Saturday, December 31, 2005


Their were portions tonight where the Sonics played like they had it, the magical it.
The defense was terrible for the majority of the night.
Pau Gasol was the best player on the floor
Wilkins did well at the point tonight.

Grizz 98 Sonics 96 with 3.3 seconds left in the 4th Quarter
Sonics got killed down 2 on a unlucky bounce. They forced Bobby Jackson into a tough shot and he got it blocked but he got it back and flipped it to Dahanty Jones and he scored as the shot clock expired.
Ray took one of those pull up 3’s early in the clock that when they go down is awesome but this one rimmed out and it left Seattle down 6 with 2:00 left and Memphis had the ball.

Grizz 92 Sonics 88 with 3:25 left in the 4th Quarter
This was about as low as the team had been, Sonics have two stops in the 4th Quarter, it had become disgusting and Bobby Jackson just went waltzing through the lane with no resistance.
Then a spark. Wilkins jumped into a passing lane and had an impressive dunk going the other way. It got the crowd sparked. Then the ball bounced their direction because of hustle by Wilkins and then Flip played defense and hit a three off a lewis doubleteam in the post.

Grizz 88 Sonics 77 with 7:05 left in the 4th Quarter
Sonics have no offensive rebounds in the second half. The Grizz are 29th in the NBA in defensive rebounding.
The Sonics aren’t playing like a team any longer. It is so obvious when you see it that when it doesn’t happen it looks even worse.
Pau Gasol is conducting every thing and the other guys are knocking down the shots. He is either finding the open guy or every guy is open.

Grizzlies 82 Sonics 77 with 8:42 left in the 4th Quarter
Shane Battier has 5 three’s he is having a big time night.
The defense is not nearly as good as it was earlier in the half.
Luke Ridnour has played just 5 minutes tonight all in the 1st half.

Grizzlies 75 Sonics 68 at the end of 3rd Quarter
In the first half Gasol had 9 to 10 scoring attempts. The key to the second half is keeping those down in the second half. In the third quarter he had 2.
Nick Collison is short arming his jumper and has missed two open shots that he has to make
Same story as the first Q when Flip enters the world falls apart. In his two minutes the Sonics were outscored by 5 points. It can’t be all him or could it be?

Sonics 68 Grizzlies 68 with 2:27 left in the 3rd Quarter
The shots the Grizzlies are making are shots you can live with. They are tough looks by their least good offensive players and they won’t go in all night long.
The Sonics are not getting beat at the basket. They are cutting off the lanes. They are playing a lot of zone and keeping the Grizz on the outside.
The Sonics are blasting Gasol. The book on Gasol is he gets tired and soft if you work on him. I wonder if that isn’t true about any player and once a player gets labeled that way he gets blasted every night

Sonics 64 Grizzlies 63 with 5:50 left in the 3rd Quarter
There is the lead. Ray Allen 3.
Great basketball by Seattle to open the half.
They look better as team. Their interaction has been strong. Their communication looks better. It is really encouraging.

Grizzlies 61 Sonics 59 with 7:28 left in the 3rd Quarter
Battier just fouled Reggie coming down to dig and after the play Eddie Jones looked at Battier and was like “dude that is Reggie Evans and Battier said I know.
The Sonics are playing great basketball to open the half. They are playing smart, like teammates and it will pay off. Great picks, great plays, good defensive intensity.
Gasol is killing them in the post – he is getting doubled every time and he is doing a great job of finding the open man.

Grizzlies 55 Sonics 50 at the half
The last two possessions have shown how good Battier and Jones are defensively. Allen and Lewis will have to stay calm and together all night because nothing will be easy.
Lewis just made another stupid play, fouling out of frustration while in the penalty. He has made more of those recently then I am used to.
Bob Weiss has done a great job calling timeouts in between a players free throws to ice him for the second one and forcing him to miss
Off Efficiency numbers – Grizzlies 126 Sonics 123 – league average is 102.

