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Your No. 1 blog source for rantings on The Sonics, The NBA, Voodoo, Chicken Bones, and Penis Invertings

Kings refuel at Arco, take Game 3

Friday, April 29, 2005

Bibby taking it to the Sonics

Sacramento 116, Seattle 104
Sonics lead series 2-1
Next Game: Sunday at Sacramento 7:30PM Pac time

Player(s) of the game:
Mike Bibby and the Elbow (see below) Brothers: Kenny Thomas & Brad Miller. Final numbers: Bibby- 31pts, 6rebs, 4asts. Thomas & Miller- 36pts & 10 rebounds. As Simmons would say: And it’s NOW a two to ONE game series. Re-write the state of the union Lewis, it’s a whole new ballgame.
For the Sonics Allen poured in 32, and Jerome James, much to Cuttino Mobley’s ire, had another great performance with 22pts and 9 boards.

-Pre-game decision: Mike Tirico & (ughhhh) Tom Tolbert or Calabro & Ehlo. Hmmm… Tough call.
-Pre-game decision #2: Fortson going with the ponytail over the pigs.
-As you may all know Sacramento runs this Princeton style offense. Super-duper All Star Chris Weber used to handle the task of hanging out at the elbow of the FT line and decide whether to a) drive, b) dish to guards in motion all over the place (especially off the curl) or to Peja chillin’ at the arc, or d) shoot the open J. Because of his versatility from the 4 spot (especially pre-injury) he was good at this. Well now that he’s gone Thomas & Miller are the primary guys taking this job on. The Sonics dared the big men to shoot the open shot in games 1 & 2 and for the most part this “defense” was effective. Today, in game 3, James & Co. were once again giving the shot to them, only this time Miller & Thomas were making them pay. 1st half? 9-16 for 23 points. Sacramento: 54 points.
-We may never again see the incompetent Jerome we’ve all come to know and love over the season. If, due to this, he gets the Wally Walker 5year multi-million $ blue plate special like McIlvaine & Booth did, please proceed to the Seattle Center with a loudspeaker and try to talk me off the edge of the Space Needle.
-Speaking of oddities, Ridnour now has back-to-back games with 2 blocks. Yikes.
-In the 2nd qtr, during a Sonics run, Ray got several 3-point plays by aggressively taking it to the hole. If he ever added a consistent desire to drive and look for the foul (aka The Fortson Special), it would add a significant addition to his game by allowing him to utilize that gaudy FT% of his.
-Adelman had Jackson & Bibby out on the floor together for extended periods of time. This combo worries me since it leaves either Allen or Ridnour forced to defend a playmaker with a quicker 1st step than them. Of course, this is only a concern if Jackson has his pre-injury speed.
-Rashard, yet again, played passively, going 0-6 in the 1st half, with very few aggressive moves to the rim. He finished with a very quiet 9 points.
-I believe the 3rd qtr went as most pundits predicted the series would: scoring in bunches off of great shooting & smooth offensive execution/questionable defense: Seattle scored 36 & Sacramento 38.
-So let me get this straight, Kings shoot (or are held to, whichever you prefer) 39 & 42% in games 1 & 2 and lose, and in game 3 shoot 50% and win. Really?

Question of the night:
Can the Sonics take the series with Bizarro Jerome taking over Lewis’ production should Lewis fail to assert himself throughout the series and should Jerome continue to play at this ridiculous level?

Inside the NBA (and Capeside)

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist

Some topics here at Supersonicsoul are just lightning rods for controversy: Luke vs. A.D., Dreads vs. Headbands, Ray Allen: superstar or soon to be super overpaid, Bizarro Jeromes: fact or mythical being… I’ve said my peace on most of these and I’ll leave it upon the smarter minds here to decide.

Some other thoughts-

-The 2 games on TNT last night went as predicted with Pheonix beating the Grizzlies 108-103 and the Spurs rebounding in a major way, blowing out the underrated, why is nobody giving us our respect, blah-blibbity-blah-blah uber-team Denver Nuggets 104-76. Please remember to get back on the wagon you started on folks, buckle your seatbelts, and await the no smoking sign to be turned off as we exit this small amount of turbulence to clearer skies ahead.

-I had to check on our neighborhood blogger Matt’s health the other day after the Spurs game 1 loss. Seriously, emotional wreck and nervous breakdown are understatements when describing his status. He’s busy on a project deadline, and actually left me a stern, jittery, slightly incoherent voicemail warning me not to call him with results of game 2 because he wasn’t gonna find out the outcome till he went home and watched the TIVO recording and didn't want me to spoil it. Please light a candle for him, he needs help…

-John Thompson during the phoenix game: speaking of defense, “I just love the way that Sonics team plays defense….” Huh?!?

-John Thompson… announcing a Phoenix game, talking about great defense, and referring to the Supes. Is this funny? May I laugh at this? (I absolutely HATE those commercials.)

-Dallas vs. Houston game 3 tonight 6:30 Pac time on TNT: I know you’re all diehard Sonics fans in here, but please do yourself a favor and get involved in this series. It’s the clear AND cream of the 1st round crop.

-Chuck, don’t listen to EJ and Kenny. Spurtability is too a word! My ex used it do describe my bedroom skills. (Gotta give them that O-face! Oh-yeah! You know what I’m talking about!)

-Oohh that Veronica! She's so arrogant, I hate her! What a b***h!

-I’ve been much too preoccupied of late analyzing the backs of my eyelids, but today I actually got up early and caught up with The Creek:

Creek updates:
-Dawson is filming a movie: it’s a rip-off of Saturday Night Fever and he’s shagging the hot lead actress.
-Pacey is sporting a wicked goatee and going out with the token hot girl with an English accent (Shouldn’t the show be giving royalties to Friends by now??)
-Holy crap! Token hot English girl’s name is Emma! Can..., I..., BEEE…, any more unoriginal?
-To give her an edge, they’ve got Joey working as a waitress in some dive bar… and she’s also banging the dark and mysterious bartender with a chip on his shoulder. Cliché’s galore folks.
-Dawson’s mom started doing acid and joined a biker gang… Just kidding. It was crystal meth…
-It’s the Christmas episode and the cast is sporting outfits 58c-64b from pages 24-26 of ye olde J. Crew catalog. How nice. Subliminal promo tie-ins. Please, just shoot me. And also get me that periwinkle blue scarf with the frolicking reindeer knitted in while you’re at it.
-Joey’s dad is apparently done serving his 5-10 for being the drug czar/crime lord of good ol’ Capeside (that premise always KILLED me) and is participating in the yuletide shenanigans.
-Huge shocker here, Dawson’s conscience forces him to drop the smoking hot actress. Young Leary must hold the record for most amount of ‘tang left untouched due to moral obligations.
-Joey’s roommate and Pacey’s ex-girlfriend came home with them; She’s apparently now an alcoholic and pill-popper and just crashed Pacey’s car into a picket fence. The new car was purchased from some illegal funds Pacey’s been obtaining. I’m trying to read between the lines but I’m still not sure if he’s now been turned into a pimp, hitman, or consigliere to some Mafia overlord.

