Friday, November 18, 2005


Three amazing defensive quarters by the Sonics.
The help defense was as good as I have seen.
10 block shots is an amazing number. You don't blokc your guys shot you block when you come for help.
Ray and Rashard are playing at an elite level.
Cleaves was at the point during the 18-0 run
The coaches have been saying we are close defensively. If we see this or anything close this year this team will win a ton of games.

Sonics 93 Bulls 75 with 4:37 left in the 4th Quarter
The run continues.
Cleaves has been great at the point
Vlady has forced two turnovers in the back-court
Allen has hit 6 in a row

Sonics 86 Chicago 73 with 5:55 left in the 4th Quarter.
This is as good as I have seen this team. Memory’s are short but I don’t remember many times when the Sonics have played with this type of defensive intensity. The hustle plays have been amazing. Wilkins made an insane save off Hinrich. Vlady had a steal in the back-court. Vlady then a block. Vitaly is dominating the inside. The ball movement is incredible.
The Bulls have not scored in 8 possessions.
18-0 RUN !!!!!!

Sonics 76 Bulls 69 with 8:26 left in the 4th Quarter
Duhon is on Allen to open the 4th quarter
Sonics help defense in the paint has been very good all night
Sonics open the Q with Cleaves, Allen, Wilkins,.Vlady and Vitaly
Insane energy on the floor from the Sonics.
Their defense has been outstanding. They are the teaming bodying up. They are the team pushing the Bulls out of their offense.
Weiss is off the bench conducting the defense. This is why coaches choose to have the defense in front of them in the 4th Q. On the last play Weiss changed the pick and roll defense when he saw who was running the play.

Sonics 66 Bulls 63 end of the 3rd Quarter.
Sonics close the quarter with a 6 point play. Lewis hit a 3 and was fouled. He missed the free throw and Seattle got the rebound. Cleaves drove and kicked into the corner for Vlady for a 3 – 6 POINT PLAY
Seattle’s scored 33 points in the 3rd Quarter – the same they had a halftime.
Nice job by the coaching staff to change the floor alignment and floor spacing.

Bulls 59 Sonics 58 with 2:09 left in the 3rd Quarter
Skiles went to Piatkowski. He is the best +/- player on the Bulls and spreads the floor.
However, he has to guard Lewis and doesn’t have a prayer.
Petro is impacting a lot of shots in the paint
The runs are over and now we have moved into a possession game.
This will be a grinder.
I am really curious to see how Skiles chooses how to close the game. His defensive line-up can’t score and his offensive line-up can’t match up defensively

Sonics 51 Bulls 47 with 6:12 left in the 3rd Quarter
Sonics have had great offensive execution on the last three possessions. Allen got back to back threes.
Ridnour steal and fast break lay-up ties game after Seattle was down 15.
18to 3 run to open the half.
The Sonics have adjusted their floor spacing and it is making a huge difference.
Defensively the Sonics went in and out of zone for a few possessions.

Bulls 44 Sonics 39 with 10:05 left in the 3rd Quarter
Sonics open the half on a 6-0 run. They penetrated the middle and made the Bulls defense collapse. Petro and Collison got easy looks and Ridnour hit a fast break pull-up.

Bulls 44 Sonics 33 at the halftime
12 points in the 2nd Quarter – FOR THE TEAM
The Sonics scored on their final two possessions of the half out of their offense. Those were the second and third field goals of the quarter out of the offense.
The Bulls defense is good but it is not that good. This is absurd.
The first game back from the road trip adage is being bounced around at halftime.
Rashard Lewis might be one of the poorest at closing out on a shooter and affecting his shot.
Early in the game Ray was as selfish as I have ever seen him and that may have set the tone.
In addition, the Sonics were having a hard time getting good looks out of the offense and instead of staying with it they quit running the offense and then went 1 on 1 and they couldn't beat the Bulls.

Bulls 42 Sonics 27 with 1:10 left in the 2nd Quarter.
Boo Birds out at the Key
Seattle has lost all rhythm
Allen just got a tech free throw – maybe that can get him going. He is 2 of 9.
Seattle will close the finally two minutes with what I believe to be there best 5 – Ridnour, Allen, Lewis, Vlady and Collison.
Seattle is getting crushed on the boards.

Bulls 36 Sonics 26 with 2:45 left in the 2nd Quarter
Seattle’s first field goal out of the offense this quarter came with 3:14 left in the quarter.
Vlady re-enters with 4:00 left and gets a great look three and it doesn’t go.
The Sonics continue to have no flow.
The Sups are not a good enough defensive team to endure not scoring

This is my visual for this game. The Sonics have 1 field goal in the quarter. The Bulls are just as poor but they lead. Players are playing hot potato. The shots are brutal and the game ...

Bulls 30 Sonics 24 with 5:38 left in the 2nd Quarter
Bob only gives Vlady a 5 minute run.
Fun to watch Collison v. Sweetney. Who would you rather have. That was the decision the Knicks had while the Sonics nervously waited in their draft room wanting Collison.
Seattle has no offensive flow and it is because of the Bulls defense.
Allen is playing with the ball much more then I am used to seeing.
Sonics help defense is very good tonight
No Reggie Evans so far tonight.
This game is so ugly. Neither team can make a shot, a lay-up, a jumper, anything

Bulls 26 Sonics 21 end of the 1st Quarter
Luke made some nice aggressive drives to the basket. Gordon is a poor defender and he made him pay.
Luke missed a free throw – FULL MOON?
By the end of the quarter the contested v. uncontested shots was the 10 contested and 8 open. Four of the last 5 were uncontested. This is totally subjective and on some I just put a pass.
Big play at the end of the quarter – mid court banker for Chris Duhon counts 3.
Subs of the 1st Q
Time Substitution
2:24 Vitaly for Petro
2:24 Wilkins for Allen
2:01 Vlady for Nick

