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A Good Petro Problem?

There has been quite a bit of discussion around the internet about the depth of the Sonics and problems seen aready in this young season with there not being a consistent rotation. It is my belief that this is largely the result of the unexpected ability of one Johan Petro.

When the Sonics drafted Petro, it was estimated that he was a few years away from being NBA caliber. He was raw and atheletic. Most expected him to see a lot private time with Jack Sikma, going one on one with Big Rob Swift. Instead we have seen him performing at a level that Jerome James regularly failed to achieve. Petro is averaging 14.5 minutes so far, 14.5 minutes that were not originally accounted for when people were projecting line ups. 14.5 minutes that have to come from someone else's minutes. 14.5 minutes that come from Potapenko, Evans, Moore and Fortson (note: I don't think he's eating into Collison's minutes, he was going to get his regardless). It also indirectly affects Vlade Radmanovic, as it eats into minutes available at the 4 when Collison plays little to none at the 5.

The long term solution to this problem is likely to be an injury. This is the NBA, and people get hurt and miss games. We have great depth to overcome this at the 4/5 position. The short term solution is that Coach Weiss need sell, and sell hard, the idea of each of these guys giving 100% every minute they are on the floor. Dive for every ball, be spent at the end of each time you are on the floor. This all out effort should result in some great hustle plays, and really suck energy out of the opposing teams. The other option is for players to pout and complain to the media. I think we will know which way this goes in the next 10 games, but will have a very good idea by the end of the road trip the Sonics have just started.

Beyond the log jam at the 4/5, I think Vlade Radmanovic will begin to get more minutes as he starts to heat back up on offense. He has to keep his head in the game while his shots aren't falling to keep giving himself the chances to score. If he quits rebounding and playing defense, he might find his reduced minutes shrinking further.

The backup point guard/shooting guard rotation is one I expect to stay in flux for a while. Luke and Ray will get their minutes, and I think there will be periods where Cleaves is a better fit than Flip at PG, and Wilkins will be a better fit than Flip at SG. I think the 1/2 rotation will be more matchup driven unless one of Brunson/Flip/Cleaves breaks out or gets white hot. We know Flip has that potential, but he doesn't do as good a job running the offense as Cleaves does. We haven't seen much of Brunson yet, but he has a proven record (see Clippers '04) and is a great player to have in case someone goes down to injury.

What do you think? Disagree? Convince me I'm wrong.