Please note: All of the preceding occurred in just two episodes.

I’m sorry to keep on with this topic, but on a previous post I said that the wheels fell of the show sometime. Well, I was only halfway right. The wheels were actually taken off by West Coast Customz, replaced with deuce-deuce w/ Pirelli tires, they turbo-supercharged the engine, gave it a whole new cherry red paint job (with flames)… and Mad Mike threw on like fifteen 30” HDTV screens on that mutha… and a cappuccino maker.

Dawson’s Creek: Congratulations… you’ve officially been pimped.

And now back to our regular NBA/Supersonic schedule.

Sonics hold serve; Can break, set, & match point at Arco be next?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Not the 1-2 punch I was expecting…

Seattle 105, Sacramento 93
Sonics lead series 2-0
Next Game: Friday at Sacramento 7:30PM Pac time

Player of the game:
Let's give props to both Allen & James. Allen had 26 pts, and several shots at the end to seal the deal and Jerome.... well, I really don't know what more to say about him right now. For the 2nd straight game Bizarro Jerome showed up with these silly stats: 19pts (on 9-11 shooting) and 9 boards. His average over the two games is now 18pts, 12 boards, & 3 blocks. It was rightly mentioned by chunkstyle that foul troubles have often been the bane of his game, and for the first two games he's held himself in check on the hacking...

By the way: The TV crews at both TNT & Foxsports have been beating this news bit of Jerome James being cut by the Kings, given his clothes in a plastic bag, and coach Adelman advising him to think of a career change to death. It is an interesting tidbit, but I'm hoping they come up with something new come game 3.

Reasons to feel good:
1) There were contributions to be seen from all the guys that played minutes tonight. Aside from Reggie, who contributed with 8 boards, and Wilkins (who got in for only 1 minute) every player scored at least 8 points.

Reasons to be cautious:
1) The Kings scoring trio of Bibby, Stojakovic, and Mobley combined to shoot 14/37 for 34 points and were not even involved in the late 4th quarter Kings run. I don't know if others will see this as a good or bad thing (maybe it's neither) but the Kings stars/go to guys have not really played well as of yet in these two games. Can we really expect this to continue? From my seat, I didn't see stellar defense being the cause of this.

Fun stat of the night:
Luke Ridnour had an efficient floor general performance with 6 assists and 0 turnovers.... and 2 blocks! If you can recall seeing those blocks in the game please let me know cause those totally passed me by.

Other notes on the night:
-After game 1 Rick Adelman decided to attempt to take Lewis on the post out of the equation early, with repeated aggresive double teams that forced the ball out of Lew's hand. For the few situations where Lewis had Peja 1 on 1, he resorted to the jab step-fall back J instead of driving or backing him further in for an easy shot. This crap may be O.K. vs. the Kings but it just won't do come round 2. Lewis needs to be a little more aggresive in the post.
-Mike Dunleavy on Jerome James: "you can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him." Discuss amongst yourselves.
-During halftime Kenny "the Jet" Smith stole my material!! On Vlad's contribution to the team he mentioned the Sonics record pre & post Radman injury. Heeeyahhh!!! Now gimme some candeee!
-The officiating was horrible for the Nets vs Heat game, with a majority of the close/questionable calls going the Heat way. I hate seeing that crap happen.

I'm dying to throw some new predictions, questions on the series outcome here, but some superstitious folk may consider that bad luck... For those brave readers who don't carry around crosses and cloves of garlic, what are your thoughts? Are the Kings done? Can the Sonics s...., sw.., swe.., well you know what I'm getting at.

Holy Crap! The Playoffs are here!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Quick, call Vegas! The Pope has laid out his playoff picks!

For those of you who were out visiting another planet this week, there was some rather big news occurring on earth. Yup, that’s right, the Western Playoff Seeds were set! Here they are:

Contenders, toe the line:
1) Phoenix Suns vs. 8) Memphis Grizzlies
2) San Antonio Spurs vs. 7) Denver Nuggets
3) Seattle Supersonics vs. 6) Sacramento Kings
4) Dallas Mavericks vs. 5) Houston Rockets

As promised, we got THE exclusive interview with the highest authority possible: The newly elected Pope Benedict XVI.

For those questioning the validity of this interview: trust me, it’s legit. I met Joseph (Jo, I called him then) Ratzinger on a train while traveling Europe in the summer of 95. The train stopped at Vienna, where I was to switch to another one, but Jo came to me with a unique proposition: get off with him in Vienna to spend the remainder of the night continuing our talks. I agreed. It was magical… At the end of it, we parted ways and lost contact… that is until I caught him on TV becoming the most powerful being on the planet. Through some hard work, I was finally able to get into contact with him and he accepted my proposition for an interview. Anyways, here’s the transcript:

-Booth52: First off, congratulations on the whole pope thing. Must have been a big day for you.
-Pope Benedict XVI: Yes, thank you. I feel truly blessed to be given this responsibility to lead the people of the world to the light of God. In fact, I have been given the message to direct the church in a radical new path, which includes… (The remainder of this particular dialogue has been edited due to article length restraints. We now fast forward to the more interesting portion of the interview.)
-Booth52: Alright Pope, down to business. Many folks don’t know this, but you are a HUGE NBA fan. Care to drop some insight on the playoffs?
-Pope Benedict XVI: (chuckling) Yes, you are right. In fact, most of the Cardinals are. The reason the voting actually took so long was because we had the games showing in the room. Once the playoff seeds were set, Cardinal Arinze set up the church pool for the playoffs and we got back to the whole voting thing. It’s unfortunate about Arinze’s gambling problem; I think it’s what cost him the vote… Anyways, the questions: proceed, my son.
-Booth52: Let’s focus on the Western Conference: In the 1. vs. 8. match up, we have the Suns vs. the Grizzlies. Your thoughts?
-Pope Benedict XVI: Yes, of all the matchups in the west, this is the one I find least intriguing. I just don’t see Memphis offering any competition for Pheonix. They come into the playoffs losing 5 out of 6, and having no true go-to player on their team. Gasol? He’s untested. I see a monster series from Stoudamire and an easy Suns victory in the series.
Pope’s Verdict: Phoenix advances 4-0
-Booth52: Can’t argue with you there Pope. Now 2 vs. 7: San Antonio vs. Denver.
-Pope Benedict XVI: Ahh yes. There always seems to be one of these matches with a top seeded team facing the surging at the right moment team. On paper, this looks like the match up with the most potential for an upset and I see many pundits foreseeing a competitive series. Alas, God doesn’t show his divine plans to the weak and the foolish. When the Nuggets are on, they get a lot of points off of drives into the lane, wide open dunks & alley oops by K-Mart, Camby, & Co. That type of stuff is just not going to happen vs. San Antonio. They’re way too sound defensively. San Antonio should take this in 5. That is unless Duncan is hurt, but my sources tell me he is going to be fine.
Pope’s Verdict: San Antonio advances 4-1
-Booth52: Alright, let’s switch off here and go to the 4-5 matchup: Dallas vs. Houston.
-Pope Benedict XVI: Yes, now this is an interesting match-up. While Phoenix & San Antonio are rightfully deserving of their elite status, I believe these two teams should be considered as the second tier of teams in the race, being clearly superior to Seattle, Sacramento, Denver, and Memphis. They both have legitimate superstars that will demand the ball down the stretch in Mcgrady and Nowitski. It'll be a close series and if the NBA ends up showing all four Miami-New Jersey blowout games over this series, may the Lord have mercy on their souls. I’m not too sure who’s gonna take this ser… wait, what’s that? (looking up) Oh. Houston in 7.
God’s Verdict: Houston advances 4-3
-Booth52: Wow! Really? The 4-3 upset huh? O.K., time for the series that matters: Seattle vs. Sacramento.
-Pope Benedict XVI: I’m sorry to bring you bad tidings, but your Sonics shall not prevail over the Kings. Bibby’s sick tattoo will be rewarded by the Lord with repeated one-on-one defense from Luke Ridnour, and he will average 25-5-8 for the series. His prayers for a miraculous healing of Stojakovic, Miller, & Jackson have also been answered, and they too will perform well. The series will go the distance, but the Kings will prevail.
Pope’s Verdict: Sacramento advances 4-3
-Booth52: WTF! You gotta be kidding me! You can’t say that on this site! I don’t know if you’ve been truly paying attention, but the Sonics, while not an elite team, are good and certainly capable enough of disposing of the Kings. Lewis seems recovered from his injury, and I expect he & Allen to average 55pts between the two of them, with Lewis scoring some key buckets in the 4th quarters of several games. Along with solid supporting performances by A.D., Collision, Ridnour, and Fortson/Evans, I see the Sonics taking the series in 7.
-Pope Benedict XVI: I find your lack of faith disturbing my son. I’ll pray for your soul.

Well, there you have it folks. NBA picks from the Holy one himself. Now go call your bookies and cash in on the scoop.

An (Anti-)Climactic night

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Anwar, Lebron, & the Cav’s were eliminated in a night of intrigue

I was pleasantly surprised to find several intriguing subplots still left on the last night of the regular season. Here are the highlights from the night:

Cleveland 104, Toronto 95
New Jersey 102, Boston 93
-The 8th seed in the Eastern Conference was still up for grabs heading up to the last day, with Cleveland needing a win and a New Jersey loss to Boston to capture the 8th seed. The games were being played simultaneously, with the Cavs game ending just a few minutes prior to the Nets game. To add to the intrigue the Cavalier’s opponent was the Raptors, who, with a victory could have pushed the Anti-Christ, Vince Carter , out of the playoffs.

In Toronto, James had a monster all around game, posting a triple-double (27-14-14), and leading his team to a 23 point lead by the end of the 3rd. At the same time, over in Boston, the Celtics took a 58-47 lead at halftime, only to have Jeff Van Gundy rip into the Nets at halftime and cause a furious 3rd quarter rally, outscoring the Celtics 32-8 in the 3rd quarter. The Nets were then able to withstand a 4th quarter rally by the Celtics to hold on for the win and clinch the 8th seed, and a 4-0 pummeling from the Heat in the first round. Stern not happy. Lebron go bye-bye to playoffs.

Indiana 85, Chicago 83
-Chery Miller caught the game from the stands.
-The Pacers, with the victory, were able to clinch the 6th seed. That’s HUGE. For those unaware, the 7th and 8th seeds in the east challenge the Pistons and Heat respectively in the first round, while the 6th seed sees a massive drop in competition by getting the Celtics.
-EVERYONE in the audience was wearing I love Reggie Miller t-shirts and holding up Reggie signs.
-Reggie was definitely aware of the cameras being on him. Completely playing to the crowd & cameras with forced, over-dramatized actions like long talks with journalists on the sideline, way too enthusiastically powdering his hands in his pre free-throw/game ritual... They even had this inane pregame huddle/celebration after announcing Reggie that was… I really couldn’t do it justice with a description. You know what? F**k it. 16 years in the league, spanning the times of Larry and Magic, Michael, Scottie, Charles, Hakeem, and now Garnett and Lebron. His career could be seen as a time capsule of the leagues growth and evolution. Take a bow Reggie, I salute you.
-In a similar fashion, in a nationally televised game in March versus the Lakers, in which he turned back the clock for 39 points, He did the exact same thing. Check out the 4th-quarter flow of this game:
The Pacers were up by six with 27 seconds remaining. For some strange reason, the Lakers felt they were still in this thing and fouled Miller THREE times prior to the conclusion of the game, giving him six free throw opportunities. With 27 seconds remaining and his team up by six, Reggie did an extended version of his hand chalking at the announcer’s table ceremony, egging on the crowd ovation, prior to EACH free throw opportunity. If I recall the game ended at 1am Pacific Time. (BTW, it was a classic Miller time performance and I do not blame him for reveling in the moment.)