1st Q Efficiecny Sonics 103 Bulls 120

Bulls 18 Sonics 14 with 1:24 left in the 1st Quarter
Sonics are shooting just 33%.
In the Bulls second line-up they move Hinrich to the one and he matches up with Luke which should allow Allen to get more space offensively.
If this game is close late I am not sure if Skiles will be able to play Ben Gordon and lose the defense of Duhon and Hinrich.
The Bulls defense is amazing. They are in your face and they help fantastically.
Vlady is going to be key today because he stretches the floor. Ridnour just drove by his man and help came, then he went off a pick and their was more help he kept going and more help arrived. 4 players helped on his one drive. AWESOME

Bulls 11 Sonics 8 with 5:28 left in the 1st Quarter.
Allen comes out gunning. Almost selfishly. Hinrich has given him difficulty in the past. I am not sure if he was trying to send a message but it seemed out of character. Lewis took a quick 3 and it almost was in reaction to the amount of shots Allen took. Allen took 4 shots in the first 7 possessions.
I am charting open v. contested shots. In the opening 7 minutes the Sonics have contested 8 shots and allowed open looks for 4 shots. That is a good sign.
Johan Petro has done a nice job guarding Sweetney.

1) Sonics offensive efficiecny against a great Bulls defense.
2) Ridnour the pressure of Duhon and Hinrich
3) Improved defense by the Sonics that the coaching staff insists is right around the corner.
4) Defensive system: Contain - Help -- Help the helper

Sonics inactives: Flip Murray, Robert Swfit and Rick Brunson. Brunson will practice tommorow and should be able to go on Sunday v. Sacramento. Brunson is going to vital for this team. If he can play the back-up point guard with consistency and for some extended runs the Sonics will be putting this thing back together.

How good has the offense been?

Over the last three games the Sups have improved in the following categories offensively (key word)
Efficiency rating from 93.9 to 116.2 (116.2 would be #1 in the NBA for the season)
Turnover % dropped from 16.7 to 12.0 (#2 in the NBA)
Effective Field Goal from 44.2 to 52.3 (#2 in the NBA)
Free Throws per game from 27.4 to 34 (#1 in the NBA)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE -- November 17th

Minnesota 109 Washington 98 – Another great win for Case …. Games was basically tied to start the 4th and Minnesota clutched up. That has been tough for Minny because teams have been denying the ball to KG and they haven’t had anyone else step up. The sad thing is that KG is one of the best distrubtors in the game so it should be easy to play off of him. Tonight they did Richie Frahm had 16 and Wally World had 17…. KG is one of a kind 25-13-9 … Wolves outrebounded the Wiz 45 to 31 …. I always thought Frahm was the perfect back-up to Ray Allen. He can shoot the lights out, he is strong and physical and willing to defend. Send him in for 10 minutes to beat the guy up and hit a shot or two. It always seemed perfect … Minnesota shot 54%. This jumps out because early this year Washington was playing the best defense in the league and the last few games they have stopped defending … I have always believed that Minnesota is best when they go small and play KG at the center. They won this game with a line-up of Hudson, Frahm, Wally, Griffin and KG. If Casey does that Minnesota will be tough.

Dallas 87 Atlanta 78
– Who wins a game first Atlanta or Toronto? ….. Marvin Williams made his first start …. It is almost impossible to evaluate any Hawk player because the team is so poor that someone has to score and rebound and you can’t tell if it is because they are good or if is out of existence …. Dallas only scored 11 points in the first quarter… Erick Dampier is such a bust. Tonight he played 20 minutes, was 0 for 2 fouled out and had 6 turnovers. … very strange substitution pattern by Mike Woodson the Hawks starting line-up went on a 10 to 2 run to open the game and a 9-1 run in the second half and he never played them together other then those times.

San Antonio 86 Houston 80
– Houston slips to 3-5 … Houston never led …. Yao Ming scored just one point in the second half …. The Spurs signed Alex Scales who was in the Sonics camp. He was active but did not play …. The three starters for the Rockets other then Yao and McGrady were a combined 3 for 16. That is not much help …. Van Gundy has been yo-yoing rookie Luther Head from not playing to 20+ minutes….. Juwan Howard and Derek Anderson were –14 in 20 minutes …. Interesting Yao Ming was +8 in 42 minutes. That means in the 6 minutes he was off the floor they got outscored by 14 points.


It is looking more and more like the Mariners are going to sign Japanese catcher Kenji Jojima. He cancelled his visit with the Mets today and has not visited any other team.

This is a really big deal. Believe it or not this is a big deal signing for the Mariners.

The focus all season is left handing hitting and pitching, but another really important thing is depth in the line-up. In my mind the biggest problem with the way the Mariners have been built is they give away outs throughout their line-up. They have dead spots all over the plce.

This move is a big deal when you consider how awful the mariners catching was last year. I don’t know if Jojima can duplicate his .300 30 HR Japanese numbers but, listen to these numbers.

There are two advanced ways to look at a baseball players performance, one is the Bill James equation of win shares. In the win shares department the Mariners catchers combined for 5 all year. If you combine all of them they would be 18th in the American League. Their aren’t 18 teams. If they get a catcher that is somewhat solid that is a big improvement.

The other measuring stick is Value over Replacement Player, the theory here is how did the player perform in comparisons to the average player called up from AAA. The Mariners catchers combined for –5. They had a below AAA catcher all year.

