Saturday, March 11, 2006
The real issue to keep an eye on is the Vikings. They have contacted Steve Hutchinson's agent and they have huge money to spend for the All-Pro Guard. The Hawks have the ability to match, but the problem is the Vikings can try to do some creative things in the contract that make it very hard to match the deal. Seattle knew they might be playing with fire when they transitioned instead of franchised Hutch and the fire may be a Minnesota offer.
Friday, March 10, 2006
Sonics get their first fast break basket of the night with 6:47 left in the 3rd
Rashard Lewis is not right. He is 1 of 9 from the floor
Kevin Garnett is not on his game tonight either 4 of 13
The Wolves are leaving the door open.
Wolves 55 Sonics 48 at the half
Ray Allen is begging for help and he isn’t getting it
Sonics defense is absent again tonight from the action
Sonics offense has been relegated to the half court, no fast break points
Wolves 37 Sonics 33 with 6:03 left in the 2nd Quarter
Sonics go on a 9-1 run with Watson and Allen in the backcourt
The Sonics bigs are fun to watch but they are still making a ton of errors and it costs the Sonics.
The Wolves got 46% of eligible offensive rebounds in the 1st Quarter
Wolves 17 Sonics 14 with 5:33 left in the 1st Quarter
High paced game to start
Minnesota has scored on 8 straight possessions
Ray Allen has come with a ton of fire
Petro is working hard, but he still ends up in the wrong position or makes a defense mistake with a ton of regularity
1) Duane Casey returns to the Key
2) Wolves inability to win close games
3) Sonics bounce back from bad performance against Grizz
4) Chris Wilcox playing against Kevin Garnett
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Memphis has controlled this game throughout.
Seattle can’t do anything to Gasol. If they double he slices them up and if they single he beats the guy guarding him. He looks amazing.
This is a really poor performance. They never were able to institute their will on Memphis at all.
Grizz 75 Sonics 56 at the end of 3 Quarter
Chucky Atkins and Gasol killed the Sonics in the third
The Grizz are playing ring around the posey with their passing game.
The ball movement is amazing. They are using both sides of the floor at all times and slicing the Sonics apart.
At some point Seattle has to impede the progress of a Memphis player. They are making easy to play against. They are very passive with their pressure and double teams
Gasol is dominate with the ball. They run everything
Grizz 44 Sonics 37 at the half
The pace has been very slow. We have only played 43 possessions. Memphis averages 88 and that is the slowest in the league
Seattle is getting crushed on the boards. In the 2nd Quarter Seattle only got 36% of the eligible defensive rebounds
Griz 39 Sonics 32 with 1:42 left in the 2nd Quarter
The Grizz are playing amazing help defense on the Sonics
Every time Allen or Lewis make a move they are meet by a hoard of Grizz defenders.
On the flip side, Seattle is taking the ball out of Gasol’s hands but they are finding the cutter and getting easy looks
Seattle is really struggling on the defensive glass. Petro has to be better rebounding on the defensive end of the ball. Memphis is not a good offensive rebounding team and they are crushing Seattle.
Grizz 27 Sonics 23 with 8:38 left in the 2nd Quarter
It would be amazing tonight to have a chart of the Sonics possessions comparing their success in the half court compared to the open floor. Obviously, you are always better in the open floor. However, tonight the Sonics have to be about 10% conversion rate on the half court possessions. They are only scoring in transition. This puts huge pressure on there defense and defensive rebound. Two weaknesses for most of the season
Grizz 25 Sonics 16 at the end of 1 Quarter
This has been a half court game so far. – only 22 possessions. Right on the average of the Grizz which is the slowest in the NBA.
Chris Wilcox is vicious around the rim when the Sonics are able to penetrate and find him he is a slam machine
The Grizz run everything through Gasol and the Sonics are doubling him every time.
The Grizz have exploited that by getting good look jumpers.
Grizz 12 Sonics 8 with 4:29 left in the 1st Quarter.
This game is really a tug of war about pace of play. The Sonics are trying to push off both makes and misses and the Grizz are amazingly methodical getting into the half court each and every possession.