Deborah and Raymond
were involved in some kind of wacky domestic dispute . I believe Ray’s mom was somehow involved.

Sacramento 132, Pheonix 107
-Bobby Jackson, on the IR for practically the entire season, was activated for the last game, in a test to see how effective he could be for the Kings in the playoffs. The result?
A lively performance, going for 15-6-5 in 16 min. Bobby Jackson DEFINITELY looks like he will be a factor in the Kings-Sonics match up. With the combination of Bibby and Jackson at the point, I believe it’s time to consider having some loyal Sonics fan take one for the team, and kidnap Luke Ridnour for the entirety of the series, Celtic Pride style.
-Also, while they didn’t play, it was announced that both Brad Miller and Peja Stojakovic (wearing nifty matching tan sierra suits behind the bench,) would be activated for the playoffs. Brad Miller was shown in a highlight shooting around during the pre-game warm-ups. Come back now Radman, you are needed!

Anwar Robinson
-was eliminated . Damn you, Scott Savol!!

In cruel heartbreaking fashion,
the Bobcats beat the Pistons, 97-86. That, added with the fact that the NEW ORLEANS Hornets lost to the Clippers, left them in a tie for the worst record in the league at 18-64 instead of the outright title for the Bobcats had they lost.
Some quotes:
``It's just great to go home like this, with a win and on a good note,'' Okafor said. ``We didn't win a lot of games this year, but we played hard in all of them and it's great to get a reward in the last one.''
The Bobcats played with one eye on the out-of-town scoreboard because Charlotte holds Cleveland's first-round draft pick, a lottery pick because New Jersey beat Boston on Wednesday night to end the Cavs' playoff bid.
``This win, the fans, getting that lottery pick ... we deserved something good to happen to us,'' Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said.

Congratulations, Bernie. Congratulations.

Note to readers:
You are not going to want to miss tomorrow’s post on Supersonicsoul.com. We were able to get THE INSIDER SCOOP on the Western Conference Playoffs with a VERY special guest interview, EXCLUSIVE to this site. You were warned. Bookmark us now.

Halftime Heroes: A Study In Futility, & Catching up with The Creek

Any relationship to Dawson or Billy Bob, Jeff?

Thinking about the possible playoff match between the Sonics and the Rockets got me to thinking:

If Billy Bob could rally the Permian High Panthers with an inspired speech, if James Van Der Beek can do the same with the West Canaan Coyotes , does it then lead to the potential existence of a real, living, breathing coach having the innate ability to inspire his team?

The beat downs I’ve witnessed the Sonics take in the 3rd qtr vs. the Rockets this year led me to take a quick look at the possibility that Van Gundy was one of these mythical creatures.

In the 3 games in 2005 in which the Sonics faced Houston, the Rockets came out into the 3rd quarter with inspired play in 2 of them.
3rd quarter Hou vs. Sea scoring:
Game 1: 15-17
Game 2: 22-6
Game 3: 34-26
Total 71-49=22
22/3 games = 7.1 pt differential per 3rd quarter

Jeff Van Gundy is a great coach. In particular, Van Gundy has the ability, not found in all coaches, to inspire teams/players to increased performance output through motivational speaking. In particular, for this experiment, this ability is inherent in the transformation the Houston Rockets 2005 team achieves during halftime, and witnessed in their brief performance surge in the 3rd quarter following.

Take the Houston 2005 season 3rd quarter ppg differential, and compare it to the ave. quarter diff of the Rockets other 3 quarters (data through 80 games):

Total ppg Scored: 7575-1891=5684/80 games/3 qtrs= 23.68
Total ppg Allowed: 7297-1806=5491/80 games/3 qtrs= 22.88
Differential: +0.80 pts/qtr

Total pp 3rd qtr Scored: 1891
Total pp 3rd qtr All: 1806
Differential 85/80games/qtr= +1.06 pts/qtr

The pt differential seen between the average of quarters 1,2, & 4 are +0.80 per qtr. The pt. Differential for the 3rd qtr is +1.06. The difference is +0.26, about a quarter of a point.

Not a DAMN thing!! While there is a ¼ point differential that may suggest Van Gundy does have some ability to inspire during halftime, that difference in all likelihood is too marginal to make any credible statement, considering all the other variables not taken into account in the test. What we can conclude is that the 3 games witnessed by my eyes (which indicated a huge ability by Van Gundy) were much too small a sample to make any logical assumption. Lesson learned: I am an idiot. Price paid: 45min of my life.

Reason #15,284 unemployment doesn’t suck:
-Being able to catch the Dawson’s Creek episode where Dawson’s dad dies, and the following episode as well. In-f**king-credible! For the rest of you that missed it, (huge spoiler alert!) in episode unknown of season 3-5 of the series, the writers, in a vain attempt to resuscitate the show, killed of a main/supporting character (they had previously exhausted all love triangle/interest options.) I remember catching the premiere season of Dawson’s Creek in the dorms and finding a new guilty pleasure, that is until the wheels fell off (maybe the damn thing never had wheels to begin with.)

So anyways, how do you go about killing off the father of the main character? End of the show, Mr. Leary goes out to buy groceries, leaves store with ice cream cone, gets in jeep, and on the way home (while doing the gratuitous scene where you sing along to some song on the radio, which has thankfully left my brain) the ice cream drops from the cone, he bends down to pick it up, and... BAM!!!! Cue car crash noise, fade to black, roll credits. Needless to say, I was locked in for the next episode (the reruns on TBS are shown in back to back blocks.)

So the next episode: classic premise, death of a side character, grieving main character shots, reminiscing scenes (they chose this thing where each one of the characters had a shot/scene where they were talking/remembering a particular poignant moment they had with the Dad (surprisingly Mr. Leary was still available to do these scenes.) You would think that under this premise the actors could pull off a few tear inducing performances… let me tell you, if you’ve never seen quality acting before, watching this episode won’t change that status. It was a certifiable train wreck of performances. From Dawson’s mom (how do you NOT hit the grieving widow part out of the park?? It’s like a hanging slider just begging to be taken for a ride,) to Dawson’s Dad (fully understand why the writers killed him off,) to Dawson himself (will we ever see a Mox-ian performance from Van Der Beek again?) it was brutal, awkward TV throughout. Needless to say, I loved every minute.

