Wednesday, October 12, 2005


The Sonics open there pre-season tonight in Portland. Let me share a few thoughts about what I have seen from the team thus far in camp.

The Bob Weiss lack of discipline angle is being over played. The practices are crisp. The work is getting done. The guy is letting his players wear sweats on long flights. He is letting them have cell phones on the team bus. This is being overblown badly.
Weiss will be different then Nate. That is without question. However, there is as good a chance the players were going turn a deaf ear on Nate as they are to take advantage of Weiss more relaxed demeanor. This team is Ray and Rashard’s team and they will control what the team does.
Furthermore, this staff is fantastic. Bob Hill and Brendan Malone bring an insane amount of experience and expertise. I have been very impressed by Jack Sikma and how hard he has been driving players and Ralph Lewis is going to be a very solid addition.
If they are as good at game preparation will be where they have to match last year’s staff.

Ray Allen is great. How is that for breaking news? Allen got rolling at practice the other day and he was in that Sacramento Game 4 territory.
The one player that has jumped out more then any other is Reggie Evans. Evans has been brilliant in camp. His energy is amazing and the impact he has on every play can’t be underestimated.
Talking to the players they all comment on Luke Ridnour’s increased confidence and that he is nailing the open mid range jumper. The same has been said about Nick Collison.
Flip Murray has looked very good at times in camp. The Sonics are going to give him first shot at the AD combo position. There is a strong belief inside the organization that with extended minutes he will lose some of his negative traits. His one on one skills are remarkable. He took some balls to the rack and finished that most guys in the NBA couldn’t do.
Johan Petro is very good draft pick. That doesn’t mean he will necessarily be a great NBA player. But to get a 7 footer who can move as well as he does, with that size body and wingspan at #25 is a good draft pick regardless of if he makes the league.
Robert Swift has flashed in and out during camp. At times he looks like he is ready. He will grab some two handed rebounds above a crowd and his hands are good inside. However, he doesn’t roll of the pick and roll at all the way JJ could and he will float and get lost for periods of time. He is 19 years old and that is hard to remember.
The one non-roster player I really like is Noel Felix. Felix is 6 foot 9 and has an awesome body. He put on some nice post moves at yesterday’s scrimmage. He guarded Lewis at the 3 very well. He is big enough to play the 4 and his shot looks solid in shooting drills. He was named to the CBA All-Defensive Team after averaging 15.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks for the Yakima Sun Kings. The knock on him is that when the lights go on in a game he disappears. Pre-season games will be vitally important for him. He was not strong in the Sonics summer league.

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