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Road Trippin'

And the road trip begins. Tonight in Chicago, tomorrow NY. Tomorrow we'll have a fun thread where we can rip the Knicks all day. It's kind of like beating a dead horse, but this horse will have Isiah's smarmy, fake-o, sh*t eating grin all over it.

Pelton writes when the lights came on in practice

The Sonics defense has been particularly strong in terms of forcing misses. Opponents are shooting 44.3% against the Sonics this season, ranking them ninth in the NBA. Remarkably, that's far better than the Spurs, who are allowing an atypically-high 46.5% from the field in the early going.

What makes the Sonics field-goal defense especially impressive is that, while Kurt Thomas' veteran savvy in the middle and ability to defend the pick-and-roll has been a boon for the Sonics, the team doesn't have a shot-blocking anchor in the paint. Their leading shot-blocker thus far is actually rookie shooting guard Kevin Durant at 1.3 per game. A team effort - six Sonics average at least a half a block a game - has the Sonics ninth in the league in blocks as a team (5.2).

One area where the Sonics have an area to continue to advance on defense is defending the three-point line. In Carlesimo's mind, the percentage the Sonics allow from three-point range (currently 36.4%, slightly worse than the league average of 35.5%) is not as important as keeping teams from attempting those shots in the first place. San Antonio annually ranks amongst the league leaders in limiting three-point attempts; they rank third so far this season, with opponents attempting 18.4% of their shots from beyond the arc. 23.5% of shots by Sonics opponents have been threes, just above the league average of 22.2%.

Just imagine how many more blocks Kevin could be in position for if he wasn't playing on the perimeter...

And one out every 4 shots against this team is a 3 pointer ... whew. I was actually surprised it wasn't more.

Game thread to come later this afternoon.