Got to take issue with this from an otherwise fine article from Jayda Evans at the Times:
Hill and his staff have drastically improved five players — Chris Wilcox, Nick Collison, Earl Watson, Johan Petro and Damien Wilkins, and Allen was averaging a career-best 26.4 points on two bum ankles.
I don't know that any of those guys - other than Collison and possibly Petro have "drastically improved." Watson's play has been erratic, Wilkins seems to have flatlined, and Wilcox has put up inferior numbers to the ones he had during his spring fling with the Sonics last year. And, if you think about it, shouldn't Petro be improving regardless? Wouldn't he get better just standing in a gym by himself taking free throws, considering his relatively sparse experience in competitive basketball?
I also enjoyed this bit from Hill, culled from Frank Hughes' piece at the TNT:
I am not the kind of person who runs in his office and starts pointing fingers at other people.
Oh, please, Bob. Hey, I wanted you to get the job and I thought you got unfairly tossed in San Antonio, but if you're going to stand there and say that you haven't thrown players under the bus this year, well, you're flat out lying.
Enough of that. The more pressing news is the Sonics' second consecutive win on the road, a 3-point triumph over the Answer, Melo, Nene, and the Ball-grabber. Once again, the story was Rashard Lewis, who dominated the end of the fourth quarter and carried the Sonics to the win. Once again, Luke Ridnour proved he and Bob Hill are not even in the same book, let alone on the same page.
It's puzzling, you know, how Hill is able to get these guys to play so hard when they have so little for which to play. In fact, it's given me an idea: Maybe the Sonics ought to try an innovative strategy next year: Hire Rick Adelman to coach the team from November until March, fire Adelman, and let Hill guide them the rest of the way. This way, the Sonics get Adelman's regular season brilliance, none of his craptacular playoff failures, and they get Hill's obvious ability to win in spring-time with none of the fall weather doldrums.
Hill can blame injuries all he wants, but if the Houston Rockets can make it to the playoffs despite losing Yao Ming for a bunch of the season, if the Magic can make it despite losing Grant Hill for 20 games, if the Clips are in contention despite losing Shaun Livingston for the season, if the Lakers can lose Odom, Walton and Kwame for significant chunks, the Warriors have lost Baron DAvis and J-Rich for a bunch of games .... it just goes on and on. I hate it when people blame injuries for why they suck. The SUns lost SToudamire for the year last year, and still made the playoffs.
Obviously, the fact Rick Sund didn't help Hill out by picking up insurance pieces is a big factor ... but, hell, are you telling me that losing Rashard for 10 games and Ray for 10 games is the difference between the Sonics being in the playoffs and not? It's a frickin' copout.
its a freakin' mistake to win now. this is the ONE TIME we should go into things with a full attempt to lose as many games as we can, AND NOW-- WHEN WINNING IS THE WORST SOLUTION-- we chose to go grab a couple games.
Pennywise and Pound Foolish.
Between this and the M's keeping 13 pitchers and their offseason of stupidy, god... thank god for the seahawks and their modest success. Better than anything else we have professionally.
found this on the Sportsguy over at ESPN:
Finally, Michael from Dallas passes this account along:
"I don't know if you saw any of the Bucs/Mavs game last night, but if you want a FANTASTIC example of tanking, there you go. Michael Redd was having one of his crazy hot nights, and was 14-18 from the field with 34 points when he was subbed with :33 left in the third. The Bucks were up 82-77. Redd then sits on the bench until 4:35 left to go in the fourth quarter! He gets one more shot the entire quarter, and the Mavs win 105-103. Oh, and in spite of how hot Redd was, and the fact that he is their $90 million star player, he's not their go to guy in the fourth (that's some dude named Ersan Ilyasova -- who had two turnovers in the final minute). Don't get me wrong; I'm a Mavs fan, and I'm glad we won (the fact that that was our 60th win is overshadowing the tanking), but seriously! You're not even trying to hide it!"
Good thing the Sonics would never employ such a strategy...
I agree with "t dawg". We just slipped to the eighth spot thanks to Rashard's off-the-hook performances the last two games. Rashard is almost certainly going to bolt next season -- who's he playing for? The Sonics? Or his next contract? Hill's coaching to get another job down the line. These wins aren't good for the Sonics, they're good for a bunch of soon-to-be ex-Sonics.
I just watched that Reggie Evans ball-grabbing clip. Holy crap!
If you're pissed off now about where the Sonics are going draft-wise, wait until after tonight. Here's the schedule of games:
Sonics, home against Memphis (likely W)
Boston @ Philly
Milwaukee @ Charlotte
Miami @ Minnesota
Indy @ Orlando
Knicks @ Dallas
Denver @ Phoenix
Just going by the odds, Minnesota, Milwaukee, Boston, Indy, New York, and Denver will all lose tonight, and the Sonics will win. What does that mean? That by tomorrow morning, the Sonics will be within a game of having the 11th or 12th pick in the draft.
so freakin' retarded. why can't we even lose correctly?!?!?
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