Nate McMillan after years and years with the Sonics franchise finally left for the Blazers gig. Bob Weiss, a Dick Cheney look-alike, won the favor of Ray Allen and receieved the head coach spot. Other than him, the Sonics lost solid defender Antonio Daniels to the Wizards and Center Jerome James to New York. Other than that it's the same team.
The Sonics identity is starting to mirror that of Sacramento and Dallas: great offense with little defense. Offensively it's an odd starting five. No offense at all comes from Center and Power Forward [more on that later]. Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen are offensive stars that can create their own points whenever they want.
Luke Ridnour can hit a three when he has to; normally he does a good job dishing it to everyone else. The Sonics score 100.6 PPG and put themselves in a situation to win every night.
Like Sacramento and Dallas, they play defense bad enough to allow the other team to stay in it as well. Allowing a League-high 104.8 PPG, they play a stand around defense that Nate McMillan would never accept. One reason why they allow teams to manhandle them is they have serious rebounding problems. Ranking a modest 30th in the NBA in rebounding, they gather only 37.7 boards a game.
Weiss has tried numerous players to cover the Center position. Since it's rebounding they need, Danny Fortson would be a logical choice. However he's been injured and hasn't been able to fill in. Johan Petro, Nick Collison, Vitaly Potapenko, Reggie Evans and Vladimir Radmanovic have all started at Center/Power Forward, and none of them have broken away from the pack.After staring out 2-7, the Seattle Sonics have closed to the .
500 mark. Minnesota could quickly drop out of it and give the Sonics the division. But they need to do several things. First they need to trade for a Center with potential; a team should never have to start Vitaly Potapenko.
Then they need to find a backup PG, that or start playing Rick Brunson. Last year they started of 9-1 on route to the division win. They have the wins down, but the losses are coming a lot quicker. Unless they start to play defense, they aren't a postseason contender..If you have a sports site then join our sports link exchange to gain in link popularity.
By: David Pincus