That is why this signing is a big deal. You don’t need to know anything about Jojima or have any idea what he is going to do and it is a big singing.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE - November 16th

Lakers 97 Knicks 92 – Phil over Larry .. Kobe had 42. Bryant took an insane 36 shots … Knicks rookie Channing Frye had 21. He has played great in 2 of the last 3 … Marbury had just 4 points and had 9 shots. How long will he stay happy? …. Nate played 13 minutes but was 1 of 7, but he was +8. He has one of the Knicks best +/- ratings … Eddy Curry was a –16. In all his time with the Bulls he was a terrible +/- player. The Bulls worst most of the time. They were always a better team with him on the bench. How long until Larry Brown discovers this.

Memphis 115 Phoenix 103
– In Phoenix big win for Memphis. They are 6-3 … If the guard line of Stoudamire, Jones and Jackson can hold up Memphis might be ok … Memphis is playing the slowest pace in the league and they won at Phoenix’s game … Phoenix is 1-4 at home … Shawn Marion has a double-double every game …. Shane Battier has 18-10, he is moving his game into a different realm. If he really is a legit 12 to 14 point a night guy he is one of the most valuable players in the NBA. He plays defense and all of the little things if he is also filling a box score then he makes you a winner. The Sonics tried hard to get him, but it always was the deal breaker … Kurt Thomas was –24 in 26 minutes for Phoenix .. Phoenix never lead in the second half.

Portland 96 Chicago 93 – Why to go Nate !! I have watched a ton of Blazers and they are playing so hard and Nate is utilizing guys in a terrific fashion. If he wins with this team he will be in the elite of coaches in the NBA…. Michael Sweetney of Chicago was outstanding in the post late in the game. It makes the Eddy Curry trade look decent … This was a great 4th quarter battle. A Ratliff follow dunk was the winner … The Bulls do this trip every year because the circus in the United Center and since the 1999-2000 season, the Bulls are 1-39 on the annual road trip … Chicago crushed Portland on the boards 22 offensive rebounds to 6 … Plus/Minus was amazing in this game. Kirk Hinrick was +17 in 29 minutes. That means in the 19 minutes he was on the bench the Bulls were a –20, which might explain Chris Duhon’s –15… On Portland’s end Telfair was a +12, Dixon was a +10 but Jarrett Jack was –11. That is a reversal of many games this year.

Philadelphia 121 Toronto 115 – New question for the Sam Mitchell death watch, will he win a game before he is fired. Mitchell throw his clipboard at the scorer’s table and smashed it in the second half .. … Iverson is amazing. He dropped 42. If you have seen him in person it shocks you how small he is. I mean he is tiny. The fact that he takes the beating he takes and survives is overwhelming. In fact, the first time I saw him it shocked me a team would draft him #1 with his lack of size. Iverson never left the game in the second half. Iverson is 4th on the active player list in scoring. That is amazing. …. Igudoala had a career high 26 and hit 6 threes. If he can score Philly will be tough. I did an U of A game with Igudola when he was a freshman and I thought he would be the next Scottie Pippen …Mike James exploded for 38 for the Raptors … Jalen Rose played just 7 minutes.

Charlotte 122 Indiana 90 – This is the greatest win in Bobcat franchise history .. Kareem Rush had 35. Rookie Raymond Felton busted out with 18 points and 10 assists in his first start … Pacers had 26 turnovers … Charlotte won fast break points 24 to 1 … Charlotte had 17 steals … Sean May has linked a few good games together. He was on the top of my list on draft day last year. His game will translate to the NBA. .. Brutal +/- numbers for Indiana, Fred Jones was –29 in 22 minutes. David Harrison was –21 in 14 minutes. The topper Danny Granger was –16 in 7 minutes. On the flip side the Bobcats outscored the Pacers by 31 when Felton was on the floor and by 25 with Sean May… Pacers have lost two in a row

Denver 91 NOK 81 – Stop the presses Earl Watson was let out of Karl jail and played. In 21 minutes with Watson on the floor the Nuggets were +16. The Sonics need him to stay in jail so they can trade for him. Remember we pointed out last night how brutal Earl Boykins was in the previous game… Marcus Camby is the key to the Nuggets. Everything on this team revolves around his game and he had 15 points and 15 rebounds and was +11. That is a risky venture to be relying on Camby because he will miss games … Speedy Claxton was –14 for the Hornets ….. Denver had just 1 3. They can’t stretch the floor … NOK went 0 for 13 from 3. …. Denver is currently #22 in the NBA in offensive efficiency.

Milwaukee 90 Golden State 87 – This is a sign that Milwaukee may be a good team. They got crushed and bounced back…. Andruw Bogut came off the bench for the Bucks. Bogut had 9 points and 11 rebounds in 16 minutes … TJ Ford hit the key shot but went just 2 of 9. He is lightening fast but he is a poor shooter and the Warriors exploited his height all game. Nonetheless, he was a +9. That is a nice compliment to a player … Derek Fischer was +23 for the Warriors in 25 miunutes. In the 23 minutes he was on the bench the Warriors got outscored by 26 … Baron Davis was 4 for 21. He is a great player but he comes with a set number of losses every year with his play. Either via brutal shooting, turnovers or selfishness. Baron was –12 tonight.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Rashard Lewis is matching his all-star play of last season. This is very impressive. Teams are game planning for him more and more and Lewis has an answer everynight..
Talking to Bob Hill before the game and he really made it sound like their advantage in the game was R. Lewis and the inability for any opponent to match up on him.
Tonight Lewis has 18-6-5 and 5 STEALS !!!!
Nick Collison has another double-double. He is going to get close to one everynight with these types of minutes
Seattle did a really nice job of valuing possessions in this game.
Some how a 2-4 trip seems dramatically different then a 1-5 trip.
The Sonics next 6 games are at or below .500. If they could win 5 of those 6 then this team is suddenly 8-6. That would probably put them in first place in the Northwest.
How one game changes everything?
Career highs for Luke in assists and Collison in rebounds.

