Why is it such a good day for hoops? With the conclusion of last nights World Series and the coming bye week for Seahawks football it is fair to claim that the NBA season is fully upon us. For the next week we should expect the Sonics to be front and center in the media coverage.
I was extremely remiss in yesterdayâ€™s edition of the morning roundup by not referring to the teamâ€™s official website, www.supersonics.com. As many of you know Supersonics.comâ€™s Kevin Pelton is the founder of Sonicscentral and still a good friend of the site. His rise from a hoopsworld.com writer to a bona fide journalist on an NBA payroll is a great story on its own.
Kevinâ€™s articles cover the return of Vitaly Potapenko and Mikki Moore, as well as a a preview of the SF position. This feature focuses on Rashard Lewis which is interesting to me because so many people write off last yearâ€™s all-star appearance as illegitimate. This team is viewed as lacking overall star power but based on last season Lewis is a legitimate star who, along with Ray Allen can carry a team on his shoulders. In my opinion Lewis is consistently overlooked when talking about why this team can or cannot repeat its NW Division championship.
The Seattle PIâ€™s Michael McLaughlin features a piece on the center position being up for grabs due to injury. I didnâ€™t pull the same impression away from Weissâ€™ comments that McLaughlin seemed to. The term â€œOpenâ€ to me implies that guys are in genuine competition for the spot, not that there is a starter who has the spot and may be out with an injury. Weiss seemed very specific when stating that Vitaly would be his starting center if injuries were not a concern. I think weâ€™re all jumping on the Petro bandwagon a little faster than the coaching staff is.
Percy Allen of the Seattle Times writes about Mikki Mooreâ€™s decision to come to Seattle and his possible role on the team. There are a couple of very interesting discussion topics in this one.
First it seems as if Sonics management does a good job of convincing solid role players to come play for this franchise. While they didnâ€™t knock on any Superstarsâ€™ doors at a minute after midnight they did identify who they wanted and make a solid pitch to those guys. Both Moore and Rick Brunsonâ€™s version of the story are virtually identical.
Secondly is Mooreâ€™s role on the team this season. I envisioned him having a pretty solid season for us and being firmly in the rotation. The emergence of Johan Petro is probably making him a little bit redundant. Heâ€™ll find minutes early if Vitaly Potapenko remains injured and have a chance to hold onto them if he performs. I was impressed with his defense and intensity in limited observations from yesterdayâ€™s practice. Also heâ€™s got more length than anyone on the team. If he plays well I think it sets the stage for a trade of Potapenko or Danny Fortson sometime during the season.
Lastly Frank Hughes writes a piece that could almost be a considered a follow-up to yesterdays article by Percy Allen. It goes into detail about the teams decision to pair PF/C comboâ€™s of Vladi/Petro, Vitaly/Evans, Collison/Fortson, and not mentioned but in my mind Mikki Moore/Robert Swift.
Itâ€™s a great article with lots of room for discussion. Its obvious that somebody will get squeezed out of the rotation and likely that either Radmanovic or Evans is that guy. It wonâ€™t sit well with a guy on a one year contract going into unrestricted free agency. I agree with Hughes that there is some tension there but everybody is trying to minimize it. I asked Reggie about the contract situation in general.
â€œIâ€™ve got to just be smart, really smart. Use your head all the time so you stay focused.â€ Evans replied.
It is clear that it will take some discipline for these guys to stay focused.