Grizzlies 49 Sonics 45 with 2:20 left in the 2nd Quarter
Sonics have gotten sloppy with the basketball
Vlady is a shadow of the player he was last year. He was the key for the team last year and without him they have to find an entire new identify.
Wilkins adds a great energy to the team

Grizzlies 30 Sonics 26 at the end of the 1st Quarter
Reggie’s offense is much better but when he faces a team with shot-blockers he has to realize he can’t get the shot off.
Flip enters the game and the other teams point guard scores back to back baskets and the Sonics go from being up 1 to down 4. That is in one and half minutes of action. Nice work.

am not sure if Flip's shoulders hurt from shooting so much but he seems incapable of raising his arms to effect a shooter.
Sonics defense was not in the arena in the first quarter. They got just 5 stops in the entire quarter.

Sonics 24 Grizzlies 23 with 1:52 left in the 1st Quarter
The last two possessions show you how great Rashard has become offensively.
Rashard went to the post on Shane Battier who is one of the best defenders in the NBA and their was nothing Battier could do to defend his hook to the middle.
The next possession Lewis was on the perimeter one on one on Gasol and drove baseline to beat Gasol when the help came he dished out to the wing and then the Sonics great ball movement lead the ball back to Rashard who was in the corner for a 3. That is awesome

Grizzlies 19 Sonics 14 with 5:25 left in the 1st Quarter
Gasol is awesome so far.
You wonder why Atlanta is Atlanta they traded Pau Gasol for Abdur-Rahim. Ouch
Sonics are going to bring the double to Gasol everytime. It is going to come from the top.
Memphis is blitzing Ray Allen which means doubling him off the pick n roll. This is popular manner of defending the Sonics.
The amount of Grizzlies arms around the basket is just amazing. Whenever Seattle goes to the basket they are in the midst of a jungle of elbows and arms. It is a remarkable contrast to what happens around the Sonics basket

1) Grizz's will be without Damon Stoudamire, done for the season and Mike Miller. Where will they get their three point shooting?
2) Great defenders on the Sonics stars -- Eddie Jones on Ray and Shane Battier on Rashard.
3) Damien Wilkins at the point guard. Will this be the answer?

Friday, December 30, 2005 - NFL - Smith: Hawks not settling for seconds - NFL - Smith: Hawks not settling for seconds: "As good as Chicago's defense is, it would be an upset if the Seahawks don't emerge from the NFC.

Should Seattle meet the Colts again, it'll be interesting, for sure. If I had to make a prediction today, I'd pick the better team to win it all.

Right now, that team is the Seahawks."

Thursday, December 29, 2005


That is a gutty win on a back to back in the altitude without your point guard.
Ray Allen did what all-star do and carried the team to a win.
Great defense on Anthony forcing the Nugs only scorer to miss the final 8 shots.
Reggie Miller after the game on TNT ripped the Sonics saying if they have to have Allen shoot 8 of 14 from 3 to win it will be a long season.
The Sonics did a nice job of eliminating the transition game.
Give Wilkins a big thumbs up for handling the role as a point guard

Sonics 109 Nugs 105 with 1:04 left in the 4th Quarter
Sonics have played very well but all of a sudden the Sonics have started making terrible plays.
It started with Wilkins taking a 3 that he shouldn’t have taken.
On the rebound Evans was over exuberant and fouled Anthony on the rebound.
Then totally inexplicably Lewis got a T --- how do you do that.
The Sonics have been defending Anthony great with double teams and good help defense.
Ray Allen has 10 pts in the Q
Bob Weiss just iced the free throw shooter.