Time Substitution
4th Quarter
Starters: Cleaves, Wilkins, Lewis, Evans, Collison
10:00 Vlady for Evans
9:59 Allen for Wilkins
8:28 Ridnour for Cleaves (up 13)

Sonics 102 Celtics 85 with 4:11 left in the 4th Q
The Sonics are playing their best line-up. Ridnour, Allen, Lewis,. Vlady and Nick
The floor spacing is outstanding
If the Sonics lead the instinct is to go to a more defensive line-up but this team is going to win by beating people with their offense and if they lead I would doubt many teams can outscore that line-up. That is how they won in the past.

Sonics 96 Celtics 81 with 8:00 left in the 4th Quarter
Rashard Lewis just made a great play. In transition up by 13 the Sonics pushed and Lew by passed a three with a pump fake and drive to the basket to put the Sups up 15. In the past it has felt like the Sonics have taken the three and then missed and the opponent goes the other way in transition. This is what I call valuing a possession.

Sonics 92 Celtics 79 with 9:59 left in the 4th Quarter
Celtics on 4-0 run to open Q
Terrible offense from the Sonics on the opening possessions of the 4th
I really think you have to play Vlady with the line-up this line-up that opened the Quarter. The minute I wrote that he entered the game.
I really like the Sub pattern with Wilkins splitting between the 2 and the 3. the only problem is how poorly Wilkins is playing. The hope would be if you keep him in that role he can get comfortable and play well. He needs to do it soon.

Sonics 92 Celtics 75 at the end of 3 Quarter
Seattle answers with a 9-0 run. If you play the game correctly you will be rewarded.
Luke notches a double double. In the opening storylines we had how Luke would perform against the lesser point guards of the Celtics. Thus far he has passed with flying colors. The success of the team will be dictated by how Ridnour does in games where he does not have the advantage at the point.
Here are the subs for the 3rd Quarter
Time Substitution
5:36 Vitaly for Petro
3:17 Evans for Collison
3:17 Wilkins for Lewis

Sonics 77 Celtics 63 with 5:26 left in the 3rd Quarter
Great start of the 2nd half by Seattle.
The Celtics have answered with a 8-0 run of their own. The good news is that Seattle is still executing offensively and the possessions have been good. Defensively they are getting beat on the outside not on the inside. If they don’t panic they will be ok.
The ball movement continues.
The Sonics continue to keep the Celtics out of the paint.
Paul Pierce lacks energy. The Sonics need to make him play D and not let him get anything easy to get going.
Nick Collison does a ton of little things on the floor. Talking to Sonics assistant Bob Hill he talked about his floor movement and his understanding of where to move.
Johan Petro is still really lost with where he is supposed to be on the offense
Nick Collison is the answer at power forward

Sonics 63 Boston 45 at the half
Another 12-1 run by the Sups
Early in the game the Sonics allowed the Celtics into the paint and they have gotten the Celtics away from that.
The Sonics are running a great half court offense.
The best part of it is that the Sonics are spaced well and that means they are also offensive rebounding well and they getting back in transition at a much better rate.
Seattle’s zone defense has been very good.
Here are the substitutions for the second quarter
Time Substitution
2nd Quarter
Starters: Cleaves, Wilkins, Lewis, Radman, Vitaly
7:50 Ray Allen for Wilkins
7:50 Nick Collison for Vlady Radman
6:15 Luke Ridnour for Mateen Cleaves (up 11)
5:28 Reggie Evans for Vitaly Potapenko

Sonics 45 Celtics 34 with 5:28 left in the 2nd Quarter
Sonics open on a14-4 run
Al Jefferson is not much of athlete. He doesn’t have a lot of lift and he is awful defensively.
Dan Dickau got a very very short run
Sonics help defense is getting to the post much quicker.
Boston comes into the game as a good defensive rebounding team, but it is not evident. Nick Collison is raising havoc on the offensive glass keeping balls alive.
Mateen Cleaves just gave Seattle a GREAT 7 minutes.

Sonics 41 Celtics 30 qith 8:53 left in the 2nd Quarter
Mateen Cleaves hit two shots and is playing well as the back-up point
We highlighted Boston as a turnover prone team in the Storylines and it is holding true right now.
Great jump by the Sonics to open the 2nd Quarter.
Last night they struggled when they integrated the starters.

Sonics 31 Boston 28 end of the 1st Quarter
Allen is on fire 5 of his first 7
Seattle is hitting 65%.
Boston has a bad bench. Seattle has to take advantage of that.
Damien Wilkins needs a talent readjustment
Seattle defensive rebounding is not adequate
The Celtics shot chart would be amazing. I have them with 10 layups or 2 footers in the first quarter.
Here are the subs for the quarter

5:00 Vitaly for Petro
3:23 Wilkins for Lewis
2:14 Vlady Rad for Nick Collison
1:03 Cleaves for Ridnour (2 fouls)

Celtics 17 Sonics 16 with 5:44 left in the 1st Quarter
Celtics are getting layup after layup.
The Sonics defense is non-existent
The Celtics are going to the post and then the Sonics wilt.
The Sonics offense is matching the Celts but they don’t have a prayer unless they secure the middle of the paint.
This is ridiculous the Celtics are just going to the basket unabashed. There is no resistance.
When did LaFrentz change his first name?

1) Boston forces turnovers, can Seattle take care of the ball
2) Luke Ridnour - can he match up on an inferior group of point guards
3) Rebounding. The Sonics are currently 30th in the NBA in defensive glass
4) LOOSE BALLS -- The Sonics lost the game last night largely because of two loose balls they didn't hustle after.

