The Sonics are two games into their summer league schedule, and it’s obviously far too early to start analyzing trends or make any useful judgments. No one seriously thinks that Kevin Durant is going to shoot 20% from the field this season, and no matter how bad the point guard situation looks right now, it’ll get better when either Ridnour or Watson get their shot at running the floor.
So I thought it might be better just to take a look at three players in particular from Monday’s game. With all the attention paid to Durant, here’s a look at Mickael Gelabale, Johan Petro, and Jeff Green.
Johan catches more than his fair share of flak for his at-times abysmal performance as a big man. Lumped in with Robert Swift and Mo Sene as the Teen-aged Triumverate of Trepidation, Petro has been less than great for the Sonics in his brief career. But as a late first-round pick, that’s to be expected.
After a lousy performance against Dallas on Friday, I thought that Petro was much better against New York. He still gets outhustled by the other players, and his hesitancy on offense can make him wait too long to shoot, but overall I would say he performed decently. Does he take too many 15-footers for a big man? Yes. His ugly bank shot from about 10’ in the second quarter was a brick worthy of Olden Polynice, but his first jumper from the free throw line showed a nice touch. He obviously still needs to work on his aggressiveness in the paint, and to be more assertive at all points of the floor, but as a backup center playing 10 to 15 minutes a night, he’s not a disaster.
It’s a joy to watch this guy. His hops are fantastic, he can run like a point guard, he hustles at all times, and he’s exactly what every winning team needs coming off the bench. He picked up 3 steals in only 24 minutes, and he seemed to be involved in almost all of the Sonics’ transition opportunities (not that there were many, but still). At one point, he forced a 1-on-3 fast break when he really should have pulled the ball back, yet because of his strength he was able to draw two foul shots when it looked as though there was nothing there.
Only one final question: Is his hair longer than Renaldo Balkman’s?
From draft day huh? to present day yes! That’s Jeff Green. Easily the MVP of the Sonics on Monday, Green had two nice dunks, including the highlight-reel one over Nate Robinson in the first quarter. He showed nice range on his jump shot and was rewarded with a lot more opportunities on offense than on Friday. His up-fake off an offensive rebound in the second quarter drew a foul and a compliment from Walt Frazier, and deserved it. Green may be only a rookie, but he looks ready to play steady minutes in the NBA. As he gets stronger, he’ll be a nice piece for the Sonics to have on their front line. All you Hoya fans who said I was dead wrong on this guy on draft night – my apologies. You were right and I’ll be eating a crow sandwich all year long.
Sadly, those two bright spots were overshadowed by some lousy offense from the Sonics. It has become obvious that quicker point guards are killing the Sonics, as first Dallas and now New York have burned Seattle repeatedly by getting into the paint. On offense, the Sonics’ big men aren’t getting the ball where they should to be effective, and that falls on the shoulders of the point guards.
Still, that’s not a big problem in the long run. It doesn’t matter how many games the Sonics win in the summer league, it just matters that Durant, Green, and the rest get a better taste for the NBA.
To much pressure on Kevin Durant already!!!
Sonicsman, your spam has grown tiresome. It's popping up on every damn site! If your blog entries were more than a couple sentences a piece, it might actually be worth following your link.
Give Gelabale a 8 minute spin at PG in one of these summer leagues. Costs nothing and might yield some useful information- yeah or nay on this idea that has kicked around untried.
Thanks anonymous #12 for your insight. You are not even man enough to post your real name?? You mean nothing to me!!
I think Gelabale has played a few minutes at point in his French experience (a little help from our French readers?), but it hasn't been extensive.
It would be an interesting experiment. I think he can shoulder the load defensively, but I don't know that his passing skills are there. Which all means this is the perfect time to give it a shot.
Gelly at point would be an interesting experiment and considering that our summer league point guards won't be playing come regular season time, I see no harm in trying it out... although I kinda wonder how useful that info would be since, unless he is STELLAR, we won't use him during the regular season at that spot anyways.
Also, Mr. Sonics Man - the endless spam of your blog is getting rather annoying (look! I have a name!)
New blogs have to mention themselves some. It can get overdone but right now I'd say let a Sonics fan express himself and readers will check it out as they wish.
By the way the articles here at supersonicssoul have been good. I'm back to an everyday reader here.
Welcome to the Jeff Green Fan Club!
Glad to be a member. I'm already a member of the Sleepy Floyd Fan Club, do I get a discount this time around?
Thanks anonymous #12 for your insight. You are not even man enough to post your real name??
Is Sonicsman a real name?
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