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Daily Roundup 11.21.06

Break out the croque monsieur and the stinky cheese, It's Petro Time!

"It's my job to talk to the bigs and get our heads right before the game," said Wilcox. "And they stepped up big. Johan played a hell of a game for us and came out and did the things that we need him to do. We're going to have to start doing that [pregame talk] before every game if he's going to come out and play like that."

The 3-guard lineup has left the building, Danny Fortson's still out at least one more week, Key Arena needs a new warmup DJ, and more. I have asked this before and throw it out there again, who does that song Supersonic Love that they play at the beginning of the 3rd quarter? It has inserted itself into my ear and brain again like that ant lion thing from Wrath of Khan. Eeeeeeeeeeee!

More Petro love from G-Dub

"We just made a few (defensive) adjustments on the pick-and-roll and went to work," coach Bob Hill said. "I thought the whole game we were competing. They were trying to keep the game plan the entire game and it paid off."

I would agree. They never got too far down and really just needed to go on one offensive outburst to put the Nets away. The Nets never could figure out a way to defend the Ridnour/Lewis screen and roll on the left side of the basket. I think we ran that play about 12 times in the 4th quarter last night.

Forehead Ted says win or get the f*** out. Forehead Ted will be first in line to write a praise piece when the first 3 game win streak comes. Forehead Ted needs to fire his headline writer. Forehead Ted often reminds me of Steve Kelley.

The inevitable draft story.

People always cap on the Blazers for drafting Bowie ahead of MJ. Defenders of that move often say the team already had a young star at MJs position named Clyde Drexler. So would the Blazers still have been better off drafting MJ even though they already had a player (or two if you count Mychal Thompson) at his position? Is it better to draft best player available or fill team needs? Is it better to try and find big men through free agency? Has any team in the last 10 years other than the LA Lakers ever acquired a multiple All-Star center through free agency?

Random Notes:

Whenever Clifford Robinson, 39, retires, he has a future in comedy.

In the fourth quarter, Robinson was mocking a complaining Sonics fan, with a big grin on his face. He also made hilarious remarks to the officials, chattered to Sonics players and made fun of players.

Uncle Spliffy's a jolly man.

In new news, Hill praises Chris Wilcox as becoming a "real pro" and says more:

Hill said the coaching staff is frustrated over the lack of attention to defense more than misunderstandings about playing time. The Sonics rank 26th in the NBA in defense, giving up 103.5 points a game.

“We have spent two thirds of our time on defense, with our goal being let’s be the 18th- or 19th-best defensive team in the league and maintain our offense and that should be good enough,” Hill said. “That is what we are asking, for everybody to do their job.

“When people go out there and they don’t do their jobs and are not competitive, then it hurts the whole team.”

It is a sound strategy that has been mentioned multiple times here before. The offense is good enough to carry the team to a 45 win season if the defense improves just marginally. As with most inexperienced teams consistency has been the problem, which is leading to the lineup juggling and the resultant bitching about minutes. Winning helps, but this still seems like a mentally fragile team.

Frank's recap. Two things stand out:

“My thinking when I went to the small lineup was it was a good time to try it,” Hill said. “Whatever we had in New Jersey (last Monday), we lost between New Jersey and Washington (state). If things aren’t going well, I am not afraid to experiment or change. That is what I did, and I didn’t really like the small lineup with heavy minutes.”

I didn't either. But please, please learn from your predecessor. Don't embrace change for the sake of change or to play mind games. It didn't work under Nate, it didn't work under Weiss, it won't work for you either Bob. Take my word for it.

"Hill has gone back and forth on rewarding Petro with a starting spot despite poor play. But it has come down to this: He has no other choice.

“It is hard for me to get real, real, real, real upset with him because his heart is in the right place and he is trying,” Hill said.

“I don’t think there is anybody on the team … who doesn’t realize he shouldn’t be the starting center. If he will do what I tell him, he will have success.”

And I agree with that. Petro is and has been trying very hard out there. The question is not one of athleticism but of execution and being in the right place to make good things happen. Last night Johan took a step towards understanding where to be and when to be there. It helped that he was playing against a fairly weak, shorthanded frontcourt that can't get offensive rebounds to save its life, but even baby steps are steps nonetheless. Here's hoping the good vibes carry over to the Clippers game too.

Or maybe we can entice more French Navy personnel to come to the games. All together now with a French laugh Sonic Nation:

Oh-hoh-hoh-hoh-hoh-hoh!