Sonics 98 Nuggets 96 with 6:38 left in the 4th Quarter
D Wilkins with a steal and fast break dunk to take the lead
Ray and Rashard both bury big three’s to answer Nuggets
The Sonics offensive performance is really impressive considering who they are playing.
Sonics have scored on five straight possessions
12 three’s for the game

Nugs 87 Sonics 86 with 8:55 left in the 4th Quarter
87 to 86 and the Sonics have a chance for the lead and they have a no pass possession and the Murray, of course, misses.
Ray and Rashard scoreless in the 4th Quarter

Nuggets 85 Sonics 82 at the end of the 3rd Quarter
Look for back to back and altitude to start to have an impact on the Sonics
Sonics defense improved late in the 3rd to keep them in the game.
This would be really gutty if Seattle pulls it out.
They must get someone other then Ray and Rashard to carry some of the mail.
Great hustle play by Vlady (that has been an oxymoron for most of the season) to close the quaerter

Nuggets 76 Sonics 69 with 6:00 left in the 3rd Quarter
Carmelo is killing the Sonics. He goes to the middle and knows their will be no impact. He drove baseline the help came from Vitaly but it was so passive that the Anthony got around the him and to the basket.
The Sonics have no attitude or aggressiveness to their defense

Nuggets 61 Sonics 58 at the half.
The Sonics transition defense is awful.
The Nuggets are getting way too many people free in the open court
Boykins is getting the Sonics again he had 12 points in the Q
Flip Murray’s defense is so bad it is hard to imagine how he sits through a film session.
Anthony had 23 points in the first half
The Sonics defense disappeared late in the 2nd quarter when the Nuggets got transition.
Ray Allen has been outstanding.
No one is picking up the punch for Luke or Danny
The lack of Camby changes the game entirely.

Sonics 42 Nuggets 41 with 5:21 left in the 2nd Quarter
The Nuggets are switching all picks and the Nugs are not getting any closer on Ray Allen.
Sonics have 10 second chance points
We told you in the pre-game show that the Sonics should be able to dominate the glass and that has been true.
Sonics transition defense needs to tighten.

Nuggets 34 Sonics 33 with 9:30 left in the 2nd Quarter
Flip and Mateen both turned it over
Sonics are getting beat on hustle plays by Denver
If they keep the Nuggets on the outside they will struggle to score

Sonics 27 Nugs 25 at the end of 1st
Sonics are doing a good job defensively keeping the Nugs on the perimeter other then the lob passes.
Rashard has been strong.
Once again the Sonics are -4 with Ray on the bench in just 3 minutes
Anthony is being kept outside but they are giving him too much room..

Sonics 25 Nuggets 19 with 255 left in the 1st Q

Slow start by the Sonics has been followed by 14-2 run
Turnovers were an issue early as three Sonics turns lead to Nuggets dunks.
Rashard has been involved much more then last night
Flip enters for Ray
Let's see how the Sonics do without Ray?


The Sonics will be without Luke Ridnour again this evening. Ridnour is still unable to keep food down and is experiencing nausea. Therefore, he was unable to join the team in Denver.

The Sonics will go with Flip Murray, Damien Wilkins and Mateen Cleeves at the point.

The Nuggets have been playing very small without the services of Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby. At times they have fielded a line-up with Andre Miller, Earl Boykins and Earl Watson. This will stress the Sonics depth.

There still is no medical explination to Ridnour condition.


In today’s Tacoma News Tribune, Frank Hughes, wrote about talks between the Nuggets and the Sonics about a Flip Murray for Earl Watson trade.

I have spoken with some of my sources in the league and they confirm that these talks are considerable and legitimate.

The Nuggets are also in the midst of the Ron Artest talks with the Pacers and Watson would be a key piece to the Artest deal so the Sonics are forced to be in a bit of a holding pattern.

To make the deal work inside the salary cap the Sonics would have to include some other pieces.

The Nuggets would be interested in this deal because they don’t have a shooting guard and are desperate for players that can create offense.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005



Too much against a good defensive team to play with out their point guards
22 turnovers
shot distrubution a problem
poor defensive intensity.

