Luke Ridnourâ€™s 16 point, 7 assist game was great and helped the Sonics win in Utah, but it wasnâ€™t the best line of the night for Luke. When he was asked by Brian Davis after the game about coming home and playing against a team they â€œshould beat,â€ Luke was perturbed by the question because, in Lukeâ€™s mind, there isnâ€™t ANY team that the Sonics should beat.
Luke's statement meant they can't take anyone lightly because everyone gets paid to play and they have as much pride as the next team.
I think itâ€™s the mentality that makes this team good when theyâ€™re goodâ€”and last night they were good. They did not go down to Utah and play Jazz basketball, they went into Utah and played Sonics basketball.
A Utah game would have been 90-85, Jazz. A Seattle game would have been in the 100â€™s with Utah trying to stay up with them.
106-90, good guys!
Seattle has to play each game like theyâ€™re the team the â€œexpertsâ€ predicted them to be last year. They have to crash the boards (Evans 18 rebounds last night), play tough (but, Danny, not quite that tough), score (Lewisâ€™ masterful 26 points not only lead the Sonics, but proved to Utah they couldnâ€™t match), and win the bench play (get 17 from Vladi and 12 from Murray and the Sonics will win most nights).
Reggie was quoted in the AP story as saying, "It reminded me of last year's Sonics," Evans said. "Everybody finding their rhythm and finding their shot. We look like the old Sonics. It felt good tonight."
This is the Sonics. They are never going to win with one-on-one play (Ray, come back to the team), or thinking they are supposed to beat anyone. Maybe the Knicks loss the other night was a good game for the Sonics to remember that important point.
And tonight versus Sacramento? Completely different game as a pack-in zoneâ€™s not going to stop the Kings, so Seattleâ€™s going to have to give a full effort working through the screens, rebounding hard, and playing physical.
With Ray in a shooting slump, I would put Damien on Bonzi Wells for a little bit more time tonight and maybe allow Ray to slowly work out of it (Iâ€™m not saying bench him or donâ€™t play him, obviously, this is Ray Allen weâ€™re talking about). Ray played big minutes last night and maybe Weiss should cut back his minutes a bit so he can be fresher, and also trust his teammates more.
But most importantly, having the attitude and perspective Luke gave in the interview after the game last night, that's the key to tonight's game.