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Practice Notes 11.03.05

Practice Notes:

I’m going to again use my amateur status to get out of proper editing on this one. Following last nights game I figured it was important to people to get some information out before a meeting I have to rush off to.

The Sonics mood today at practice was a combination of somber spirits and quiet professionalism. Nick Collison advised that he has trouble sleeping after games like this but that he has grown more accustomed to putting bad games behind him.

“In college it would have bothered me more, but I’m getting used to it more. You just play so many games you have to move on.” Collison stated.

Forward Danny Fortson sat out practice with a sore left knee and was scheduled to visit a doctor following practice. Fortson acknowledged his terrible performance in last nights game but also talked about moving on.

“That’s the great thing about the NBA. There’s always another game to redeem yourself.” Fortson commented.

The days scrimmage was hard fought although Fortson, Rashard Lewis, and Ray Allen all sat out for precautionary measures. It was somewhat surprising to see Mateen Cleaves set the offensive tone but on numerous times down the court he came off solid picks by rookie Johan Petro to score driving baskets.

The coaching staff encouraged Petro to keep setting hard screens despite being called for an offensive foul. On one play coach Weiss called him out specifically.

“I know you got called for moving picks but you’ve got to get set. You had Damien (Wilkens) coming at you and we have to get a shot there. You have to headhunt someone!” said Weiss. I don’t think he meant the “headhunt comment literally but he clearly wants Petro to be aggressive.

In his post game interview Coach Bob Weiss talked about turnovers and offensive spacing as his biggest complaints from the game.

During practice today the team instituted a rule that the offensive team had 8 seconds from possession to spread the floor by having shooters in each corner and their post man set. If they did not get proper position it was a turnover.

Poor spacing apparently affected the game plan. I asked both Coach Weiss and forward Nick Collison about the decision to move away from the pick and roll offense. Coach Weiss advised that he would prefer to feature the pick and roll more in upcoming games.

“It was just the flow of game. We didn’t design it that way.” Collison said when asked why he rarely rolled off his picks.

Lastly Weiss faced a lot of questions about his decision to go with a small lineup to close the game.

“I was trying to match their quickness. Normally you’ll see one more big guy in there.” Weiss said.

I’ll try to get more information up later but overall it was a very interesting practice.