Minnesota 90 Sonics 74 with 6:44 left in the 4th Quarter
Minnesota 7-0 run – ball game
KG dunk, Wally jumper, and a Wally 3.
Fortson had the ball down 8 and committed a silly turnover/foul.
Before we all go nuts about another loss. The amount of times Seattle needed a point guard tonight was amazing. Murray was playing with two dislocated fingers and he was awful and they really missed Luke keeping things together.
Not a lot of teams win in this scenario.
Another episode in the expolosions of Danny Fortson as he was ejected in a timeout
Danny can’t handle any prosperity.

Wolves 80 Sonics 72 with 8:45 left in the 4th Quarter
Sorry for the score typo on the last post
Sonics get it within 10.
The Wolves have lost 5 straight close games. They will be just as tight as Seattle.
In addition, Minnesota will struggle to score if the Sonics defend.
Shot distribution will be vital down the stretch.
Wilkins is still at the point.

Wolves 79 Sonics 69 at the end of 3 quarters
Sonics end the Quarter on an impressive 15-3 run.
Again with Jaric on the bench and KG on the bench for the end of the run.
Wilkins is now playing the poin

Wolves 65 Sonics 47 with 8:00 left in the 3rd Quarter
The rout is on
Flip Murray is awful tonight. As good as he was the other night he is that bad tonight. Oh my. He just drove in the lane with no idea where he was going. His turnover to assist ratio tonight is 3 to1. Which is ok if it is an assist to turnover rate but he is a turnover to assist rate. Also he is 1 of 10.
Ray Allen no shots in the second half.

Wolves 60 Sonics 45 with 9:37 left in the 3rd Quarter
Griffin just ran from outside the three point lane into the paint by three Sonics players, none of them, none of them, none of them touched him. He went through the lane totally untouched. How does this happen ?????? He caught the ball and threw up a shot that was goaltended. It is a miracle that nobody is willing to touch anyone.

Wolves 51 Sonics 41 at the half

Wolves 41 Sonics 33 with 2:47 left in the 2nd Quarter
The Fortson factor once again 15-4 run
Sonics continue the run
At the end of the night we may see the value of Ridnour. The shot distribution seems totally out of whack tonight. Allen has not had a shot in the last 11 possessions and Lewis has only had 1.
If the Sonics are going to complete this comeback that has to rectified.

Wolves 38 Sonics 24 with 6:00 in the 2nd Quarter
As we mentioned in the pre-game show look inside the numbers the Wolves two best Roland Ratings players, judging how a team performs when you are on the floor compared to when you are on the bench, KG and Marko Jaric were on the bench and the Sonics went on a little 7-0 run to quell the embarrassment.
The wolves are bad enough offensively that the Sonics could get back in this game.

Wolves 30 Sonics 15 at the end of the 1st Quarter
A miserable quarter
The way the Wolves go to the basket you would think Seattle has 5 midgets on the floor.
The Wolves are a great defensive team and they are stifling the Sonics in every aspect.
The Sonics turnovers were brutal. They finished with 7 for the Q and at one point turned it over 4 of 7 possessions.
Once again when Ray left the floor the Sonics feel apart. Unofficially without Ray on the floor the Wolves outscored the Sonics 7-0. The Sonics average being outscored a point every two minutes he is on the bench.

Wolves 16 Sonics 10 with 6:30 left in the 1st Quarter
Flip Murray starts at the point
Sonics transition defense is very poor early.
Reggie Evans is matched on KG and it is a terrible mismatch down low. This is a good example of how the Sonics miss Jerome James. Last year the Sonics would start JJ on KG and he would beat him at times but he was never comfortable being guarded by a large 7’1 guy.

Flip Murray jsut finished shot around before the game and it sounds as though he may well be on the active roster and be able to play tonight. I will update you when we know more.


Pre-game inteview tonight with Minnesota Head Coach Dwane Casey at 4:20.

  • There are 6 teams in the NBA with an EFG% defense better then 46% and there are only 6 teams in the NBA on the other spectrum with an EFG% over 50%. The Wolves are in the defensive elite and the Sonics are in the defensive basement.