Inactives for the Sonics: Rick Brunson, Flip Murray and Danny Fortson


Of the Sonics top 20 on floor line-ups used last year only 4 of them remain on this team.
Here are how those 4 did last season. Win means that in a game that group of 5 outscored the opponent and a loss is a game when that group of 5 were outscored.

Mins +/- W L Pct
Ridnour-Allen-Lewis-Radmanovic-Evans 177 +49 26 15 63.4
Ridnour-Allen-Lewis-Evans-Collison 70 -15 7 11 38.8
Ridnour-Allen-Lewis-Radmanovic-Fortson 64 -1 8 8 50.0
Ridnour-Allen-Lewis-Radmanovic-Collison 57 -2 7 9 43.7.


LA Clippers 109 Milwaukee 85 –Andruw Bogut had his first tough night 15 minutes and 2 points, and he was -23 … This game was done before the 4th Quarter … The Clippers are 6-2 …. Milwaukee didn’t win a game last year against the West on the road … Elton Brand was +31. That might be an NBA high for the season. .. The Clippers are 6th in the NBA in efficiency differential … The Clippers aren’t doing anything great they are just above average in every category. That leads me to believe this could be real.

Cleveland 114 Washington 99 – The Cavs might be special. They have won 4 straight and are winning at home by an average of 21 … The Cavs are #2 in the NBA in efficiency differential (offense efficiency – defensive efficiency) this is usually a great indicator of how good a team is. They are #2 in offense and #1 in offensive rebounding … The Wizards are #4 even after the loss …. AD had another no turnover game. He is amazing … Donyell Marhsall was a key in this one with a +21 … On the flip side Caron Butler was –23 for the Wiz.

Dallas 83 Denver 80 – Denver is 3-5 … Dallas trailed by 19 … DeSagana Diop had a career high 16 boards and 6 blocks. The Sonics looked hard at Diop in the off-season … Big money Erick Dampier played 11 minutes and had 4 fouls, 4 turnovers and no points. That is straight out of the Jerome James book of centering … Little Earl Boykins had a tough night he was a –20 in 25 minutes … Avery Johnson outcoached Geroge Karl. He got the game small and Marcus Camby never played in the final 16 minutes despite being +10 .. Doug Christie and Josh Howard got pulled early in the 3rd and never returned.

Houston 94 Minnesota 89 – The Wolves offense fell apart down the stretch … McGrady had 13 points in the 4th Q … Houston was able to dictate pace which Jeff Van Gundy’s teams always seem like they are able to do … Houston is having a tough time stretching the floor. They were just 1 of 10 from 3 … I have mentioned this before, but Minnesota has no one to help out when teams take away KG. That is what happened down the stretch … Houston closed the game with Rafer Alston, Jon Barry, McGrady, Juwan Howard and Ming. Derek Anderson was on the bench …. Minnesota got terrible play from their bench. They were all around –11 for the game… Houston’s sized forced Minnesota to close with Olowokandi on the floor. The Wolves are much better with a smaller line-up and KG at the 5.

Philadelphia 104 Toronto 92
– Sam Mitchell death walk continues … Philly is all of a sudden 5-3. However, their differential is not that strong so don’t be buying the Sixers yet …. The Sixers have been home for their 5 game winning streak … Rookie Charlie V had 27-13 for the Raptors. That dude can play … Jalen Rose is +/- death everynight. Last night he was –15, Mo Peterson was an amazing –26 in 23 minutes…. I don’t pup C-Web or spell his name right very often but he was great last night and they were +21 when he was on the floor.

Detroit 115 Boston 100 – Wow is Detroit good …. They are the #1 offensive efficiency team in the NBA. Consider that with their defense. That is unbeatable … Billups dropped 17 in the third quarter … Al Jefferson crushed Darko over a few plays … Boston shot 53% against Detroit and LOST … Boston is really struggling without a point guard Delonte West and Dan Dickau are not getting it done …. All five Pistons starters were in double figures and three were over 20. …. Tayshawn Prince was a +26 …

Miami 109 NOK 102
– Wade scored the final 8 to hold off an upset by NOK and force OT …. Byron Scott is not a good coach. His team losses a lot of close games … Desmond Mason is still struggling. He came off the bench and went 1 for 7. He did have 9 boards … GP played 36 minutes … Chris Paul has done a nice job of getting his shooting percentage up to 46% … Jason Williams did not play the final 12 minutes of the game.

Sacramento 119 Utah 83 --- I thought the NBDL was running yet but from looking at Utah’s roster it debuted yesterday in Sacramento. Don’t look at this as a change in Sacramento’s terrible play.

San Antonio 103 Atlanta 73 -- Great v. very bad not much more to be said.

Orlando 85 Charlotte 77 – Dwight Howard crushed Emeka Okafor. Howard had 21 and 20. We have talked about this I am not sold on Okafor. Howard has five straight double doubles…. Sean May had 15-10 his best game as a rookie. I love that pick.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


At 103-97 Jefferson just made a great shot. That is the tough thing about playing from behind. Great players made great plays.
Great play out of the timeout by Weiss for a Vlady 3
Another bad possession on an airball three by Allen. Luke blew it up after a dribble off his foot.
Vlady committed a poor foul giving Kidd two free throws.

Nets 99 Sonics 90 with 2:55 left in the 4th Quarter
Offensively Seattle just doesn’t have the late game flow they need.
They have converted on just 2 of the last 9 possessions.
They were: Cleaves missed layup, Allen no quick 3, Kidd steal, Lewis bucket, Lewis no 3, Ridnour missed drive, Vlady no on a covered 3, Petro follow for 2, Ridnour no on open 3. They are missing some shots they need to make and one or two poor possessions really cost you at this point in the game.

