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Daily Roundup 01.08.07

Bizarro World Sonic Logo

Interesting story on arenas around the country.

Some good points in here although I have seen differently...using 3-4 arenas to support the argument is only 1/10th of the league, look at the Pepsi Center in Dever or United Center in Chicago or MSG. Even when the Bulls sucked I never saw it less than 75% full and that place seems almost twice the size of KeyArena. The Knicks blow goats but they're still selling out. Still good food for thought today since there is very little Sonics related worth discussing right now.

Sonics in Phoenix, Luke benched?

Luke Ridnour said he is not going to complain about his benching and will just play basketball. He looked better than the past five games with seven points and five assists in 22 minutes. But he is hesitating to take his 3-point shot, which is a concern. Several times tonight Ridnour passed up and open 3-pointer and chose to drive or dish. Ridnour is at his best when he is comfortable with his outside shot.

Agreed. Luke is one of the hardest workers on the team so I wouldn't expect him to sulk about things for long.

More on Luke

But it's obvious because of his recent slump, Ridnour is hesitant to shoot. He is timid. He lacks confidence. So Sonics coach Bob Hill, in a quest to spark his club at the start of games, replaced Ridnour in the starting lineup with Earl Watson.

The move resurrects the lingering issue of whether Ridnour or Watson is a better fit as the starter. Ridnour claimed the starting slot in training camp. Watson struggled and sulked in the first month while Ridnour flourished.

This is the right move to make. As much as I like Luke if he cannot serve as the 3rd offensive option while he's on the floor then the team stalls. And if he's just Shammond-ing the ball out there without ever doing the drive & dish he is not helping the team.

Or it could just be a ploy to drive up Earl's trade value. These things happen.

Road skid has now hit 11 in a row and shows no sign of abating. I didn't watch all the GS game but I did see the entire 4th quarter and once again the team just wilted down the stretch. This bunch has had trouble finishing games all year and no combination of players or plays seems to change that. The last part of an NBA game is where teams go to what the opponent hasn't been able to stop all night. Once teams start attacking the soft middle of the defense Seattle just kind of gives up.

Coach Bob Hill reworked the starting lineup with three new players: point guard Earl Watson, Collison, who played center, and rookie Mickael Gelabale, a first-time starter.

That's 12 lineup changes and 12 players who have started this season.

Hill said he made the changes to inject life into an offense that had been outscored in the first quarter in the previous three games.

The new starting lineup produced the desired results as Seattle led 28-21 before Hill made his first substitution with 1:59 remaining in the opening quarter. The Sonics carried a 28-25 lead into the second period and led 57-51 at intermission.

Like the idea of Gelabale starting, he's probably their second best player behind Ray right now, which is saying something. Other than that, I saw this under Bob Weiss ... Hill can jury rig any starting lineup he wants but the roster just isn't good enough or playing well enough to fill out a full rotation right now.

Desperate times are producing desperate measures.