Friday, December 23, 2005
The Sonics choked. They simply played awful basketball late in the game.
The amount of mistakes were staggering.
So many things were done well tonight. The overall defense on Dirk. The play with Ray Allen on the bench. The use of Vlady as the 3. The ability to spread the floor again. Danny Fortson in control for the most part. The overall defense.
Instead it is another loss and another shot to a team that has no confidence.
Mavs 99 Sonics 95 with :08.2 seconds left.
Flip Murray just committed a complete bonehead play. He left Jason Terry to guard a covered cutter leaving Terry wide open for a three and the Sonics lose.
One team knew how to make plays late and the other didn’t.
This is another terrible loss. The Sonics have no confidence down the stretch.
The Mavericks knew how to play the game late and the Sonics didn’t.
Mavs 96 Sonics 95 with 34.3 seconds left in the 4th quarter
Lewis made a great block on Dirk but then Ridnour threw the ball away in the open court and the Mavs dunk for the lead.
Ridnour followed one mistake with another compounding the problem.
He airballed the next possession. He should never be shooting.
Sonics 89 Mavs 88 with 3:43 left in the 4th Quarter.
Sonics are closing with Ridnour, Allen, Lewis, Radman and Collison
Mavs are living at the free throw line.
Dirk has 10 in the Quarter
Sonics 89 Mavs 83 with 4:52 left in the 4th Quarter
When Vlady is at the 3, Flip has more room and can be more effective offensively.
Mavs score their first points of the Quarter at 7:28 mark
Mavs get their first field goal at the 6:28 mark. They had not scored a field goal since the 2:00 mark of the 3rd
Sonics go on a 13-0 run
Dirk is so good. He is simply unguardable. He has buried back to back 17 footers and the defense was as good as it can be.
Sonics 83 Mavs 75 with 10:01 left in the 4th Quarter
Great surge to open the 4th Quarter
Vlady is playing the 3 and getting great looks and is on fire.
7-0 run to open the Q
Nowitzki is on the bench to open the Quarter thus far in the game the Mavs are -17 when he is on the bench. In comparison, the Sonics are +2 with Ray on the bench.
Sonics 76 Mavs 75 at the end of the 3rd Quarter.
Another big play where Collison didn’t have the hand strength to hold the ball.
The more Stackhouse plays the better for the Sonics
Devin Harris is out with an upset stomach. This is bad for the Sonics because it leaves Howard at the 2.
Ray Allen went to the bench at 71-71 with 3:20 and the Sonics were +1 again.
Sonics 71 Mavs 71 with 3:20 left in the 3rd Quarter
The defense with Vitaly on the floor tonight has been very good
Dirk had no help in the first half, but Josh Howard has 13 points in the 3rd to help the Mavs
Keeping this game close is unnerving when Dirk plays for the other team.
Howard is taking Ridnour to the post and killing the Sonics.
Ray Allen just went on another one of his adventures and threw it away
Sonics 66 Mavs 56 with 6:37 left in the 3rd Quarter
Luke returns for the second half
Dallas has 3 team fouls at the 11:03 mark
Lewis is stepping in the passing lanes and getting a steal or two a night
Ray Allen gets the Sonics first three at 7:50 in the 3rd
The defensive effort is good tonight.
The Sonics are working hard.
Sonics 52 Mavs 46 at the half
Luke Ridnour went down after getting hit in the shoulder and was in considerable pain.
Flip Murray and Cleaves will be the point guards until he comes back.
Ray Allen is just 2 of 9.
Vlady has been terrific on both ends of the floor.
Valdy and Danny were the key to the second quarter.
Sonics 48 Mavs 39 with 2:44 in the 2nd Quarter
Danny Fortson has been able to stay on the floor which is enormous.
The ref made a poor call on Danny and I am convinced when they went the other way the official told Weiss “my bad.”
Sonics have been unreal on the offensive end. They have scored on all but 4 trips this quarter.
Sonics 41 Mavs 33 with 5:29 left in the 2nd Quarter
In the pre-game we mentioned the only time the Mavs struggle is with Dirk on the floor and the Sonics just went on a 14-4 run with Dirk on the bench.
Sonics scored on 10 straight possessions
The game changed the minute Dirk came back in the game.
Sonics were +10 with Dirk on the bench and the Sonics were +1 with Allen on the bench that is the difference in the game
Sonics 35 Mavs 24 with 7:30 left in the 2nd Quarter
The Sonics biggest defensive problem is they allow guys to just run their cuts. They never impede the cutters across the lane or around the baseline.
Vlady is in as the back-up three. I like this move.
