Mystery (2.9, 2.3, 2.8)

Ridnour (41, 41, 42)
Nash (42, 46, 36)
Mystery (45, 45, 49)

Ridnour (34, 38, 29)
Nash (42, 42, 37)
Mystery (8, 13, 21)

Ridnour (50, 50, 51)
Nash (54, 56, 47)
Mystery (48, 48, 53)

Assist Rate
Ridnour (26, 33, 34)
Nash (35, 27, 34)
Mystery (40, 34, 25)

Ridnour (13, 15, 16)
Nash (11, 16, 11)
Mystery (13, 13, 17)

Looking at the numbers, you can see Ridnour is in Nash’s ballpark for alot of the stats – with the notable exception of 3-point shooting, ironically the same demon which has propelled him to the bench this season.

Bob Hill’s thinking is obvious: Luke Ridnour must start knocking down jump shots for him to be a starter in this league. Hill’s reasoning for benching Luke is, to me, a good one: Part of a being a good shooter is confidence, and until Ridnour figures out that he must take open shots he won’t be a starter. It’s important to know that Luke’s not being benched for missing shots, he’s being benched for not taking them. If Ridnour was shooting terribly (which he has been recently) and that caused the benching then I would disagree with Hill, inasmuch as that might destroy his confidence.

But Luke’s a grown man now, and he’s being paid a grown man’s (actually, about 358 grown men’s) salary. He needs to start acting like it.


PN said...

I'll take any and all guesses to the mystery player.

No, it's not Jim Farmer.

Anonymous said...

How 'bout Mark Price as the mystery guy? He was the original Great White Hope (well, at least after Bob Cousy anyways).

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I wonder whose confidence Hill will destroy next week?

Anonymous said...

Rich, you must have known from your extensive experience sitting on the bench. Nice call.

I included Gary just because I think we forget how point guards almost always struggle their first couple of seasons.

Anonymous said...

Watson has always been a nice player (going back to UCLA) but you're comparing Rid to Nash and the reason is because of Rid's potential (not skin color, or else you wouldn't have included stats to justify). Yet you side with Hill as far as bencing him. Whatever Dude.....by the way Nash didn't get great until about year 7. Rid can Watson won't. Start Rid.

Anonymous said...

I think you missed the point of the article, but I can understand the confusion.

I think Hill was right to bench Ridnour because he had to do something to shake Luke out of his funk. If Rid didn't have any potential, I think starting Watson would be the right thing to do long-term, but Luke has shown this season that he's capable of being a starting PG- he's just fallen into a slump recently, some of which is caused by his hesitancy to take shots. Hopefully, Hill's idea will shake Luke out of it.

Anonymous said...

I think Watson is starting now because of a possible trade in the mid-season. management may asked for him to be a starter right now to increase his market value. he dished 16 balls in Utah's game, that is something ha!

I think Damien, Watson, & Fortson are going to be traded.

Just an Idea.

From Bahrain