We have decided that the Sonics just aren't good enough this year to deserve a Player of the Game award. With the way they have been playing of late, it will take a whole week to establish a praiseworthy stat line. Ok, just kidding. We have simply decided to focus on a single player each week, for their excellent contribution to the team or perhaps for their single minded, team eroding excursions into infamy.
To tell you the truth, the week was such an odd one for me that I entered this process without a strong feeling who my player of the week would actually be. I missed the Nets game, which was played while I listened to the Nets game live on the internet when I unexpectedly woke up at 3 AM Tuesday morning in Bristol England. I was a little groggy and started to tune the game out when the Sonics were playing below my expectations. I watched the Clippers game, and while it should have been obvious who the player of the game was, I failed to walk away with a solid feeling. The Kings game was ultimately depressing and I was so disheartened that I left seething with anger. My own thoughts about what was wrong with this game throughout the third quarter should have given me a clue where I would head in this article, but I was still not even close, not even having a HINT of who the player should be.
The statistics don't lie, however, and the answer was so blatantly obvious that I now feel horribly embarrassed that I missed it in the first place. Am I that thoroughly lacking of basketball knowledge and comprehension that I could miss the week this player had? Perhaps I am not alone. Perhaps this is the challenge faced by this player in gaining the respect of the league, the press and the fans.
The "Quiet Man," Rashard Lewis simply dominated this week for the Sonics. Despite hovering in the background of our thoughts (as he sometimes hovers out by the 3 point line during games), Sweet Lew is often forgotten in the excitement of Ray Allen clutch threes or Chris Wilcox slams. He gets lost as we think about how well Luke is playing his midrange game this year, how Watson is not himself, how we still have a gaping hole in the middle of our lineup.
He does not get lost in the stats.
#1 in points scored: 81 (27.55% total points
#1 FG%: 56.60%
#1 eFG%: 45.28%
#1 in Pelton Individual Rating: 83
#2 in Help Value: 27 (Collison had 28)
#2 in rebounds: 23 (19% of total rebounds, Wilcox had 24)
#3 in Assists: 6 (10% of assists by the team)
Ray Allen was the next closest, and his Pelton IR was a 52.
How did I miss him? How do the league's coaches miss him at All Star Reserve time? I know the Western Conference is stuffed with solid forwards, but it will be a shame when he is looked over by them despite another stellar performance, simply because his team can't hold on to the ball (he had 7 of the team's 43 turnovers, 16% of the total).
I'm sorry Lew. I promise not to forget you next time.