  • Sonics should get a possession advantage on the boards where the Sonics are #3 in the game in offensive rebounding and the Wolves are 29th

  • Sonics have to keep Minnesota off the line they are 29th in the league in FTA and that is the reason they are struggling offensively, the shoot well, the don’t turn it over but they never get to the line.

  • Over the last 10 Games .....
  • Minnesota is the 27th ranked offensive team in the game and the Sonics are #2 behind Detroit

  • The Sonics are worse defensively (115.8) then they have been for the entire season (114.5). Minnesota is #3 defensively in this span

  • Sonics are the #2 offensive rebounding team at 36.5%

  • Minnesota is averaging just 19.2 free throw attempts per game

    Sonics will be without both Flip Murray and Luke Ridnour this evening against Minnesota. Ridnour is not with the team and as he had further test. The test didn’t reveal anything, which is good news.

    Murray may be sooner then two or three weeks some have speculated with the dislocated fingers.

    Mateen Cleaves will get the start and Damien Wilkins will have to play some of the back-up point guard position.

    Locked on Sports: Hasselbeck the latest to blossom under Holmgren

    "I've been fortunate to be around three Hall of Fame quarterbacks, and maybe four." -- Mike Holmgren, Dec. 26, 2005

    Locked on Sports: Hasselbeck the latest to blossom under Holmgren: "It was Favre's fifth year with Holmgren in which he led the Packers to a 13-3 record and Super Bowl title.

    In Hasselbeck's fifth year, he has led the Seahawks to a 13-2 record and the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

    If Hasselbeck can end his fifth season under Holmgren the same way Favre did, maybe Holmgren's hope for a fourth Hall of Famer might not seem so outlandish."

    Tuesday, December 27, 2005


    This will hit the airwaves at 8:00. I look forward to your calls and reaction.

    Defense is better than people say
    The Hawks defense is 4th in the NFL in pts allowed per game. Nothing else matters. The game is about not letting people score and they are 4th in the NFL at not allowing people to score.

    Yes they are giving up yardage. No they are not dominant like the other teams in that category, but whatever the knack is they have it.

    I think there are two things you have to realize about this defense.

    One you call plays differently as a defense when the offense is as good as the Hawks is. You literally bend but don’t break. If you have a bad offensive then you have a responsibility as a defense to make a play, create points, force turnover, whatever it is and you player a higher risk style. The Hawks on the other hand don’t have to do that. They can play a more conservative approach and wait for you to make a mistake, because offensively it seems like they can score at will.

    In addition, I don’t think this team is blessed with amazing athletes and speed defensively so when the field gets smaller they do a better job and are harder to penetrate. In addition, they are much stouter on the run when they don’t have to protect their corners as much in the red zone.

    Really only one thing matters – points allowed and no matter how they are doing it they are darn good at it.

    Ruskell - Executive of the Year
    It is time to sign the praises of Tim Ruskell again. What he has done in one year is remarkable. He sent the defense packing and a few other bad apples and most of them aren’t even playing in the NFL anymore.

    Then he filled the gaps and their were a ton of gaps to be filled. The most impressive thing he didn’t fill the gaps only on the top line he found a way to fill the gaps two and three layers deep. It is really awesome. This team has had a good deal of injuries and they have bounced back remarkably well.

    Holmgren was asked about this on Monday and he sited the leadership. Far enough, but the player personnel department that has used every roster spot to its maximum deserves credit.
    Heck if it is leadership, maybe they deserve credit there. Go back to Ruskell’s opening press conference and he said the following .. I believe one of the keys that doesn't get talked about enough is unifying. People working together where there are no walls, where there are no agendas, where everybody has a common focus on the goal, and that's winning." How right he is.
    Look at the track record -- the signings are amazing. … Joe Jurevicius, Chuck Darby, Bryce Fisher, Kevin Bentley, Josh Scobbey, Joe Tofoya, and Jimmy Williams all of them have been very valuable. And then I am not sure he will ever have another draft like this one. Lofa Tatupu and Leroy Hill plus Chris Spencer is showing all the signs of being a 5 to 10 year lineman.

