Wednesday, July 18

Green & Durant, Yada, Yada, Yada



Man, this is getting lame. Once again, Jeff Green and Kevin Durant did all the scoring, shot poorly from the field, nailed a boatload of free throws ... and the Sonics lost in their debut showing in the Rocky Mountain Revue.

To liven things up a bit, the Sonics inserted some new background singers to the duet, but the record came out the same. Will Blalock, Elton Brown, Ryvon Coville, and Quinton Hosley all made their summer league debuts in Salt Lake City, but they weren't able to make any difference as the Supes fell to the host Jazz 102-88.

Durant was a big draw in SLC, filling the 5,000-seat arena to beyond capacity. The rookie finished with 29 points, while Green 25 points on 18 FTA. The Sonics had 59 free throw attempts to Utah's 34, but made 19 fewer shots from the field. The Sonics were also out-rebounded by a margin of 39 to 26. Oh, and only two Sonics managed an assist.

Altogether now: "It's only summer league. It's only summer league. It's only ..."

13 comments:

TheBigO said...

It's only Summer League.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Anonymous said...

Free throw attempts are possessions used and calculating Durant's True Shooting Percentage for all possessions he used in Vegas it was about 50%. The nba league is about 52%. Only Watson at 48% had a lower TS% last season among Sonics players seeing meaningful minutes. Lewis was almost 59%. Points per shot has been used a lot but it is misleading and points per possession used as TS% does is the true measure of efficiency.

Just summer league, getting use to things but more Durant numbers talk here
http://dberri.wordpress.com/2007/07/17/disappointing-durant/

Anonymous said...

On every team Durant has been on up til now - at 18- I'd guess pretty much the more he shot the more he helped the team. That isnt necessarily the case in the NBA, especially early in his career. The team USA time may be a useful contrast to summer league and every other basketball experience he has had to date.

Anonymous said...

A recent interview highlighted Durant's obsession with shooting.

The end game on his shoe contract megotiations was in the background in summer league. He got the necessary headlines in last few games to seal the deal.

Time to start playing pretty complete team basketball again like at Texas.

Nuss said...

From later in that article from 'The Wages of Wins':

"Do these four games mean anything at all? I would think not. Durant’s college numbers suggest he should be a very good professional. And I think the college numbers should trump four summer league games.

"Whether the summer league games matter or not is beside the point I am making. It’s the perception of Durant’s performance that I am focusing upon."

I think everyone would agree that Durant's performance was disappointing in the Summer League, in that he was expected to play like an All-Star and he didn't. But I think everyone would also agree that he is phenomenally talented, has a beautiful shot, and can score in a 100 different ways.

I'm also concerned that there is no veteran leadership on this team that Durant will respect, no one to tell him that he's taking too many shots, no one to tell him he needs to work harder for rebounds. If you're Kevin Durant, how many games into the season before you start tuning out Carlesimo? 20? 40? After all, who's more important to the franchise, a coach who has failed at 2 previous stops, or a 19-year-old freak of nature who people compare to Michael Jordan? Would you listen to Nick Collison, who has about 1/2 the talent you do? Chris Wilcox? Robert Swift? It's going to take a lot of self-discipline for KD this season, and we have to hope that he has it in him to do the right thing even when that means passing the ball to players who aren't anywhere near his talent level.

Steve said...

Just wanna say I love this blog. Not only is it frequently updated but its also informative and entertaining. Keep it up.

- Steve

Nuss said...

Thanks, Steve. Since none of us get paid for this, compliments are about the only kind of compensation we receive. Let's just hope this season is a little more entertaining that last year's Bataan Death March.

Mike said...

I think it a bit odd to criticize a couple players for getting to the line. Sure, in summer league they have been chuckers, but as a Sonics fan, I have waited since the mid-'90s for a couple players with enough guts to take the ball to the hoop and get fouled. Karl Malone made a career of it. The FG% will come later, but for now, I'm happy to see these guys at the charity stripe 40 times a game.

