A few notes on the first Sonic game I've attended this year:
1. I was puzzled by Gary Washburn's comment that the Sonics "competed for 48 minutes" last night. Perhaps Mr. Washburn was watching highlights from the late 80s on his laptop, but the Sonics team on the court last night did not come close to matching the intensity of the Lakers. Even PJ Carlesimo said after the game that the Sonics' effort was lacking.
2. If the announced crowd was 17,092, then my announced bank account must be $1,430,840. I don't understand why the Sonics would fabricate attendance when they're trying to make it look like nobody in this town cares about the team, so the only reason can be that more than 6,000 people decided they'd rather throw their tickets in the garbage and watch the Academy Awards last night instead. Perhaps they had the right idea.
3. Mickael Gelabale looked great - easily the most energetic player wearing green and gold. He made plenty of mistakes, but his up and under move in the second quarter was sweet, as were his 21 points.
4. Francisco Elson is, surprisingly, a gunner.
5. Kobe Bryant got tossed in a game where his team was leading by 31. I don't know where his reservation was, but it must have been at a nice spot if they wouldn't hold it for him until 8:30.
6. When Earl Watson hit a three at the beginning of the third quarter, I got a bad feeling in my stomach, because I knew we were going to see at least three more attempts from that "sharpshooter" before the night was out. EW finished 5 of 17.
7. Eric Williams at the TNT is right - at least half the crowd was cheering for the Lakers. Man I hate Laker fans, especially Laker fans who were born in Washington. That's just lame, people.
The Laker fans come out of the woodwork when they come to town. Never fails.
Fans Sonic fans love to hate, in order:
5.Celtics - this is just my personal one because I've always hated the Celtics; actually their fans are so quiet up til this year we've forgotten all about them
4. Blazers - because they're so easy to make fan of
3. Jazz - no comment on why - don't want to open THAT can of worms again
2. Knicks - yeah, we get it, NY is the birthplace of basketball, you're cooler than us, whatever, your team stinks
1. Lakers - because so many of them are just plain ol' frontrunners
Great comments, I'll add a few from the game last night:
1. Earl Watson is one of the most frustrating basketball players I've ever watched. He throws so much junk up at the rim, it's ridiculous. On nights when it's falling (last week vs. Memphis), it's great. But so many other times (like against LAL last night), he takes ill-advised shots that are out of the flow of the offense and when no one is in position to rebound.
I know in a lot of youth leagues, coaches demand that their players pass at least 3 times before anyone shoots. I think EW needs to go through this drill again.
2. Gelly looked great and much of the time was being guarded by solid defenders. He hit open jumpers, contested jumpers, and showed he could shoot on the move and get to the basket. He also played with more energy than any Sonic on the court. If Gelly loses ANY minutes to Wilkins this season, that will be a travesty. Let Gelly develop and Wilkins rot on the bench.
3. Elson is a gunner, but I wish he'd take that shot a bit more judiciously. It's clear he's got OK range for a guy his size, but he needs a reminder that he's not Amare or KG.
4. While it sucked to get blown out and the Sonics D was subpar to say the least, I'm not sure how you slow down the Lakers. They have 3 guys worthy of a double team (Kobe, Gasol, Odom), a PG who can hit open shots, and a whole bunch of other guys who can shoot and pass efficiently. It really is a "pick your poison" scenario. It was interesting to watch who the Sonics matched up on Kobe (KD, Gelly, and Green) and how they fared (none that well). Good learning experiences, I guess.
5. I know it was "Kids at the Key" day, but they should never have any "special guest" do the Sonics starting lineup. I won't say anything bad about the kid who read them, I'm sure that was a nerve-wracking experience, but I could have been a lot more fired up about our starting 5.
I didn't see many empty seats at all. Wouldn't surprise me if 16,000+ showed up.
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