On Tap: The Seattle Supersonics

Kurt —  March 31, 2006

Just a head’s up, this preview may be shorter than normal but there will be two new posts over the weekend. For a change.

About Last Night: If you wonder why we need Mihm back and more depth along the front line long term, last night was the perfect example. Kwame did a respectable job man-up on Duncan, but that meant Cook on Nazr and Cook got destroyed. And I love Turiaf and what he brings off the bench, but he can’t cover Duncan. Of course, all the problems weren’t inside as Smush can’t cover Tony Parker and Bowen plus a sore back slowed Kobe.

Then there’s this — San Antonio may be the best team in the league, they are better than the Lakers. In the last two Spurs wins over LA the game was largely even save for one huge Spur run. That’s what they do to everyone, not overwhelm but as Steve Kerr put it last night, they just wear you down.

Kobe for MVP: The idea has merit, and at least a few smart people are pushing it.

Maybe my favorite NBA tidbit of the year: From the he’s-smarter-and-younger-than-me-so-I-
should-hate-him-but-I-like-him-anyway Kevin Pelton on the Sonics official site:

Seattle SuperSonics forward Chris Wilcox wears a tape wrap on his right thumb, and there’s a good explanation. Wilcox needs more protection because he was hurting his right hand when he dunked.

In the last 10 games, Wilcox has been scoring 15.8 points per game on 59.6% shooting and grabbing 7.7 boards. Overall, his numbers are basically equal to what they get out of Rashard Lewis.

The Sonics Look Better: Wilcox, Earl Watson and a the growth of Johan Petro are making the Sonics much better than their 29-42 record indicate. They are 6-4 in their last 10.

Last time the Lakers and Sonics hooked up, it was an up-and-down game and the Sonics shot 64% in the first half, and for the game shot 63.1% (eFG%) and 50% from beyond the arc. They simply outscored the Lakers for the win. Also, while the Laker starters played well the bench battle went to Seattle.

The Lakers tend not to play much defense on the second night of back-to-backs, and if they do that tonight the result may look a lot like the last game between these two.