    The man should win Executive of the year

    Walter Jones the best Seahawk ever
    Is there a chance that Walter Jones is the greatest Seahawk of all time. I believe the consensus at the time is Steve Largent since he is a Hall of Famer. Jones will join him. Jones is going to his 6th pro bowl and in all likelihood will hit double digits before he is done. For three years now Jones is unquestionably the best at his position in the game. It was a story when he allowed a sack this year.

    In contrast Largent was great. But he never lead the league in receptions, he lead the league in yardage twice. It might be a tough argument that he was the best wide receiver in the game during his career. Art Monk, John Stallworth, Wes Chandler for the early part of his career and by 1986 Jerry Rice. Don’t miss understand Largent was great. Hall of Famer. Probably the best.

    I would still say there is a chance Walter Jones is the best Seahawk the franchise has ever seen.

    Monday, December 26, 2005


    Sonics 118 Celtics 111 FINAL SCORE
    Great nights for Flip, Danny and Reggie.
    Lewis really has become a go to guy all-star.
    The Sonics go to play is Lewis in the post.
    Weiss deserves great credit for his plays out of time-outs tonight and the defensive adjustment to go to Wilkins in the 4th Quarter to guard Pierce.
    Big shot by Nick Collison will be the dagger.
    Sonics are without their top 3 point guards to finish the game, Ridnour, Murray and Brunson all out
    Ray Allen is 3 of 13 and the Sonics have scored 118 points.

    Flip Murray leaves West, who ends up hitting an open 3, to dig at Paul Pierce on a drive and dislocates his finger. To make it all the more bizaree is that Murray didn't stay on the floor he ran to the locker-room with playing still going on. The Sonics get the ball stolen and that gives the C's a 5 on 4 break and they can't score.

    Sonics 109 Celtics 105 with 3:09 left in the 4th Quarter
    Wilkins is really working on hard on Pierce
    The Celtics have abadndonded the high pick and roll that was effective in the 1st half.
    Sonics are working Damien Wilkins in the post being guarded by a much smaller Delonte West. They have scored on 2 of three possessions with that play.

    Sonics 101 Celtics 101 with 5:30 left in the 4th Quarter
    Celtics go into the bonus at 5:30 mark. Now Pierce, Davis and Banks become very tough to guard.
    Rashard Lewis just did a great job on the defensive end. Lewis blocked Davis drive and forced the pass out to Bank and Lewis was the one closing out on the shot. Great effort.
    Sonics are working hard to keep the ball to the baseline
    The Sonics offense has gone south. Flip missed Lewis having a mismatch with Banks on him and never let him get to the post for the easy look.

    Celtics 97 Sonics 96 with 7:52 left in the 4th Quarter
    Paul Pierce returns and the Celtics have gone small and Pierce is playing the 4.
    Wilkins enters the game for the first time to guard Pierce.
    Fortson has to leave the game due to match-ups.

    Sonics 92 Celtics 90 with 10:19 left in the 4th quarter
    Sonics have committed two fouls on the first two possessions, that is not looking good for staying out of the bonus.
    Do the Sonics have the confidence to make the plays down the stretch?

    Sonics 90 Celtics 83 at the end of 3rd Quarter
    Sonics put 40 points on the board in the 3rd Quarter
    Flip was great offensively and he worked on the defensive end. He had 18 points, 7 for 7 from the field.
    Reggie had a brilliant quarter
    This is a great match-up for Flip because the Celtics points are terrible defensively and they aren’t a part of the offense as it runs through Pierce and Davis.
    The key to the 4th Quarter will be staying out of the bonus for as long as possible

    Sonics 82 Celtics 73 with 2:05 left in the 3rd Quarter
    Sonics on a 20 to 2
    Cetlics have scored on just 2 of last 12 possessions. The Sonics are getting the Celtics to take the shots the Sonics want and the Celtics are forcing.
    The Sonics eliminated the Celtics early offense by scoring on each possession.
    Flip is attacking the Celtics at their weakest defensive position point guard where Ridnour was not able to. Flip has 21 points.
    Offensively Flip is something the Celtics can’t handle.