Final Rating- Two wildly enthusiastic thumbs up!

On a sidenote, I’ve caught several other episodes from this unknown season, and it’s brilliantly bad throughout. Today, Joey ( Katie Holmes) was singing in a rock band. Dee-liteful .

There really aren't enough superlatives to adequately discuss this show. And I believe I’m done emasculating myself now.


Talking Jibba-Jabba & Laying Down The Monster

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Mike McD doesn’t feel good about Ray Allen’s looming contract status & neither should we

I’ve caught the numerous heated debates on this one. Here’s my thought on the whole thing. Comments both agreeing and criticizing my opinions are wholeheartedly welcomed, and eagerly anticipated. And if you’d like to have me sit in on your home table to take me down, I’m in.

Points to clarify before I go on:

-Ray Allen, at this point, is a top 15 to 30 player in the league. I wish I had a more firm position for you to agree/disagree with, but to be honest, I haven’t compiled enough data yet to form one. A list could be forthcoming.

-Ray Allen, right now, is a legit superstar of the league, deserving of his due credit.

-Ray Allen, along with Rashard, formed the backbone of the Sonics 2004-05 team and they should be given their due credit to the surprising success achieved this season. Who deserves more of the credit is also still undecided, but methinks the pendulum is in the midst of a swing to the other side…

-Removing Ray Allen and inserting Ronald Murray will NOT result in a wash. While I may verbally applaud the play and contribution of A.D, Radman, Nick, Reggie, & Danny far more than him, Ray Allen is undoubtedly a far superior player to any of them. I ain’t no fool spouting nonsense jibba-jabba.

If the last few years’ NBA signings are good indications (and with the new CBA looming, they may not be) I believe the following situation will unfold:

Ray Allen is going to get several 4 year offers, a couple of 5 year offers, and the Sonics, in a decision come upon through a combination of player evaluation, organizational need, and media and local pressure, will offer Allen a 5yr contract in the range of 70-75M. Unfortunately, some team other than the Sonics is gonna throw the gauntlet down and, as KGB would so eloquently put it, pay that man his money: 5years at a whopping 80-90M.

Now, let’s put on our Sonics’s GM cap for a sec. (I believe there may be one available hanging on the bedpost of Calvin Booth’s boudoir, left there by Wally.)

You’ve got position at the final table of a winner take all tournament. The button is sitting in front of you. Action starts with a bullet, with Dead Money beginning the hand by throwing free money into the pot, Ray Allen. Everyone else in front of you bows out. You’ve got a respectable hand; say a pair of Jacks, and you feel good about your chances heads up against the loose player. But you’ve got the small and big blinds still to deal with; them, anticipating your move, you, anticipating theirs. You make the smart, yet tentative decision; merely play in terms of pot odds, and just call the bet. Then the dreaded response: low blind calls, followed by the big blind calling as well. Flop comes J-8-9, all diamonds. You’ve caught your set, but the flush and straight draw scare the bejeezus out of you, so you once again check. The nightmare sequence happens: Low blind goes all in, Big blind calls. The amateur bows out, but RayRay’s still sitting in that pot, waiting for the winner to claim him.

So what’s the proper action?* Forget the Oreos folks, they’re not necessary. You know it, I know it, and Mike McD knows it: Stare Teddy straight in the face and say with conviction: “I’m laying this set down. It’s a monster hand & I’m gonna lay it down. I’m not going to draw against a made hand.” For the most part you played the hand as well as you could have, and you simply have to move on, with all thoughts set on the real goal: winning it all.

Ray Allen is sitting at the apex of his career right now, or maybe more appropriate a plateau; he’s got 2-3 years left to wander up there and enjoy the view, but make no mistake, he will soon reenter the stratosphere of star to mediocre star status. Look at Reggie,Ray, and plan your future accordingly.

Miller Time is fast approaching for Ray Allen

If the Sonics are smart they will too. “The 2004 Sonics aren’t coming through that door folks!” “Charles isn’t walking through it either!”

We’re going to have to accept that inevitability, we simply can’t afford not to. The price is too high, and the product falls too short of the goal. But fear not, we will build him to be stronger, faster….

So, if you’re so damn smart what the hell do you propose, you ask? Ehhhh…. Pass? Kidding, offseason recommendations to come… in the offseason.

By the way,

Regarding superstar professional athletes and egregious amounts of cash being thrown their way? I hold absolutely no ill judgment for them for obtaining or trying to obtain the highest sum possible. While I may mourn their loss, I do not consider leaving a team for another a form of personal or organizational betrayal.

It’s a bit of a stretch, but I like to think of their situation in relation to the situation of most people living in corporate America. Imagine a scenario of you working for a company, being bound to that company by a previously agreed on contract, which was of a lower value to one you could now obtain elsewhere, regardless of being over or under paid/rated. Then you’re day comes and company A offers (insert salary here), a comparable salary to other peers you know, and company B (and C, and D…) offered you salary A*(enter insane multiple here). So, wtf would you do? “Aw shucks, well if I were happy at my old company, I’d stay there. Hell they’ve been loyal to me for all these years; it’s darn time I repaid the favor. The grass will always appear greener on the other side, yuk, yuk, yuk.” If you believe you’d say something along this line, my congratulations to you on a great attitude and superior morals… and for making me throw up in my mouth.

I will NEVER blame Arod for a payroll greater than this country’s GDP ,
Jim McIlvaine signing for 35M over 5 years, Calvin Booth for signing for 34M over 6, or Ray Allen for whatever sum he is able to extract this summer. Blame Tom Hicks, blame the unholy Wally Walker, and blame Dan Gilbert & Usher .

The term really doesn’t do it justice but, simply put, don’t hate the playa, hate the game. These folks deserve none of your derision for doing the same thing that 99% of America would do in the same situation, and are entitled to in this great country. I mean c’mon!! I thought this was America! Huh?! Isn't this America!? I'm sorry, I thought this was America!