Lewis enters at the 2 with Vlady at the 3 and Fortson and Collison up front
14-4 to open quarter
Sonics 21 Mavs 20 at the end of the 1st Quarter
Holding the Mavs to 20 points classifies as defense.
The Sonics stayed even with Allen on the bench.
Sonics 18 Mavs 16 with 1:18 left in the 1st Quarter
The weakness in Dirk’s game is defense. It was obvious when Vitaly drove at Dirk and he was too slow to react and reached. He was too slow on Vitaly.
Is there a better pick and roll then Terry and Nowitzki?
I have been watching Nick Collison’s hands and I am amazed at how often the ball is ripped out of his hands and how often he can’t keep the handle.
Ray Allen out with two fouls (3:22 and up 1). The Sonics have been a disaster when Allen is on the bench, in fact they with Allen on the bench no team has been worse then the Sonics.
Sonics 12 Mavs 6 with 7:17 left in the 1st Quarter
First 12 points all Sonics come in the paint. The sonics game plan was to get to the second line of defense. Ralph Lewis told us on the pre-game that the second line of defense is weak and it has shown to be.
Mavs are blasting the pick and roll with Allen, which means they are doubling Allen everytime he comes off the pick.
Reggie Evans has the match up on Dirk but he is not playing the systems the Sonics wanted in their game plan. Dirk has 4 points and has been left open twice.
Some interesting numbers.
Reggie Evans continues to amaze -- career-high 21 points and season-high-tying 18 rebounds. Last 5 games he is averaging 12 points and 9 rebounds
Ray Allen last 5 games 28 points a game –22 of 42 from 3
Luke 3 of his last 15 from 3 and 19 of his last 60 from the field
Damien Wilkins is 1 of his last 10 over the past 4 games
5-1 on Fridays compared to 0-6 on Tuesdays
Dallas brings the toughest match-up in the NBA-Dirk (37-10 last night)
In wins Dirk averages 29 pts and in losses 19 pts in game and in wins he shots 49% and in losses he shots 37%
Jason Terry continues to prosper. 28 of his last 59 from 3.
The Mavericks are off to the second-best start in franchise history.
The Mavericks have won nine of their last 11 games
Last 6 games opponents are scoring 102 pts per game
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Today the leading steriod abuser franchise in Major League Baseball, the Seattle Mariners, added another one in Matt Lawton. The spin machine is working in full force today around his steriod use last season.
If you listen to everyone around Matt Lawton today including himself they are trying to tell you that he is very sorry for taking the steroids and that it is really ok because it was only for one game and it was just because of the pain. His agent quote is great … 'Hey, if I did it all season and hit 30 home runs, it would be something different. … No really it wouldn’t be any different. MATT LAWTON KNOWINGLY CHEATED. He was willing to cheat the game, the rules, and his fellow teammates to get on the playoff roster.
It is not an issue of the impact. It is an issue of the character of the individual who decides that it is ok to forsake all the rules and cheat for your own personal well being. The spin master are trying to dilute the story with all sorts of different thoughts, the length of time, his honesty, etc. All of that is irrelevant. Matt Lawton made a conscience knowing decision to cheat, to cheat in the most obvious way. That is all that needs to be known.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
On the darkest day of the year I have a very dark forecast for the Seattle Supersonics. Today I did a tremendous amount of statistical and historical statistical research on trends in the NBA. The numbers paint an ominous picture of what is about to take place for the Sonics. If you believe in numbers and you believe in statistical trends then the Sonics are on the threshold of a tremendous fall.
Here is what I found.
First, since 1988, year the Minnesota Timberwolves entered the NBA no team has had a defensive rating as bad as the Sonics current rating of 114.6. Defensive rating is figured as points allowed per 100 possessions.
The only teams that were anywhere close are as follows …..
30 teams since 1988 have had a defensive rating worse then 110. Three of those teams managed to get to 41 wins but none were above .500
Year Team Def Rating Wins
05-06 Sonics 114.6 ??
92-93 Mavericks 114.3 11
90-91 Nuggets 113.2 20
95-96 76ers 111.6 18
94-95 Pistons 111.6 28
89-90 Magic 111.6 18
97-98 Grizzlies 111.3 19
97-98 Nuggets 111.1 11
94-95 Wolves 111.1 21
The only real way to judge a defensive team from one year to the next is to judge them in relation to the league average. This accounts for increases and decreases in scoring trends. The Sonics defensive rating is 114.6 and the league average is 102.6. Therefore the Sonics are a –12.
Again this is the worst of any team in the NBA since the 1988 season and maybe longer.
