In light of last nights atrocious loss I find that I simply have to vent.
There may be no greater insult a fan can throw at a professional athelete than to say that they are not fun to watch. This team is no fun to watch.
When your consumer does not enjoy the product then you have a BIG problem. I am one of the biggest fans this team has and the opportunity to work with SC.com has given me a unique relationship with the squad. Still I find myself changing the channel because the Surreal Life on VH1 is more interesting than Sonics basketball. You heard me right, the Surreal Life. It has gotten that bad.
Last season we saw players across the roster step up and play above the level expected of them. The list included Vladi Radmanovic, Luke Ridnour, Jerome James, Antonio Daniels, Danny Fortson, and even to an extent Ray Allen. This year almost across the board the players are falling well below individual expectations. Other than Damien Wilkens who has been nice in stretches, and Rashard Lewis who simply continues to refine his game the team has, to a man, played sub-par basketball.
At this point I am ready to close the book on the current coaching staff and try something new. I am not an advocate of mid-season changes, nor am I used to being the guy who calls for someoneâ€™s head. I like Bob Weiss and want nothing but the best for him. However it isnâ€™t working out and appears to be getting worse rather than better.
Weiss has chosen to continually juggle his rotation with the belief that he will find the correct â€œfitâ€ for a player and the role will stick. In interviews he is very candid about this strategy and advises that it is easy to maintain a constant rotation when players are performing but more difficult when they are not. Since very few have been performing players such as Mikki Moore and Vitaly Potapenko have gone from the inactive list to major minutes and back again multiple times. Mateen Cleaves has alternated between inactive and the backup PG position. Reggie Evans is either a primary offensive force or a guy who doesnâ€™t get off the bench. It all changes game to game.
I do not advocate constant lineup changes. In my (admittedly non-expert) opinion an authoritative coach is responsible to evaluate his talent and impose a playerâ€™s role upon them. Players need to be given clear cut duties and responsibilities within an offense and a defense, and have those duties be consistent enough that there are few if any questions regarding them.
With last nightâ€™s demotion of Luke Ridnour and the emergence of Damien Wilkens as a point guard I think you can now say that Rashard Lewis is the only player on the team who is not openly confused with his role on the team. Even superstar Ray Allen has to wonder if his primary focus is to involve his teammates in the offense or to shoulder the scoring load coming off screens. Even if he does know his role then it must confuse him a bit that he has different players setting those screens on any given night.
The team is ready for a change. I would advocate inserting one of our young centers, Swift or Petro into the starting lineup along with Nick Collison. Simply put I do not care how inexperienced those guys are, our interior defense could not be any worse. If we are going to set a modern era record for worst defensive statistics we may as well do it with a 20 year old getting some experience. Combine these young centers with Ridnour, Allen, and Lewis, and define your bench rotation to include Wilkens at the 1, 2, and 3, with Fortson, Evans, and Radmanovich. Flip Murray and Vitaly Potapenko should be traded and Mateen Cleaves and Mikki Moore made the deep reserves at PG and C.