(Now officially off the soapbox, chopping it to pieces, pouring kerosene on it, lighting it up, and jumping in. I disgust myself sometimes.)

*Note: After going over this crap, I came to the conclusion that my call wasn’t quite right. I had initially thought that the only outs would be to get the 4 of a kind, which is actually not the case. Against the likely straight or flush possibilities, a full house would work just as well. So, let me see, say the game was six handed, 12 cards off the deck, assume nothing good comes on 4th street, 4 cards off the deck, with let’s see 1 J, and 3x3=9 possibilities to pair the board, that’s 10 outs/(52-12-4=36cards) and a 27.8% chance, approximately 1:3.5 pot odds. The right play in all likelihood would be to call. For the assumption that a 4 of a kind was needed, it would have been 1/36: a 2.8% chance, and unless the pot was that big and my stack that small, not the right move. My apologies for not being The Master .

Mixed feelings...

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Spree thinking about his starving family, and Wally thinking about more bench time

Seattle 109, Minnesota 94

Some quick thoughts:

- Ray poured in 34pts and 10 boards, Rashard had 28, and Ridnour had 10pts and 11 assists with no turnovers. The two teams combined for just 19 turnovers and hovered at 50% FG shooting, implying to me that either both teams were playing extremely efficient offensively and/or, true to the common perception of the teams, they really were unimpressive defensively.

- I feel for Kevin Garnett. Read what Matt at San Antonio Spurs Blog had to say about his whole situation. That goes ditto for me. KG is simply one of those players, like A.I, that I genuinely root for and enjoy watching regardless of what team he’s on. Probably shouldn’t say this on this blog, but I was actually hoping that the Wolves would pull off the miracle and grab the 8th seed from Memphis (meaning I was also partially rooting for them to beat the Sonics today,) if simply to give KG something to reflect positively on.

- In further regards to Garnett, I always felt bad for him when Charles Barkley (whom I absolutely love watching/listening to and who is deserving of his own column by me at some point.) and the rest of the TNT crew would get on him for not being a true superstar because he couldn’t get the T-wolves past the 1st round of the playoffs for all those years. I was glad when they finally gave him his due credit last year, and found him absolutely blameless in the Wolves excruciating loss to the Lakers in the Western finals last year.

- A great Division Championship soundbite from Jerome James here. He must’ve missed that Crash Davis interview course.

"It's like a high, a rush. I can understand why MJ [Michael Jordan] and [Scottie] Pippen worked so hard after they won their first one," said Jerome James, who was flanked by sons Mason, 2, and Dallas, 4. "This is so sweet. You wait all of your life as a professional athlete to accomplish something like this.
"It's what all the sweat and tears, all of the hard work, the pain pills, surgeries and ice and film and all of that crap and fussing and cussing and fighting and pulling and everything combined — it's worth it all today. To see my teammates and to be in this room of brothers and to enjoy each other on this level. The camaraderie, the love, the passion. It's like church.

Just guessing, but I don’t think Jerome James attends Catholic mass. Maybe his church doles out 40’s with communion or something cause it sounds like a party up in that motha.

- Vlad watch day 151:
Vladimir Radmanovic, who is on the injured list because of a stress fracture in his lower right leg, walked on a treadmill wearing a weight-bearing vest yesterday in Seattle. McMillan said there's a 50 percent chance of him returning for the start of the playoffs.

Before you leave..

Friday, April 15, 2005

Seattle 97, New Orleans 92

Seattle Supersonics: 2005 NW Division Champs

Ray Allen goes for 32pts (and 7 assists) to negate Lewis going 1 for 12 on the night (1 for 12, is that line real?)

-Great PR move on the Sonics organization part at the end. After the win, after the now traditional team huddle at midcourt, the players remained on the court to hand out t-shirts, frisbees and a crap load of other autographed goodies. Antonio Daniels was even signing and giving away a shiny set of new kicks; damn it, why the hell do I get the games with free balloons... In addition, fox NW got in on the act and interviewed practically the entire team afterwards with the standard, great to be here, what’s good, what’s next stuff. Seriously, it's these little things that the Sonics did after the game tonight that endear fans to teams, and sell future tickets.

-I don’t have insider access to his brain, but I think Calabro was reigning himself in from berating fans for leaving prior to the outcome of a blowout victory. I found him suppressing his thoughts kinda funny.

I don’t consider it messed up at all that fans want to leave blowouts early… but I will say that under the situation, them playing a game so reminiscent of the good times of the early season, winning after a 6 game losing streak, and knowing it was a division clincher should’ve brought enough interest till the end of the game to warrant the 10-15 extra minutes in traffic. Whatever, their loss; I mean free Antonio Freakin Daniels autographed kicks for chrissakes!

-Small thing that only interested me: actually thrown up during the telecast was a +/- stat for Rashard Lewis’ influence on the game and commented on by Ehlo. Maybe the revolution will be televised?

-Wait, another praise for Ehlo?? In the 3rd, Ridnour was pushing the ball up and made a beautiful pass/lob to Rashard, who was just barely open and ahead of the defenders. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to dunk it, instead resetting himself (and the D) and passing it out to Allen for a jumpshot. Ehlo immediately caught it and made the comment that if that was 20 or so games ago, that’s an alley oop. Here’s to hoping it will be one come playoff time.

My congratulations to the team for the season's accomplishment.

Mavericks, PG’s, Chicken bones, and Earth Stewards

Thursday, April 14, 2005
Dallas 95, Seattle 90

Do my eyes deceive me?

One of the things I try to force myself to do while watching games is to avoid the inevitable visual positive reinforcements I may make in regards to opinions on players. I only caught some of the 1st and 4th quarter of tonight’s game, but one of the sequences I caught was in the 4th. It started with Wilkins playing generally good D on Nowitski (but getting the rookie on established star foul call,) then on the ensuing play being involved in a Dallas turnover, and then in a forthcoming play stealing a pass for a breakaway dunk. I don't intend on getting in my car and heading over to a Sonics team store to purchase Wilkins’ jersey (which I guess isn’t for sale to the public.) based purely upon those few minutes of play. There's just simply not enough data there to prove or disprove my thoughts on a guy, even if it does support my hunch. I’m still sticking to my belief that he’s worthy of some playing time though, even during the playoffs. Cut into the playing times of Luke, Jerome, Flip, and the Potato.

