Another morning consisting primarily of summaries from last nights final preseason game. At least it was a win.
Frank Hughes continues to bring a bit of extra information to the table by pointing out that the Sonics are very interested in watching negotiations with Tayshaun Prince of Detroit. Prince's contract will effect what Vladi Radmanovic asks for next offseason. Let me just say that Prince is a way better player than Vladi and from my perspective his current contract demands of $50 million make the Sonics offer to Radmanovic look generous.
This article also contains a quote from Bob Weiss which should make most fans pretty happy.
â€œIt is a situation where I have spent the majority of our time on defense, so I think the offense is lagging behind.â€
Let's hope Defense continues to be a priority.
Just looking at the statistical highlights of the game we should be happy that Flip Murray (7 of 11, 17 points) and Luke Ridnour (6 of 11, 12 points) were able to pick up part of the scoring load and balance out the offense. As columnist Steave Stearns pointed out in his Three Questions series, the ability of Murray to replace Antonio Daniels this season is a huge factor for us.
Danny Fortson also had a nice night with 8 rebounds and 7 points in only 16 minutes.
Special thanks to reader SpokaneSonicsFan who was able to attend the game and provide the following recap:
During warmups Ray Allen and Luke Ridnour's shots looked really smooth. Most players just did not stand out that much with a few exceptions. One post man really stood out, Mikki Moore, at one point he made 4 straight 3's. One from each baseline and 2 others from the left side. All were swishes. Mikki has a very nice shooting touch from outside for a post player, however, he looked really skinny as well.
The other player that stood out in warmups was Robert Swift. Unfortunately, it was for how bad he looked. I saw him rushing most of his shots and when he wasn't rushing he was taking stupid shots like wild hookshots and double clutching every single dunk. He looked like a highschooler playing around in the gym after school.
On to the game.
The starting lineup was Allen, Ridnour, Rashard Lewis, Reggie Evans, and Johan Petro. This unit looked good but not great for most of the night. It was the unit that went on the two largest scoring runs of the game for the Sonics. The only other players to play in the first 3 quarters was the other unit that played mostly together as well. That unit was Rick Brunson, Ronald Murray, Vladimir Radmanovic, Danny Forston, and Nick Collison. This second unit didn't run any offense most of the time. It was mostly junk ball. Starting at the 8:30 mark in the fourth we
finally saw 3 more players straggle in. First was Robert Swift, followed by Damien Wilkins and Mikki Moore. All came in only after the game was decided.
Regarding Specific players:
Vitaly Potapenko was in street clothes for the game so no news on him.
Mateen Cleaves, Noel Felix, and Alex Scales never played but all did warm up. None stood out enough to mention anything further for them.
Moore never touched the ball once he did get in. Actually, to end the game he was wide open on the right wing and Murray refused to pass it to him and instead held the ball for a last second 3 that he made.
Murray and Brunson did not stand out at all. Most of the assists they did have were not from running the offence but were with from transition baskets or off ball movement by other players while they held the ball and dribbled. At least Murray shot better tonight.
At this point I am for sending Swift to the NBDL once our other centers are healthy. He needs to play and is not ready for the NBA.
Collison, Fortson, and Evans were all solid.
Radmanovic stayed down low on defense and was in position to get rebounds and then went after them. That is how he got his 7 boards.
Petro plays solid D and mostly scored in transition finishing with authority.
Evans had several nice offensive moves and had a shot rim out that should have fallen.
Ridnour looks like a legitimate # 3 or 4 scoring option.
Allen and Lewis looked like they were tuning up and not forcing shots.
Some random thoughts in review: We ran a offense with the first team and that stopped with Murray and Brunson together on the court. I am in favor of droping Brunson. I see us being a good team but would have liked to see the end of the bench more and a healthy Potapenko playing as well. No guard questions were answered in my mind as least.
All in all it was a good games to watch but provided very few answers we have not already heard from other sources.