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Daily Roundup 11.17.06

"I hate the city of Utah more than any other in the NBA ."-- Dirk Nowitzki, star forward of the Dallas Mavericks

Well said Dirk. I hate that city too. :D Is there a more reviled club than Utah? Though the days of dirty bastard John Stockton and Karl "The Elbow" Malone are long gone, the hate remains. Oddly enough, I like Jerry Sloan but hate the team. Not too fond of the state either. I was actually born in Salt Lake City (no, I'm not LDS) back in the halcyon days of the Nixon administration (yeah, yeah, yeah get over it, I'm old) and moved when I was but six months old.

I've never been back.

Gordon Cheisa sounds off about facing the team he helped coach for years for the first time.

"It's going to be great to compete against them. Right now, they're the first place team. That's the word: competition, healthy competition. I respect Utah tremendously and I'm sure they respect Seattle as well."

Check out the new Bob Hill podcast as well as Ray Allen's chat with fans on NBA.com. To quote Krusty the Clown, "Talk to the audience??? Ugh, this is always death ..."

China: Since you're seldom be in foul trouble, what's the secret of staying out of foul trouble and playing your defense?

Ray Allen: You have to learn the referees' tendencies and what they're calling. Early in games, referees blow the whistles a lot to set the tone. So keeping your hands out of the defense and guarding with your chest and moving your feet is the key. Later in the game, in the fourth quarter you can be more aggressive and use your hands because the refs don't want to decide the outcome.

Most of the time, that is ...

My name is Earl, and I'm pissed.

"I don't think he doesn't like the role as a backup, what he doesn't like is the minutes that he's getting," Hill said. "I explained to him this morning, you're shooting 32 percent from the field and 22 percent from the 3-point line, and you've taken the third-most 3's on the team. I put in his summer program to develop an in-between game, and that's what Earl's got to do.

"Not just Earl but any quality point guard has that in their game, they just do. Dwyane Wade shoots 60 percent in there. Those guys make those plays in there. That's what Luke has done."

Note that Gary Washburn spots the problem too:

In Wednesday's loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, Watson missed four of five shots, including all three 3-point attempts. Because of his erratic shooting, defenses are inviting Watson to launch jumpers and he is obliging.

Like a screaming child, I don't know why I'm giving him the attention.

And I'm angry with the Sonics for refusing to fight and not spending a penny to defeat Seattle Initiative 91, which passed by a 3-to-1 margin last week. The initiative restricts public subsidies for pro-sports teams.

And what exactly did YOU do with your bully pulpit all that time Steve? You hypocrite jackoff. Thanks for letting Citizens For MIllion Dollar Toilets lead the discussion.

My name is Earl, and I'm still pissed.

"I don't say anything on accident. I mean it," he said. "My role is different than last year, it's no secret. I've got to adjust accordingly while I'm here, but at the same time I've got to keep pushing to become a better player. The only thing that keeps me positive and excited about being here is my teammates."

You sound real excited for Luke ... sorry, had to say it ...

David Stern says get your woman in the mood quicker, make your jimmy thicker with St. Ides malt liquor

My name is Earl, did I mention I'm pissed?

“I just explained to him that your bench is just is as important as your starters if you are going to win,” Hill said. “Our bench was phenomenal in the preseason. I said to Earl, of all the guards in the league, he is the best in the NBA to be our backup because of what he is capable of doing.

“But being a backup and not really getting in your rhythm is tough. Because the coach is going to play you to a point and then get you out. And I told him, ‘The problem you have now is Luke is playing great. So it puts more pressure on your performance because Luke is sitting over there champing at the bit and he is at a good spot in his game.’ He said, ‘I know.’ ”