    Sonics 70 Celtics 69 with 6:17 left in the 3rd Quarter
    Great energy from the Sonics early in this quarter and most of it from Reggie
    Pierce was just in the post on Allen and the Sonics didn’t come to double. Are you kidding?
    Why does Reggie Evans make every move with his left hand but shoot his free throws with his right hand?
    Celtics have scored on their first 6 possessions
    Sonics have answered and scored on 10 of 11 possessions in the Quarter
    Reggie Evans just hit another 16 footer. I must admit Reggie has done more offensively tonight then I ever thought I would see in his entire career.

    Celtics 61 Sonics 54 with 10:41 left in the 3rd Quarter
    Luke Ridnour does not come out for the second half. Flip starts and Luke is not on the bench. He got sick after the loss to Dallas and this may still be affecting him.
    Flip Murray’s defense is a miracle. West just got an easy lay-up on the most basic give and go but Murray was no where close.
    Luke will not return he has nausea

    Celtics 47 Sonics 44 with 3:16 left in the 2nd Quarter
    Sonics starting guards are a combined 0 for 9 from the field.
    Lewis leaves with three fouls at the 4:16 mark
    The Sonics game plan on Pierce is having no impact. He is not getting the ball where they anticipated. He is working from straight away rather then the wing and he is cutting and getting the ball in the paint on the move rather then posting on a side. Sikma told us before the game that he is one of the versatile players in the NBA.

    Celtics 40 Sonics 38 with 5:47 left in the 2nd Quarter
    Bob Weiss has gone back to the line-up with Lewis at the 2. Radman is at the 3, with Nick and Danny and Flip at the point.
    Forston has 10 points and 5 rebounds in 7 minutes

    Sonics 31 Celtics 29 with 8:15 left in the 2nd Quarter
    Danny Fortson is dominating the game.
    Sonics on a 10-2 run with Fortson scoring 8 of those points.

    Celtics 29 Sonics 28 with 8:41 left in the 2nd Quarter
    In the 1st Quarter the Sonics were 8 of 22 from the field – 1 of 7 from the free throw line and 0 for 8 from behind the arc.
    Fortson factor – Sonics are making a run here in the early part of the quarter.
    The things Flip misses when he is on the floor with his lack of court vision are remarkable.

    Celtics 23 Sonics 17 at the end of the 1st Quarter
    The Lewis at the 2 was short lived as Lew got his second foul. It was +1 when it was on the floor.
    If the game gets boring I have two seriously gabby women behind me so it could be fun to blog their comments
    One of them just said her husband is such a bad shopper that she just bought what she wanted and wrapped and put it under the tree for herself.
    Sonics just missed 4 free throws on one possession. Two by Flip and two by Reggie.
    Danny enters with the Sonics down by -7
    Another no pass possession by Flip and he missed the shot.

    Celtics 20 Sonics 14 with 2:20 left in the 1st Quarter
    Ray Allen opens the game 0 for 5
    Bob Weiss has shown a new line-up. It has Rashard at the 2 with Vlady at the 3 and Reggie and Nick up front. Flip is the point. This is the first time we have seen Lewis at the 2. I would think this works better with a true point guard in Luke. Celtics lead 18-12 when Weiss went to this line-up.