Other notes on a game that I couldn’t get fully involved with:

-Rashard Lewis made his return, scoring 12 pts on 5-13 (1-7 3pt) shooting and looking somewhat tentative especially in the 4th quarter. Hopefully he can regain the swagger that had him declaring “It just feels like no one man can stop me.” The Sonics’ playoff chances rest on it.

-Seattle remained in the game partially by outboarding Dallas 45-30, with 16 of those coming in the offensive end, 8 of those by Mr. Glass. It's gonna be sad seeing the breaking up of the 3 power forwards come the offseason.

-Van Horn and Nowitski on the same team requires a sharper attention to the game than I had. Can someone put a frikkin’ bell on Nowitski or something, so I can immediately differentiate him from the Ute?

-I didn’t catch it, but apparently Bizarro Jerome made an appearance in the 3rd quarter. Well done Jerome, I suppose 1 quarter’s worth of work is worthy of a $55,000 per game paycheck.

Other points of interest:

-While I may chastise Ridnour’s deficiencies an ungodly amount of times, I will concede that he does have some skills and assets, such as his genuine point guard mentality and his nice assists/turnover stat. More importantly, because he's still locked into his rookie salary of 1.5-2.5M per year, he is good value player on the roster. But the fact remains, anything Luke does, I can do better. I’m gonna be beating this dead horse repeatedly: A.D. simply provides a better option at PG for the Supes. Daniels not only shares in Luke’s ability to run the team, find open players, and shoot the ball, but he also plays defense at an above average skill, and provides more offensive ability than Rid. The only skill that Luke marginally excels over A.D. in is 3pt shooting %, and I’ll be damned if that’ll sway my vote enough. If you don’t believe me go ask Mr. Roland, he’ll point you to the truth.

-I don’t intend to fully delve into the Sonic’s upcoming personnel decisions till after the playoffs but I will say this: if Mr. Daniels ends up signing for something around the tune of 3-4 years at 4-5 million per (which is what I expect since that’s what this guy got in a similar deal and situation last year) I’d fully endorse the move. I seriously hope he hasn’t priced himself out of our league.

-I’ve been perusing Seattle newspaper’s online as well as the regular sites in hopes of finding some word on Vlad’s expected return. I finally was able to dig this up at Foxsports today:

Sat Apr 2 2005 - Vladimir Radmanovic had the cast removed from his broken right fibula. The organization won't know until the week of April 18 whether he will be available for the playoffs. His regular season is over, though.

And to reiterate, from Yahoo sports is this:

McMillan said he does not expect reserve forward Vladimir Radmanovic to return before the end of the regular season. Radmanovic was placed on the injured list March 18 with a stress fracture in his lower right leg.

Translation: We’re f***ed. I think reasonable adjusted expectations may be to pass the first round, and maybe steal a game or two from the 2005 NBA champs.

– Finally, during my Radmanovic research, I also caught that Percy Allen of the Seattle Times on Sunday beat me to the punch on the Curse of the Sonics big men that I briefly commented on here. My apologies for failing to mention Haywood and the X-Man in my comment. While we may be onto something, I believe Dan Shaughnessy’s legacy shall remain safe.

A few lines from that article:

The e-mail from Dragon Wolf Medicine Woman was sincere and informative, and so we talked the other day about the possibility that the Sonics are cursed.

The supernatural theory originated a couple of years ago during a conversation with Spencer Haywood while he was lobbying the Sonics to retire his number.
Haywood made mention that he placed a hex on the team and would only lift the spell upon receiving confirmation that his No. 24 jersey would hang in the rafters.

"I'm from a place where we know about voodoo and stuff like that," said Haywood, a native of Silver City, Miss. "I got some chicken bones around here, so I used some old Black Magic like that boy in Boston did to the Red Sox. This stuff is real, man."

My favorite lil’ nugget of the article came here:

"On some level, they are aware of what's going on, perhaps not consciously," said Ms. Medicine Woman, an ordained minister, spiritual healer and Earth steward….

There you go ladies and germs, the decay of American civilization in a nutshell. When any individual that goes by the email moniker of “Dragon Wolf Medicine Woman” can so easily attain the prestigious title not only of ordained minister but Earth Steward as well… well, I think it might be time to consider that move to Canada. My congratulations to Mr. Percy Allen for digging deeper and going that extra mile to find the real stories that need to be told…

Pass the mic...

Wednesday, April 13, 2005
A couple of weeks ago, we invited a fellow blogger to post a story on Supersonicsoul. This week, we recieved this piece from one of our loyal readers, Booth52:

A Sonics Playoff Preview Precursor:

With the Playoffs looming over the horizon I thought I’d take the opportunity to throw in my two pennies on the Sonics and their a) recent struggles and, of more interest to me, b) their chances in the playoffs. I thought I’d drop a post here and should you deem it at all interesting/post-worthy, I’d like to tackle a few other Sonic-subjects in more depth.

Quick side note: I really have no desire to add to the crowded field of Sonics blogs (for which I’m grateful to both sites for) out in this here internet thing. If anything I’d love to enrich the site with my humble opinions on the team, sending in some posts from time to time. My inspiration spawned off of reading an Oakland athletics website you may have heard of (http://www.athleticsnation.com/) and the game threads of red sox games by the diehard redsox fans at sosh. I read a bunch of other nba blogs and they seem to be in their infancy stage when compared to other more established sites with regards to a community vibe. Anyways here’s my first attempt at a post.

Stating The Obvious:
First off, a brief response to the Sonics recent struggles. The team is in the midst of a 4 game losing streak. In reality, they have been playing mediocre to awful basketball for a longer period than that.

Over the past 7 games, the Sonics have compiled a 2-5 record. If we are seriously evaluating the skid, we should count them for at most a 1-6 record since at least one of the two victories vs. Memphis and, Portland, should have really been discounted considering their poor play.

