Sonics Preview

Gatinho —  January 14, 2008

Pretty scary, it felt like my knee twisted all the way around…I didn’t hear any pops…I’m fine, I can put weight on it…not as bad as I thought…they put ice on it, and it felt better right away.”

Seattle: PG Earl Watson, Sg Kevin Durant, SF Jeff Green, PF Nick Collison (game time decision), C Kurt Thomas
Offense: 96.2
Defense: 103.6

Ridnour and Wilcox have been out and both return tonight.

Lakers: G Derek Fisher, G Kobe Bryant, SF Luke Walton, PF Lamar Odom, C Kwame Brown
Offense: 107.4
Defense: 100.8

Last time they met: …Rookie Kevin Durant had 25 points for Seattle, 12 of them in the final 6:05. But it wasn’t enough to overcome a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit… After this ragged game, Phil Jackson commented on the “unbridled and still undisciplined” aspects of this still developing team.

The Popcorn Machine: if you are not familiar with this site, give it a look. Game flows offer a unique comprehensive view of the ebb and flow of games, along with +/- and Help Value hv=Reb+Ast+Blk+Stl-TO. See the last time the Sonics and Lakers played here.

About last night…

With everyone’s mind on the health of Andrew Bynum, the Lakers lost their defensive focus and allowed a 13-0 4th quarter run. Gutting out an ugly win (with the help of a favorable no call) shows that this team is fighting to be included in discussions about upper echelon clubs. This was a game that they would (and did) lose last year. After letting the Grizzlies score 29 1st quarter points, look for the defense to be sharper tonight.

Missing Bynum: Assuming Bynum doesn’t play. With Kwame starting and Turiaf coming off the bench (or vice versa depending on the whims of one Phil Jackson). Jackson will get his wish of having Brown start, get more minutes, and hopefully get him in a groove.

“Right now, we’re trying to get Kwame going, get him back in basketball shape,” Jackson said. “If he can’t do it, Ronny (Turiaf) is going to have to take his spot. If coming off the bench is that difficult for him, we’ll have to move on without him.”

In a perfect world, Jackson would rather start Brown and keep Bynum as a productive backup. Bynum’s standout play while Brown was injured earlier this season had made Jackson’s plan impossible to carry out, however.

Bynum had won the starter’s spot until he was injured Sunday.

“Andrew seems to be sustaining his conditioning and his energy pretty well right now,” Jackson said. “He’s able to play 35 minutes now. His productivity, you just can’t turn away from it as a coach. He’s just too productive to not have him on the floor.”

Update per ESPN: Bynum out 8 weeks. Hat tip to 33.