Here are the other terrible teams and their success rate …..
Year Team Def to Avg Wins
05-06 Sonics -12 ???
99-00 Clippers -10.46 15
99-00 Warriors -9.22 19
92-93 Mavericks -9.21 11
97-98 Grizzlies -8.63 19
99-00 Grizzlies -8.63 22
03-04 Magic -8.59 21
99-00 Bucks -8.49 42
90-91 Nuggets -8.49 20
97-98 Nuggets -8.39 11
The only team that won more then 22 games was Ray Allen’s Milwaukee Bucks.
None of this accounts for how good the Sonics are offensively. Therefore, I looked at efficiency differential, offensive efficiency minus defensive efficiency and charted 16 years of efficiency differential and its correlation to wins. The Sonics currently have an efficiency differential of –7.2, 4th worst in the league. History says that over the past 16 years teams with a –7.2 win between 21 and 28 games.
The most alarming findings were the following over the last 16 years …
No team with an efficiency differential of –7 or worse has ever won 30 games.
No team with an efficiency differential of –6 or worse has ever won 35 games.
No team with an efficiency differential of –5 or worse has ever won 37 games.
No team with an efficiency differential of –4 or worse has ever won 39 games.
What does all this gobbley gook mean? If this team does not alter the way they are playing in a gargantuan fashion they are on going to go on a slide we have rarely seen. A slide that could mean losing as many as 70% of the rest of their games.
Otherwise, he still believes last year's team played up-tempo when they played slow which I believe is the largest change from last year and maybe the biggest reason for the struggles.
FOXSports.com - NBA- Sonics struggling to regain magic of last year: "Let's see now ... Jerome James is buried deep in Larry Brown's dog house. Antonio Daniels has thus far been a bust with the Wizards. And Nate McMillian's Blazers are even worse than the Sonics.
Blame the Sonics' woes, then, on evaporated chemistry, over-blown long-range contracts, and a failure to adequately refurbish the roster."
Fantastic news today out of the NFL, five Seahawks players will be representing the NFC in the Pro-Bowl. The selections of Matt Hasselback, Shaun Alexander, Steve Hutchinson and Walter Jones were obvious and deserving.
The most exciting news is that Mack Strong has finally been recognized for being a pro-bowl player.
Strong has played his entire career hidden in Seattle. This is a wonderful accomplishment for a wonderful man. Strong sacrifices at a level that may not be equaled by any player in the NFL. He is Alexander’s personnel protector and deserves as much credit for the yardage records, the red zone success and amazing running games.
This is another reminder of how deadly the Hawks are when they run over the left side. They have a pro-bowler hand off to a pro-bowler who gets a lead block from a pro-bowler running behind two pro-bowlers. Awesome.
Congrats to these five.
That is tough enough. But when the Hawks' offensive staff draws up a play solely designed to blow up those patterns, the task becomes impossible.
That is exactly what the Hawks' offensive staff did on Shaun Alexander's 53-yard run Sunday on the second drive of the game."
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Suns 98 Suns 76 with 5:33 left in the 4th Quarter
This game is over.
Another blow out
Flip finishes the night -15 in16 minutes that is quite an accomplishment.
The Sonics have a serious point guard problem.
Suns 81 Sonics 66 at the end of 3 Quarters
Luke has a really poor 3rd quarter going 0 for 5 from the floor.
What a great defensive game plan when the Sonics main guys taking shots are Reggie Evans and Luke Ridnour
Sonics have become turnover prone in the Quarter.
The Suns are very good on ball defenders. Diaw and Bell are both terrific.
Just a side note – Flip was -2 in the Quarter. They were down 13 when he came in.
Suns 61 Sonics 49 with 9:04 left in the 3rd Quarter
Suns force three turnovers early in the third quarter
Luke Ridnour must become a better finisher in the open floor.
Suns 54 Sonics 44 at the half
Sonics are struggling to score against a good defensive team.
They are even when Flip is not on the floor.
Offense will be the key to the second half. The Sonics need to shoot free throws and make shots to slow down the Suns running.
Suns 46 Sonics 40 with 3:54 left in the 2nd Quarter
Reggie Evans has been unreal. He has 17 points and 12 rebounds. That is unreal. This is the first half. Amazing. He has been dominate.
Evans has dominated the glass and been a good offensive player in the post.
Yes that is not a Locke typo. Evans has been good offensively.
Thomas now has 4 fouls in the first half
Sonics 0 of 5 from 3
Danny Fortson is not with the team.