New Jersey 87 Sonics 84 with 8:42 left in the 4th Quarter
Ray Allen got his first field goal on the first play of the 4th Quarter
I can begin to understand why the coaches struggle with Vlady. He went soft to a loss ball with the score 83-78. It would have been a huge turnover. Instead NJ converted.
But his ability to stretch the floor and hit the 3 is s dynamic. That is the Vlady dilemma

Nets 79 Sonics 70 end of 3rd Quarter
The Sonics defensive plan is working and they are still down
Kidd is 2 of 10; Carter is 3 of 8; Jefferson is 4 of 9.
You would take that every night. However, Krstic is killing them.
That is because they have not had good enough spaced help defense.
This one is getting away. The offensive flow has disappeared.
Mikki Moore has been a disaster. He has two turnovers and is getting beat down low.
All off season we thought Damien Wilkins was a good defensive player and I have not seen it yet this season.
I know Vlady has been poor but down 11 points I would think that he is a better choice then Moore.

Nets 67 Sonics 61 with 5:00 left in the 3rd Quarter
Sonics on a 7-0 run
The Sonics got their first stop of the quarter at 5:30 on the Nets 10th possession of the 3rd Quarter.
The Nets are putting Carter on Ridnour so that he can become a freelancer doubling team and raising havoc.
Danny Fortson is out for the rest of the game.
Ray Allen still doesn’t have a field goal.

Nets 63 Sonics 52 with 7:37 left in the 3rd Quarter
Nets come out of the half and score on 7 straight possessions
The Sonics defensive rebounding has been poor this year and it is bad to start the quarter. Three of the Nets scores are off offensive rebounds.
Carter has been matching up on Ridnour.
Lewis keeps giving Jefferson one step too many on the three. You have to respect his drive but Lewis is long enough that he should be able to close tighter.
The Nets have made some nice adjustments off the Sonics double teams.

Sonics 48 Nets 48 at the Half
Reggie Evans clogs the floor terribly. Plus, his incompetence at the line is death.
The halfcourt execution has been very good at times.
The thing that jumps out to me is when this team shots early in a possession or in transition the shots are not falling. This means transition for the other side.
I like that Ridnour is showing a willingness to shot even though he has been struggling. They are not forced shots and if teams are going to leave him he has to make the shot or this team will never win.

Sonics 41 Nets 41 with 2:08 in the 2nd Quarter
The offensive drought hit again midway through the 2nd quarter.
Ray Allen is not on his game tonight

Sonics 27 Nets 19 end of 1st Quarter
Everyone I talk to about the Nets talk about Kristic as a future start
Cliff Robinson playing instead of a Jason Collins is a big deal. Collins is one of the ebst defensive players in the NBA and Robinson is very poor.
Without question the Sonics best defensive quarter.
Nick Collison has been amazing. Two put backs and two 18 foot jumpers.
If Collison hits the 18 footer this team gets tough and he becomes a huge asset.
Collison has 8 points and 4 rebounds in the first quarter
The Nets were 8 for 21 from the field.

Sonics 11 Nets 2 with 7:38 left in the 1st Quarter
Petro throws a very good outlet pass and that might get the Sonics running.
On a few fast breaks early the Sonics have done a better job spacing the floor and this has opened up driving lanes.
Flip Murray is out with back spasms for at least the first half. Sonics made a nice move having Cleaves active.
The Sonics defense is holding the Nets to outside 18 footers and that is not a strength of Carter and Jefferson.

Sonics inactives
: Brunson, Potapenko and Swift


1) Can the Sups guard Carter and Jefferson
2) Was Collison's 20-10 night a fluje or is he a legit starter?
3) Ridnour against Kidd without AD to help him out.
4) Sonics defensive rebounding (#30 in the NBA) against the Nets offensive rebounding (#3 in the NBA)

Sonics +/- at this point

Brunson +3 65.2 32.6 +32.6
Petro -7 97.8 101.5 -3.7
Fortson -12 95.6 103.7 -8.1
Moore -12 113.8 156.4 -42.7
Cleaves -17 81.3 98.3 -17.1
Evans -22 91.7 102.5 -10.8
Allen -25 99.2 104.4 -5.2
Collison -32 97.0 107.3 -10.3
Potapenko-39 82.2 108.2 -26.0
Radmanovic-45 86.6 106.1 -19.5
Ridnour -54 91.9 104.7 -12.8
Lewis -55 95.1 108.4 -13.2
Wilkins -68 82.9 118.8 -35.9
Murray -75 91.3 124.3 -33.1

The things that jump out at me are ..
1) The terrible defensive numbers with Wilkins in the game
2) Last year the offense was great with Vlady
3) Ray Allen has to be on the floor
4) The defense is noticably better with Petro in the game
5) The second best offensive rating is with Nick on the floor

Any thoughts?

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE - November 14th

Memphis 85 Lakers 73 – Punched a hole in that triangle … This game was over by the end of 3 quarters. Memphis was up 26 …. Kobe was off for the second straight night. Phil Jackson claims he has a hand injury …. My favorite quote is this, “He was just reluctant to shoot.” I promise those words have never before been spoken about Kobe. On the other hand, every team Kobe has been on has had this quote. Lamer Odom: “We're not sharing the ball and we're not trusting each other defensively or offensively." … Spoken like a guy who had only 8 shot attempts …. Kwame Brown is really struggling for the Lakers. He is averaging 6 points per game and shooting around 35% …. Memphis had three guys with double digit rebounds…. Kobe was a –27. All of the Lakers starters were close.