Chris Wilcox made a great play sprinting the floor after he stopped a fast break and Ridnour found him for a dunk.
Some really ugly basketball so far
Key to the whole game will be pace of play
Sad Suspicions About Scores in Basketball - New York Times: "It is played by young men who don't usually have a lot of money. With just five players on the court, one person can determine the outcome. And the point-spread system, in which bets are based on the margin of victory rather than wins and losses, allows players to fix a game without losing it."
Contract in hand, will he look beyond the team elements of a running back -- blitz pickup, pass routes and decoy situations -- and become even more obsessed in his quest for stats?
These are the questions that Alexander will answer in the upcoming years. The much-debated character and approach of Alexander will have shown all of its cards.
Somewhere in my gut, I believe we have seen the best of Alexander. The MVP season in which he refined many of the rough edges of his game will be the highlight."
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Reports out of Green Bay have the Packers signing safety Marquand Manuel.
This is a blow to the Hawks because they are so short on depth at the safety. It puts a larger onus on whether or not Ken Hamlin is going to return. Look for the Hawks to address the safety position in their draft and off-season moves.
Manuel wasn't flashy, but his emergence after the Hamlin injury seemed to coincide with the disappearance of all the big plays the Hawks had been allowing. His fundamentals were terrific and rarely was he out of position.
Finally, this is a classic example of how making the Super Bowl puts a spotlight on all your players. Had the Hawks gone 9-7 and lost in the playoffs Manuel would not have been sought after.
Monday, March 06, 2006
THE GOOD -- THE CONTRACT
First let’s breakdown the contract. This is a great contract for the Seattle Seahawks. The contract is basically a 3 year 23 million dollar contract. If after 3 years when Alexander is 32 and in the danger zone the Hawks can cut him and he would only be a 2.75 million dollar hit on the cap for 2009. At that point it that will be less then 3% of the cap. Basically the Hawks are banking that Alexander is going to be productive for three more seasons and if he is for a 4th then they have his rights. It is a really good deal for the Hawks.
In addition, Alexander is in his correct place in the pecking order. Matt Hasselbeck and Walter Jones both are making more money, as should be the case.
In regards to re-signing Shaun this was the right move, it let him get his ego trip of being the highest paid back, which is what his ego had to have and it avoided Shaun going on the opening market and getting mad. Shaun ego is unique enough that this could have gotten interesting.
From a Hawks perspective it is the right move, they are rolling, fans are juiced, they are coming off a Super Bowl why rock the boat.
JUST DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT
Let me say this, I don’t have a great feeling about it. Somewhere I really believe the right move was to let Shaun move on. This would have taken the biggest balls and would have defied all logic particularly when the Hawks were able to structure the deal the way they did.
But, it just doesn’t feel right. Alexander was perfect last year. Agreed. A large part of me thinks it was time for the Hawks to say we pushed ever button and we milked everything out of him and now it is someone else’s turn to deal with Shaun.
Call me crazy. And I will admit most of my pragmatic, numbers based historically based arguments of backs aging are eliminated by the structure of the deal. Nonetheless, somehow I think we will look back on this and say that it never worked the way we thought.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Sonics 91 Jazz 68 at the end of 3 quarters.
Seattle is brilliant tonight.
Brilliant on the defensive end
Brilliant in the opening floor.
Brilliant in the half court
The Jazz are a great match-up for Seattle, but tonight Seattle hit a vibe they haven’t had all season.
AK’s foul trouble was huge he is Utah’s energy.
Sonics 75 Utah 54 with 7:07 left in the 3rd Quarter
AK got his 4th foul at the 9:33 mark of the third Quarter
Seattle is really stymieing the half court game of the Jazz
Some of this is the match-up with Utah but a lot of it is a new energy running through the Sonics that is visibly obvious
Sonics 61 Utah 47 at the half
Sonics lead the fastbreak 21-4. Watson and Ridnour make this team fast, fast, fast
Lewis and Allen have been great
Seattle has had the Jazz on their heels the entire game. Moreover, Utah is not playing their game. Instead of being in the half court slicing and dicing the Sonics the Jazz are playing an up tempo game.