Flip is out and the Sonics are on a 7-0
Phoenix 46 Seattle 34 with 6:33 left in the 2nd Quarter
Same thing different night – Flip is basketball death
The Sonics were -10 when Flip was in the game.
This franchise ahs to make a trade tomorrow to get a back up point guard
Flip destroys everything. I mean everything.
Defensively he is the worst player in the NBA and that is hard to do considering who we compare him to on a nightly basis.
Offensively, he is so selfish that he sets off the selfish streak on all of teammates. For example, when he comes in and shoots on three of the first 4 possessions he is in the game, like he always does. Then Allen, who likes to get his shots, starts jacking up quick looks because he knows if he gives it up he will never see it. Then when Lewis comes back in he wants his looks. Flip sets off the selfish streak on all of his teammates. It works like this. If he is going to be selfish then so am I.
Suns 29 Sonics 24 at the end of the 1st Quarter
Offense left Seattle to close the Quarter
Flip Murray played the pound, pound, pound game and everyone else sat still
Nick Collison is in foul trouble again.
Sonics 20 Suns 19 with 2:50 left in the 1st Quarter
Luke is out with 2 fouls. Flip enters
If the Sonics stay with this style of defense and effort on defense they will be ok tonight.
Suns 14 Sonics 13 with 5:!4 left 1st Quarter
Reggie Evans just eliminated Kurt Thomas from the game. Evans drew three fouls from Thomas by the 9:00 mark of the game.
Sonics went to a zone and it has caused the Suns some issues.
Luke has two very good steals already. Also two great assists those were solely responsible for points
1) The Suns are the #2 defensive team in the NBA. Believe it or not they have struggled to score. They rank #21 in the NBA offensively in the last 10 games.
2) Can the Sonics guard the pick n roll?
3) Sonics ability to handle the Suns switching defense.
4) Luke Ridnour v. Steve Nash
Bill said that the Mariners may still pursue Ryan Franklin after not tendering him a contract, when there is a new financial situation. The Mariners would then be dealing with Franklin as a free agent. Meche was tendered and when asked if that is because Meche has more upside than Franklin, Bavasi responded by saying, “that is one way of looking at it.”
Bavasi also spoke on the left-hander Jake Woods, picked up today, and his future. Woods will either make the Mariners club or be sent to triple-A. Woods “does not have the stuff we may have on the club, but he has more command and a better breaking ball.” This move was a “shot at building up some arms that are more useful than what we have right now.”
There aren’t a lot of surprises. Here is the Top 10 and Bottom 10 in the NBA. .
1) Kobe Bryant (1 per 1.34 minutes)
2) Allen Iverson (1.40)
3) Dwayne Wade (1.59)
4) Carmelo Anthony (1.62)
5) Lebron James (1.62)
6) Tracy McGrady (1.63)
7) Dirk Nowitksi (1.66)
8) Eddie House (1.75)
9) Michael Redd (1.78)
10) Paul Pierce (1.78)
11) Vince Carter (1.78)
1) Michael Ruffin (1 per 10.07 minutes)
2) Aaron McKie (8.10)
3) Mark Madsen (8.14)
4) Diekembe Mutombo (7.45)
5) Theo Ratliff (7.30)
6) Desanga Diop (7.21)
7) Eric Snow (7.21)
8) Howard Eisley (6.75)
9) James Thomas (6.58)
10) Michael Bradley (6.37)
Monday, December 19, 2005
Great night by Rashard Lewis
The Sonics defended well enough
The Sups have hit 41 of their last 78 three over 4 games
Sonics 100 Wizards 92 with 3:12 left in the 4th Quarter
Sonics are stressing down the stress and this is getting tight.
Ray Allen just got stripped and committed a clear path foul.
Nick Collison does not seem to have very strong hands. He is losing a lot of loose balls.
Calvin Booth just missed back to back dunks for the Wizards --- ohhh did that look familiar. --- the debate starts again if he is the worst player in the NBA.
Ridnour huge three.
Sonics 96 Wizards 84 with 6:36 left in the 4th Quarter
Wizards are in the bonus at the 8:30 mark of the 4th Quarter with the Sonics up 11.
Luke is just 3 of 9 tonight. Another night where you need him to shoot better.
Amazing play by Rashard Lewis. The Sonics ran their show on the pick and roll and Collison stayed with Arenas as did Wilkins. This left Haywood open down low, but Lewis saw what was taking place and played coy and stole the pass when it came. Then he sprinted down to his spot and hit a huge three.
Sonics 89 Wizards 78 with 8:47 left in the 4th Quarter
Flip Murray is death for your team. He was yanked after 4 possessions and he screwed up 3 of them.