Brandon said...

I agree with Steve. Supersonicsoul has been my homepage since I found the site, I even catch my wife, a chronic basketball hater, reading it occasionally.

Anonymous said...

Right on Nuss.

Last season Sonics was a grab by almost every player for the most shots of their career. Unless guys who shouldnt think that way are retrained it could be as messy or perhaps much worse on offense this season. It will be a challenge to discipline everybody else and define a culture of team play and yet allow Durant loose reins. But I probably ought to look further at the different appoaches used on budding superstars in the past. Everybody isnt the same or treated the same but the exceptional lead scorer can break the purported culture if not handled properly. Kobe and Iverson were exceptions in a culture built to handle it during their glory days but their styles overhelmed the culture and failed when the right other players and defense werent there.

mcwalter44 said...

Nuss,

I'd like to third the kudos on the website. Keep up the good work.

Ok... now I'm going to rip you. "I'm also concerned that there is no veteran leadership on this team that Durant will respect, no one to tell him that he's taking too many shots, no one to tell him he needs to work harder for rebounds."

Are you kidding me? The Sonics have Collison (4yrs) , Ridnour (4 yrs), Szczerbiak (8 yrs), Watson (6 yrs), Wilcox (5 yrs) who all have played in the league for several season. And don't give this garbage "we'll they haven't been leaders before." Do we really need pre-madonna veterians like Allen (Mr. I must get 20 to 25 shots a night) or Lewis (I cannot drive to the hole, but I can drive drunk, get breathalysed, and still plead innocent) around? Why not have a roster of vets that are known rolls players? Is that what Cleveland did with LeBron (see Snow, Z, Marshall, Boozer, Gooden)?

Nuss, do you have any vets that you would want on the Sonics or for the Sonics to have kept. Don't get wrong I totally agree that a full on youth movement could be disastrous, but at those vets have to know there role if you happen to have franchise changing Rookie (see Ken Griffey Jr.). Perhaps that means Wally and Watson could be problems, but neither guy has been the #1 option before, so I don't see it being a problem. Look for Collison to be the team captain and lead ala Jay Buhner style to Durant and Green.

Nuss said...

Here's my argument with your Jay Buhner comparison - Buhner was never Griffey's leader/mentor, he was Griffey's friend. In fact, a lot of people in Seattle thought the only reason the Mariners gave Buhner a contract extension mid-90s was to keep Griffey happy.

Collison is a great guy, but he's got 2 years of experience in the league, and he's been on the bench for at least half of it. Ridnour got benched halfway through last season. Watson is one trade away from being an NBA vagabond, Szczerbiak's all-star game was so long ago I think it was during the Clinton administration, and Chris Wilcox? Chris Wilcox? A guy who got kicked out of LA because he wouldn't work hard? That's who Kevin Durant is going to learn the ropes from?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the Sonics needed to keep Allen and Lewis. If anything, those two would have retarded KD's development with their selfish offensive ways. My hope is that the Sonics acquire a veteran to either backup at center or the two guard, or the point (I'm thinking of a certain #20 who is a free agent; played at Oregon State), or else this season could turn into a chuck-a-thon, and PJ's vocal chords will be completely destroyed by early February.

(Also, not to be an ass, and solely so you don't repeat the same mistake somewhere else and get ripped by some jerkoff commenter, it's primadonna, not pre-madonna. Pre-madonna would be used in the case of, "Pop music was not the sole realm of whores pre-Madonna.")

Anonymous said...

Whichever PG proves to be the better maestro could end up the leader for awhile. If they are a fair broker and keep most of the guys happy enough. Nick might say a useful word here or there or lead by example. He could do more and I might like that but I don't know if he volunteers. Not sure if PJ will let team choose or if he will appoint. A decision that matters, particulatrly in longrun. Does Presti try to steer this or let coach or team handle? Another thing to watch.