    Celtics 16 Sonics 8 with 5:52 left in the 1st Quarter
    Defense on Allen off the pick and roll looks like a blast, which is a full double of Allen.
    This is a very quick game.
    How a guy can come out of high school and go pro with as little offensive game as Kendrick Perkins is amazing.
    Reggie Evans just hit a 16 footer from the free throw line and then hit a fade away back to the basket turnaround post shot. If you didn’t know better you would think he is a offensive powerhouse
    Both Ray Allen and Ricky Davis should have big offensive games because they are being guarded by each other and neither of them can defend. Ray has had three good looks and missed all of them, Davis on the other hand has beaten Ray badly for two buckets.
    Sonics look very poor early in this game.

    Pretty clear why the Sonics are struggling. They have a serious point guard problem. Check out the comparision from last season with the on floor performance of the Sonics guards other then Ray Allen.

    Sonics Point Guard Issue
    +/- per 48 minutes (overall +/-)
    Ridnour – 4.4 (-78)
    Murray –10.4 (-81)
    Cleaves –10.7 (-36)
    Total = -195

    Last Season
    Daniels +4.8 (204)
    Ridnour even for the season (+2)
    Murray –7 (-128)
    Total = 78


    Mike Holmgren’s press conference today was fantastic. Holmgren’s pressers are one of the best part of my year. He is insightful, straightforward and interesting.

    Today was particularly outstanding. Here are the highlights.

    · The quote of the press conference was, “I have been fortunate enough to coach 3 hall of fame quarterbacks, and maybe 4, let’s hope so.” Wow that is quite a comment. My article in the PI this week will be about Holmgren the QB maker.

    · Holmgren talked a lot about the great leadership he has inside the locker-room this year as what has separated the team. His first inkling of it was after the Jacksonville game and how the team reacted and came out and played against Atlanta. He was very concerned after the Jacksonville lose but the club responded and after the Atlanta win he could tell their was a different maturity in their reaction.

    · Also, he comments that you never expect rookies to take the leadership role and it has been phenomenal. No question he is referring to Lofa.

    · His biggest concern for the team is health.

    · Matt Hasselbeck will play on Sunday. Nothing sounded definite, but it sounds as though the healthy regulars will go for a few series and then take a seat.

    · Injuried players who will not play are Andre Dyson, Kelly Herndon and Marcus Trufant. D-Jack, Darby, DD Lewis, John Howell and Joe Tofoya are unlikely to play.

    · Shaun Alexander has had a death in the family, his mom’s sister, so he will have a “different” week. It sounds like he will head back to Cincy at some point.

    · Holmgren said he would like to get Alexander the record.

    · Marcus Trufant will be ok for the playoffs, he has a back contusion.

    · We talked a lot about retirement with the foucs on Farve. I asked how do these guys ever retire considering what an insane rush the NFL is. Holmgren said it is three part, the body just can’t handle the Monday morning pain, as you get older and the changes start to happen the locker-room environment is not the same and lastly your kids start to get older and you weigh everything differently.

    · He shared that he counseled Jerry Rice at the end of the year and told him to retire, but Rice still wanted to play.

    Hope you get a feel for how great that was.


    Kevin Millwood has signed with the Texas Rangers for a reported 5 year 60 million dollar deal.

    The Rangers can void the 5th year if Millwood doesn’t reach certain number of innings in the early years of the contract. Those details have not been released. Those are the security clauses that you want your team to get when they sign a pitcher for 4 years or more.

    Millwood’s deal averages 12 million a year. If the last year is around the 12 million mark, it is likely that it may be a bit more, then the contract is essentially a 4 year 48 million dollar contract.
    This is considerably more then the Mariners spent on Jarrod Washburn who they paid 4 years and 37.5 million. Is Millwood really worth another 3 million a year? How many more wins will Millwood get then Washburn and how much is each win worth?

    I don’t like the Washburn signing. It reeks of a desperate team going and grabbing whatever is available regardless of price, impact and smarts. That said I would rather sign Washburn to the contract the Mariners did then the Rangers to the contract Millwood did.

    On a side note, the Rangers also added Adam Eaton in the off-season.