Murray’s terrible play cost the Sonics three fouls and the Sonics now have 4 team fouls at the 9 minute mark
The key has been keeping the Wizards off the foul line.
Vlady hits a huge 3 and Allen a great steal.
The Sonics are doing a nice job of answering every call tonight
Sonics 81 Wizards 74 at the end of 3 quarters
Sonics have scored on just 1 of their last 6 possessions
Collison just had Daniels in the post and didn’t score. He has to score on that play.
Zach Zarba one of the officials is having a tough night. The players are on him after ever call.
Weiss didn’t pull Ray at his usual time.
The key to the 4th Quarter will be the Sonics stress level. They have been pressing very badly in this building. The body language has made it obvious.
Sonics 77 Wizards 69 with 3:00 left
I have a bad feeling that this game is going to be tight here in a moment
Sonics have stopped defending. It will only take three possessions of missed shots for this to be tight.
Sonics 71 Wizards 61 with 6:29 left in the 3rd Quarter
It is funny to watch AD’s body language. He looks lost and frustrated.
Sonics allow Arenas a wide open three – let’s hope that doesn’t get him going.
Arenas opened the half free wheeling defensively and not guarding Luke. Luke responded by hitting three open jumpers.
Arenas now has 8 points in the quarter. Two threes and a fast break lay-up. All easy
Sonics 59 Wizards 47 at the half
kins buzzer beater
Very strong first half for the Sups
Sonics 55 Wizards 43 with 1:40 left in the 2nd Quarter
Why does Ray Allen insist on double teaming on Etan Thomas and Brendon Haywood.
Believe it or not the Sonics are missing Luke Ridnour defensively.
If Vlady wants time he is going to have to show that he can defend the three. Tonight is a good challenge with Caron Butler.
Sonics defense has created back to back opportunities for the offense
Huge sequence 9-0 run forcing three turnovers on the defensive end and three buckets on the offensive end.
Vlady has 9 points all from three point range
Sonics lead this game because of the three
Sonics 33 Wizards 25 with 8:55 left in the 2nd Quarter
Damien Wilkins is not having the improvement you would hope out a second year player. He is shooting only 35% and hitting only 5 of 20 threes. His defense and activity were supposed to be his strong points, but he isn’t impacting games like he did last year. Also he was supposed to be able to get to the free throw line with his drive and we haven’t seen that.
Vlady enters the game
Sonics 31 Wizards 21 with at the end of 1st Quarter.
Ray hits another sick buzzer beater to end the quarter.
The Wiz have only two field goals out of the half court. They have three field goals in transition, two off loose balls, two on offensive put backs.
Rashard is on fire tonight again in the 1st quarter with 13 points
The fast break has been better because Luke has had the ball in his hand. Too often the ball is in Ray’s hands and that is not his forte
Sonics 17 Wizards 13 with 4:39 left in the 1st Quarter
Vitaly’s talking on defense makes a world of difference.
One of the biggest issues the Sonics are having defensively is confusion on what game plans night to night. This cost them against Houston and Golden State. The coaching staff is going to simplify the plans and make them universal against all teams and the
n add when specific plans when they finally improve.
The Wizards are not guarding Vitaly and leaving Haywood in the post to defend.
The Sonics half court defense has been good, but their transition defense has not been very good.
1) Can the Soncis win at home
2) Two of the least good defensive rebounding teams, who will win the offensive rebounding battle
3) AD guarding Allen
4) Can the Sonics stop Gilbert Arenas penetration
5) Wiz lead the league in free throw attmepts per game (29.8) and the Sonics are the second worst in allowing free throws (29.8)
Antonio Daniels is in starting line-up for the Wizards and will guard Ray Allen. I hope you heard our pre-game interview with AD.
Vitaly will stay in the Sonics starting line-up.
These are the players whose off floor +/- rating per 48 minutes is more then -10.
The Sonics are depenedent upon Ray Allen. In fact, no team in the NBA is playing as poorly as the Sonics when Allen is on the bench. Interesting, that Channing Frye is #2 on the list and that all three of the Nets stars make the list. Realize this list almost automatically discounts any team that is playing very well as it would be impossible to be more then -10 on the bench on a good team.
Ray Allen -24
Channing Frye -14.9
Ricahard Jefferson -13.8
Vince Carter -13.7
Jason Kidd -13.3
Dwayne Wade -12.7
Paul Pierce -12.5
Alan Iverson-12. 0
Kevin Garnett -10.2
Brad Miller -10
Note -- this excludes the entire Portland team and Toronto who is -10 when they are on the bench since the team is -10