New York 73 Utah 62 – Yes they played the 4th quarter and still scored like this …. Is their any team in the NBA more dependent on a player then Utah on Kirlenko, who is out with an ankle injury … Utah had 8 points in the third quarter …. Jamal Crawford got extended run, 35 minutes, for the first time under Larry Brown … Q. Richardson was +16 and Marbury was +13 .…. Nate Robinson played just 8 minutes and was a –2…. The Knick rank last in the NBA in offensive efficiency. Largely, because they are #1 in turnover percentage.

Golden State 100 Chicago 82 --- 100 points against Chicago is pretty impressive … More shocking is the Warriors are the #1 team in the NBA in defensive efficiency …. Tyson Chandler is really struggling in the middle, he only lasted 20 minutes due to foul trouble … Troy Murphy is remarkably money every night with 15 or so points and 8 or so rebounds …. Scott Skiles said he thought his team “quit” and his subs showed it. Chris Duhon got pulled early in the third and never returned. He pulled all of the other 4 starters in one full swoop … Mr +/- Adonal Foyle had another great game at +15.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Boston 102 Houston 82 – I didn’t know that Raef LaFrentz could score 32 points …. Who is it on Houston that couldn’t stop LaFrentz. Think about that someone, either Juwan Howard, Stromile Swift or someone couldn’t stop LaFrentz …. LaFrentz did hit 7 three pointers … It may have been Howard who was a remarkable –27 in only 21 minutes … Houston had only 11 assists and shot just 38% …. Houston was a –21 when Derek Anderson was on the floor and he only played 17 minutes ….. Boston opened this game on a 28-12 run. Houston was never in it.

Cleveland 108 Orlando 100
– Larry Hughes finally has his bust out game for the Cavs. 22-9-7 and 4 steals …. Is it a surprise this happens when being guarded by Steve Francis? …. Cleveland closed the game with Donyell Marshall instead of Drew Gooden. Marshall hit a 3 at the end of regulation to put the game into overtime… Cleveland is 5-2 and they rank #4 in the NBA in efficiency ranking. They might be for real.

Philadelphia 113 Clippers 108 – How does this team ever win with Chris Weber. He took 17 shots and scored only 13 points. He know has 23 points in his last 30 shot attempts. Has their ever been a worse 20-9 player in the NBA? ….. Philly has won 4 in a row … Sam Cassell is having the ultimate 35 year old season. One night he has it and the next his legs don’t come to the arena. Tonight he was 1 for 10 …. Elton Brand had a another huge game 32-11 on 10 of 16 shooting …. I am really surprised that Chris Kaman is not developing into a player … Lee Nalion was +14 for Philly …. Quiten Ross is starting in place of Maggette and has a better +/- almost every night …. Chris Wilcox kills the Clippers every time he comes on the floor.

Denver 102 Minnesota 91
– Coach Karl over Coach Casey … Marko Jaric’s minutes are slowly diminishing for Minnesota …. Voshon Lenard is out of the starting line-up for Denver and DeMarr Johnson is in. Johnson had 17 points and 12 rebounds and was +20 in 32 minutes ….. Is this a good night? Wally world had 20 points in 27 minutes but in those 27 minutes Minnesota was outscored by 14 …… Denver is 3-4 and Minnesota is 3-3 who is going to win the Northwest?

New York 105 Sacramento 95 – Sacramento is about as bad as Seattle to start the season. Kings fans were blaming a brutal schedule. How do they explain this? …. Nate Robinson only played 9 minutes but the Knicks were +9 when he was on the floor …. Chaning Frye had a great night he was +21 in 19 minutes and had 19 points and 6 rebounds. Kenny Thomas, notoriously one of the worst defenders in the NBA was in the game for Sacramento against Frye … Thomas was –23 in 12 minutes …. Coach killer Bonzi Wells was –13 in 29 minutes .. The Kings never lead.


Sonics 126 Raptors 121 –SONICS WIN
Collison offensive rebound on a Lewis airball miss and puts it up and in.
Collison is fouled and hit the free throw.
Collison has 20 points and 12 rebounds in his first start.
Jalen Rose missed a three on the play before. If you have Rose you will lose.
Sonics win in overtime without Ray Allen

Sonics 123 RAptors 119 with 2:00 in overtime
Perfect Nick and Luke pick and roll for Nick lay-up
Lewis hits a nasty 1 on 1 move. He has 41.
Hello to all of you at the Hawks game hitting refresh. It looks like it is a lot of you.

Sonics 117 Raptors 117 going into overtime
Sonics collapse. Allowing 40 + points in the 4th Q
Big plays late.
Rashard Lewis crashed for an offensive rebound on an Allen miss and got the rebounding and earned two free throws hitting them both
Petro fouled Charlie V as he was about to dunk and Charlie hit only one of two free throws.
A terrible in bound pass put Allen in a double team on the sideline and Allen committed an offensive foul.
The Raptors got the ball with :12 a chance to win. Jose Calderon turned it over. Vlady then hit both free throws to put the Sups up by three points.
Ray Allen fouled Mike James, with 4.2 seconds left which I believe is the correct play, James hit the first but on the second free throw he missed intentionally and Charlie V tip it up and then Bosh tip it in at the buzzer. Tied the game.
Committing the foul is the correct play.
However, it was Allen’s 6th foul he will not play the OT.

Sonics 113 Raptors 110 with 1:28 left in the game
Sonics have 7 tunrovers in the 4th Quarter
Raptors on a 7-0 run and it is nervous time.
Sonics stars are not moving the ball.
Sups closing with the starting line-up: Ridnour, Allen, Lewis, Collison and Petro
Vlady has played just 10 minutes today. Let’s see how he reacts to this.
Reggie Evans and Damien Wilkins were way down on minutes
Ray Allen has had some bad possessions tonight
The more these guys play with Nick the more they will appreciate his game.