Last time these teams played the Sonics never allowed Utah to get into their sets
Sonics 49 Jazz 35 with 5:08 left in the 2nd Quarter
Seattle has the Jazz number
Nick Collison is out with plantar problem in his left foot and his return is questionable. It happened when he came down after a rebound.
Two great things have happened to Luke Ridnour recently. First the acquisition of Earl Watson has ignited the fire inside of him to keep his job and the National invitation to play for the USA team give him great confidence. These two may lead him into the next sphere for his career.
Sonics 37 Jazz 27 with 8:57 left in the 2nd Quarter
Ray Allen has the range tonight. 5 for 5 from the field and 3 for 3 behind the arch
Wow Seattle looks good. They really play well against this team.
Having Earl Watson on the floor instead of Flip Murray is a remarkable difference.
Chris Wilcox on back to back to plays brought an element this team hasn’t had in sometime. Boozer beat Lewis and when he went for the dunk Wilcox meet him at the apex and effected the shot. Then he ran the floor full blast and Watson hit him with an alley-opp.
Sonics 27 Jazz 20 with :49 seconds left in the 1st Quarter.
Lewis went 1 on 1 at Kirlenko twice in the ball game and both time drew fouls. AK leaves the game at the 4:50 mark with the Sonics up by 10.
Watson and Ridnour are playing together and it brings a lot of energy to the floor.
They really push the ball. Before the game Bob Hill was talking about the team getting used to the speed Watson plays at and how remarkably fast he is with the ball.
If Watson has a weakness it is an in between game, but that has not been evident tonight as he hit a Magic Johnson running hook in the paint.
Sonics 18 Jazz 9 with 6:00 left in the 1st Quarter
Great match-up tonight Rashard v. AK 47 . The Sonics have to keep Rashard moving and occupying AK because he is a dynamite off the ball defender.
Sonics have started fantastically. Hitting 7 of 9 from the field.
The defensive rotation and intensity is terrific
The team held a pre-game meeting on the floor that had a vastly different energy then what I have seen all season. The bad energy has left this team and it is obvious.
1) Jazz great offensive rebounding v. Sonics poor defensive rebounding
2) Jazz inability to shoot v. Sonics inability to defend
3) Turnover game. Jazz must have turns to score.
Here are the best in the NBA -- THE STUDS -- and the worst --- THE DUDS.
1) Steve Nash 151.1
2) Dirk Nowitzi 133.0
3) Kevin Martin 132.0
4) Paul Pierce 130.9
5) Chauncey Billups 128.6
6) Elton Brand 127.1
7) Richard Jefferson 118.3
8) Rashard Lewis 118.2
9) Chris Bosh 117.5
10) Kevin Garnett 115.7
DUDS (must have played 400 minutes)
1) Kris Humphires -178.6
2) Eddie Griffin -162.3
3) Ryan Bown -157.8
4) Antonio Burks -153.2
5) Jannero Pargo -128.5
6) Kareem Rush -117
7) Jason Hart -116.3
8) Flip Murray -114.5
9) Rafael Aruajo -112.4
10) Emeka Okafor -109.2
Here are the Sonics ratings.
1) Rashard Lewis 118.2
2) Ray Allen 112.9
3) Danny Forston 95.1
4) Chris Wilcox 82.2
5) Earl Watson 40.2
6) Nick Collison 23.3
7) Damien Wilkins 15.3 (this is a huge improvement)
8) Robert Swift -6.7
9) Johan Petro -27.7
10) Luke Ridnour -36.1
11) Mikki Moore -90
12) Mike Wilks -172.9
New York Daily News - Gary Myers - Gary Myers: This doesn't make cents: "The Seahawks are close to a deal to re-sign free agent Shaun Alexander, the NFL MVP and rushing champion, before he hits the open market, which right now is scheduled to be at 12:01 tonight. He's likely to get between $12 million-$15 million in guaranteed money. Seattle, by previous agreement, could not use its franchise tag on Alexander. He's an irreplaceable part for the Seahawks and they are the best fit for him. The contract could be announced tomorrow."