But, for my amusement, let’s go back a bit further say, how about 13 games? Their record since then: a very pedestrian 9-7. Some interesting tidbits:

Sonics pre-3/18:
3P%: 37.5
3PM/G: 8.5
3PA/G: 22.7
PPG: 100.5
PPG All: 99.8

Sonics post-3/18: (13 games total as of April 10)
3P%: 33.3
3PM/G: 5.5
3PA/G: 20.3
PPG: 95.1 (not including 14 points scored in overtime vs. NY, 7 of which came via the charity stripe with the Supes up by 5 with 38 seconds to play)
PPG All: 99.8 (Our recent defensive inadequacies will conservatively and mercifully be ignored for simplicity of comparison)

That PPG differential comes out to 5.4. For those that don’t consider that to be much let’s put that into context for the season: overall the Sonics (50-26) have, up to this point averaged 99.5ppg scored and 96.9ppg allowed. If we were to find a team who gave up a similar amount of points and scored roughly 94.1ppg(99.5-5.4) what would we come up with? How about this team (93.4ppg, 97.4ppga)?

So exactly what separates the previous team, that was (record wise at least) making claims to being one of the top 4 teams in the league, to one now garnering comparisons to the 4th worst team? Simple: Their names are Rashard Lewis and Vladimir Radmanovic. Since Lewis’ injury the Supes have thrown together that 2-5 record (again, realistically 1-6 or 0-7) and since Vlad was sidelined with a stress fracture on his right leg, the Sonics have made 3 less treys a game and scored on average 5 less points a game. I cannot stress enough the Radman’s importance to the team, particularly by forcing the opponents to extend their defense, having a normally paint roaming potential rebounder, shot blocking/averting 3-4-5 man having to respect Vlad’s 3pt shooting ability. Not to provide some generic tv broadcaster’s response, but he simply makes that offense flow better.

So again you might ask, what the hell’s your point? Simply put, the current state of guarded pessimism taken on by Superfriends everywhere is a bit misdirected at this current time towards the nosedive the team is in. I don’t consider the slide any indication at all of the team’s ability to win (in the playoffs). I don’t care if the team as is loses by 3 or 30 to the Lakers, cause they ain’t gonna do s*** in the playoffs as is. Rashard is expected to return after a few more games, and Vlad’s tour of duty in IR is scheduled to end either today (if you believe the 4 week timeline) or by the start of the playoffs. What is of importance is the team’s ability to re-incorporate two of their most important players back into the fold, and to again develop that chemistry that made the offensive execution a thing of beauty during the first half of the season. If they’re not able to do this, consider the Season record your only present year, cause the Sonics ain’t going nowhere in the playoffs without a little of that magic they conjured up in the beginning of the season.

Some opinions/topics I’d love to drop an analysis on or merely ramble on about Simmons style:

-Damien Wilkins Has played himself into some quality P.T. for the team. He and A.D. are the team’s top perimeter defenders, and he should be used accordingly for certain player matchups. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: 12-15 minutes max young man, you ain’t your uncle.

-Rashard Lewis on the right side posting up should, in all circumstances, be considered the Sonics offensive option #1. (Just for the record, if you had told me 2 years ago that Lewis would have one of the top 20 most efficient iso-post up games in the league I would have simply laughed at you. If you had told me that six years ago, after the sonics put him out of his draft day misery, I would’ve strongly considered offering to purchase your medication.)

-In particular, the most efficient offensive play the Supes have in their playbook is A.D. and Lew isolated on one side, executing the pick and post to perfection, leaving either Lewis on the block with an undersized guard on him (can I get a “mouse in the house” comment from Calabro? Amen, brotha.), or A.D. wrecking havoc driving into the lane.

-Luke Ridnour is highly overrated, and much of it is due to his skin tone (No, I am not Spike Lee under a pseudonym, defaming yet another white player.) Hearing Ehlo and Kevin drool over the guy eerily reminds me of McCarver and Joe Morgan going gaga over the intangibles of Derek Jeter.

-Ridnour’s deficiencies on the defensive end are most evident against quick, penetrating, offensive minded guards. (Interpretation: get him the hell out of there against the Parker’s, Marbury’s, and Franchises of the League) His inabilities to work the A.D/Lew Pick and finish in the lane are often understated. (Note to Ehlo: driving into the paint, not having the offensive ability to create/score, BUT being able to continue your dribble, is not a basketball talent to be praised.)

-Damien Wilkins Has played himself into some quality P.T. for the team. He and A.D. are the team’s top perimeter defenders, and he should be used accordingly for certain player matchups.

-I am absolutely dumbfounded by Ronald Murray and have no idea if he would be a legitimate star in this league with some decent playing time.

-Jerome James, at best, is an average to slightly above average center. Unfortunately, THAT is the Bizzaro Jerome James, and he only makes an appearance approximately 1 in 10 games. The first few minutes of each game should be spent by Mac-10 determining if the alter ego has shown up and act accordingly, providing Matteen Cleaves a clapping, chest bumping-during timeouts sidekick.

-SuperDanny (He of the 10pts, 8+ rebounds, 3+ offensive rebounds resulting in putback attempts resulting in two free throws and the occasional And-1 situations performances) NEVER appears in the same game that Bizarro James shows up in. Furthermore, +/- Uber-Collison of recent playing time, has miraculously emerged to alleviate the mysterious disappearance of SuperDanny. While John Hollinger of ESPN.com briefly touched on the scary potential of a Reggie-Forston rebound transformer, he’s merely scratched the tip of the iceberg. If someone can debunk my theory that Bizarro Jerome-Uber-Collison-SuperDanny & Reggie all actually share the same brain and merely barter it off at the bench during timeouts, please notify me ASAP. Evidence will be required.

-Signing Ray Allen to a 4 (or worse 5) year contract beyond $75M would be a mistake of McIlvaine-esque proportions. I will not argue about this. Contending for a 8-5 seed in the playoffs over the next 4 years and then moving into a rebuilding mode is not what I consider success. All personnel moves should be made with the sole purpose of leading towards a team capable of contending for a title. A Lewis-Aging Allen combo with intermediate surrounding players taking up the rest of the meager cap space WILL NOT provide for this requirement.
More ramblings to come.


It may not look like much

Tuesday, April 12, 2005
But in my mind, and when it's done, it's gonna be a thing of beauty....

This is where the Idiot-Savant material will be

Start off with a compilation of John Thompson's best work...
Add in some Jerome James material...
And finish it off with a dash of Chuckster highlights...