Friday, March 23

Whoa, There, Weezy

What would you say about a power forward who scored 46 points and grabbed 33 boards in two games in March? Sounds a lot like Chris Wilcox and his recent performance, right?

Um, yeah, it's Wilcox alright, but it's Wilcox from last year, when he went off against Milwaukee and Sacto in back-to-back games on March 21 and 22. Of course, he followed that up by grabbing 33 boards in the next five games, then going for double-doubles in four straight, then single-singles in three straight.

In other words, if anybody thinks Chris Wilcox has suddenly turned the corner and is entering the realm of a consistent scorer/rebounder, I'd suggest downing a nice glass of warm milk and settling down. Call him Weezy, call him Wilco, call him whatever, but the man has proven one thing in his five years in the league: He is just as capable of scoring 6 points as he is 26.

Is it circumstances? Is it lack of PT? I have no flippin' idea, but the fact remains that Wilcox has gone for big nights in LA and now in Seattle, yet for some reason he has yet to elevate his game to the next level. His flukish 79% free throw percentage for the Sonics last season was a total aberration from his career marks, and Coach Hill admitted in Kevin Pelton's article today at that he's reluctant to throw the ball to Wilcox down the stretch due to Weezy's inability to hit shots from the stripe.

Detractors will point to Karl Malone's improved FT% as evidence that players can change from the stripe, but they should also point out that Malone's percentage went up each year at the start of his career, until he reached a point where teams could not longer count on fouling him. Wilcox' numbers, however, have been as inconsistent as his overall play: 50, 70, 61, 64, 78, 65.

I'm not saying Wilcox isn't a decent player, and it's possible he's worth the six and a half mil a season the Sonics are paying him. But to say that he's "figured it out" after five years of inconsistent play based on a week and a half of above-average performances ... well, I guess I'm just a little more skeptical.


Anonymous said...

Best case scenario: Chris keeps it up for the rest of the season, and the Sonics trick another team into taking his "defense" and his contract.

My dream scenario:

Wilcox+Watson+Lewis = Jermaine O'Neal+Jameer Nelson

Anonymous said...

Jermaine O'neal is in the "oh I'm injured" part of his career and why do you want a midget to go with him?

Anonymous said...

Because the Pacers are desperate to unload Nelson. I wouldn't mind seeing the Sonics get Nelson and dump him, paying his contract but not having it count against the cap.

Guys like O'Neal are so rare, and even if he's pulling the fake-injury scam, he's still averaging close to 20-10 this year. Even if Robert Swift plays at his absolute peak potential of what the Sonics want next year, there's no way he does better than 10 and 6, and that's wildly optimistic.

I think Ray's only got 2 or 3 good years left. The Sonics have to get someone in here that can catapult us to a western conference final contender - and unless they get the #1 or #2 pick in the draft, getting ONeal would be a good way to do it.

the Pacers are in a weird spot right now - they're not very good and they've got all sorts of bad press from their off-court problems. Nelson is one of their biggest headaches, and since O'Neal seems to want out, too, it's a unique opportunity for someone with his ability to be available.

I look at it this way - if Oden is as advertised, would he be that much better than O'Neal? Probably not, at least not for a couple of years. So why not go after a guy that's guaranteed to bring us all-star level play immediately?

Anonymous said...

Jameer Nelson is with the Magic. Do you mean Jamal Tinsley?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, my bad. yeah, I meant Tinsley.