Spent a little time looking at the new schedule more closely, and I'm getting a rather uneasy feeling in my stomach when I think about how the Sonics start the season.
Now, it may come to pass that the decision regarding the future of this franchise gets settled far in advance of the October 31 deadline Clay Bennett has imposed. But it may not. Bennett's deadline has no legal backing, and is solely a motivation tool for the city/personal goal for him. And if it does not get settled - and it wouldn't be the first time an owner had to make a u-turn regarding a franchise - how the Sonics play to start the season will have at least a small impact on how receptive the region is to throwing more money at Bennett's team.
And that's where the unsettled feeling in my stomach comes in. If you look at the first month of the season, and pick the games based on how Vegas would look at them, well, the Sonics might not exactly get off to a hot start. In fact, they could get off to a real lousy start:
at Denver (loss), Phoenix (loss), at Clippers (loss), at Sacramento (loss), Memphis (win), Utah (loss), Detroit (loss), at Orlando (loss), at Miami (loss).
That's 1-8 after 9 games. You can argue that the Sonics might steal a win in Sacramento, or in Orlando, or at home against the Jazz or the Pistons, but if you had $100 to wager on any of those events, you'd probably go with Seattle's opponent, right?
The schedule eases a bit after that, and the Sonics could finish up November by splitting the remaining 8 games, giving them a record of 5-12 entering December.
As I said before, the arena situation and the Sonics' future will probably be settled in advance of that first month of games, but it may not. Let's just hope that it is.
My early opening night prediction is a loss at the Nuggs? Stay in touch!
I have to disagree with your 1-8 start.
I see the following:
Den - loss
Phx - loss
LAC - Toss-up (though clipper were solid at home last season it just so happens their point situation is about as shaky as the sonics)
SAC - Win (the kings are in more disarray than the Sonics they could be one of the worst teams in the league)
Mem - Win
Utah - Toss-up (Utah is great at home, but shaky on the road, normally I think they'd handle the Sonics without a problem, but again I think this will be close game)
Det - loss
Orlando - Toss-up (again it depends which Orlando team shows up and if Lewis disappears like he usually does in big games).
Miami - loss
Ok, so I'm almost as bleak as Nuss with a worst case of 2-7 and 5-4 if they win all three toss up games. If anyone disagrees this my assessment of the Toss-up games I'd be more that willing to back them up with stats and/or my personal hyperbole.
As I said, I'm just going by how Vegas would pick the games. The Sonics could roll out to a 7-2 record, or they could go 0-9, but if you just look at it from a pure betting standpoint, 1-8 is how it would play out.
If I were a betting man, I'd pick the Sonics to beat the Suns. Why? Karmic retribution for the Suns selling their players to avoid the luxury tax.
Well... add in another win since Elton Brand blew out his calf.
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