Sonics 108 Toronto 100 with 4:00 left in the game
The offense left the building to open the 4th quarter. Vlady hit 2 threes and then the Sonics didn’t score on the next 9 possessions.
Weiss leaves Lewis in the game with 7:30 left and 5 fouls.
Petro staying in the game
Lewis has been the all-star Lewis today. He has carried this team.
Mike James is on fire with back to back 3’s
The Raptors are doubling Lewis every time he touches.
Big bucket by Ridnour on an open 17 footer
Close call is called a block that could have been foul #6 on Lewis.

Sonics 97 Raptors 85 with 9:02 left in the 4th Quarter
Lewis has taken over the game scoring the last 3 possessions. All part of a 20-5 lead by the Sups.
This game the Sonics have been much more patient offensively.
Johan Petro is getting an extended run.
The game just got out of control and the Raptors are on a 6-0 run
Not sure why Weiss went to Damien Wilkins. Wilkins has been terrible so far this season.

Sonics 76 Raptors 64 with 4:40 left in the 3rd Quarter
Ridnour is hitting his mid-range shot
This team is much better with Collison on the floor then Evans.
Collison double-double in his first start and numerous strong picks to free players.
This team is much better with Petro on the floor then Vitaly.
Vitaly has lost some much lift and lateral movement that Petro makes a dramatic difference with his energy.
All of this said they are playing a terrible team.
The key to this game will still be what happens when they go to the bench

Sonics 73 Raptors 63 with 7:22 left in the 3rd quarter
Toronto is getting too many points on the offensive glass. Last year the Raptors caroled just 23.7 % of the eligible offensive rebounds and this year they have only pulled down 21%. These are historically bad numbers and the Sonics have given up 14 second chance points.
I really like Petro on the floor. He is young and will struggle but he does some things very very well and will only get better.
This starting line-up is playing very well together.
No team with Jalen Rose will ever win.

Sonics 61 Raptors 55 at the end of the half
Lewis 20 points
Flip 11 points
Collison 10 pts 8 rebs
Sonics 50% Raptors 54%
Free Throws Sonics 17-19 and Raptors 2-2

Sonics 57 Raptors 49 with 2:57 left in the 2nd Quarter
The rotation tonight is very succinct. Amazing how much easier when guys are playing well.
Rashard Lewis is carrying the load offensively. 20 points
Sonics have already taken 19 free throws and the Raptors have not taken any.
Sonics have scored 12 straight possessions.
Sonics are dominating the offensive glass.
Charlie V is the real deal.

Sonics 41 Raptors 35 with 7:52 left in the 2nd Quarter
The two worst defensive teams have finally arrived.
Charlie Villenauva is killing Reggie Evans. Evans is notorious for not wanting to leave the paint because it takes him out of rebounding position and Charlie V has hit two threes and then blew by Evans when he did close out for a dunk.
Murray has his offensive game going for the first time this season.

Raptors 28 Sonics 27 with 10:15 left in the 2nd Quarter
Turnovers and defensive breakdowns start out the 2nd quarter.
Raptors on a 20-10 run.
Will the Sonics press again or will they play calmly?

Sonics 25 Raptors 23 end of the 1st Quarter
Sonics lead 21-17 when they went to the bench
Collsion did a nice job starting. 8 points and 6 rebounds
The help defense has been very good.
Flip Murray might be the worst defensive player in the NBA.
A play that epitomized Vlady this year. Reggie threw a poor outlet pass and Vlady waited for the ball to get to him instead of going to the ball and it resulted in a turnover.
Mike James is lighting Seattle up with 13 1st quarter points.

Sonics 21 Raptors 17 with 3:32 left in the 1st Quarter
Petro’s athleticism is awesome. He made a simple move on the baseline that most 7 footers could never make. It is why he needs to start. His weakside defense has been good early in the game. In addition, he has missed two shots in the post and on both of them Collison put them back up and in on the weakside.
Here comes Flip. This is when the Sonics have been killed this year.

Sonics 17 Raptors 8 with 6:35 left in the 1st Quater
My big question about Collison starting is whether or not he can stay out of foul trouble guarding the topic power forwards in the NBA.
The raptors are the worst offensive rebounding team and the Sonics are the worst defensive team rebounding.
These are the two worst defensive teams in the NBA

Bob Weiss will change the starting line-up today.
PG -- Luke Ridnour
SG -- Ray Allen
SF -- Rashard Lewis
PF -- Nick Collsion
C -- Johan Petro

How he will substitute after that is unclear?


In preparing for the game tomorrow morning between the Raptors and the Sonics I have made a discovery that terrifies me. Last year the Sonics went 52-30 and the Raptors went 33-49. However, they were the exact same team except the Sonics hit the offensive glass and the Raptors didn't. Check out the numbers below. Look how eerily similar they all are expect for the offensive rebounding numbers.
Realize the only reason the Sonics have a superior offensive efficiency number is the offensive rebounding.
What does this mean for the Sonics margain for error?

2004-05 Season
Stat Sonics Raptors
O Efficiency 109.2 105.2
Effective FG% 49.5 49.2
Offensive Reb% 32.4 23.7
Turnover % 13.3 13.0
Free Throws Per 26 25.6

D Efficiency 107.8 107.7
Def Effective FG% 49.6 49.9
Def Rebounding% 71.3 71.7
Def Turnover % 13.8 14.2


+/- for the season

Brunson +3
Petro -3
Moore -12
Cleaves -17
Fortson -19
Evans -21
Allen -27
Radmanovic -38
Potapenko -39
Collison -43
Ridnour -57
Lewis -65
Wilkins -67
Murray -80