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January 10, 2008 10:27 AM

Road trip disaster

Posted by Percy Allen

Aside from two spirited quarters (the first and the fourth) in Phoenix, the Sonics hardly competed during this four-game road trip that ended last night in New Jersey.

It's not looking good folks, but then you already know that.

You'd think that emotions would be high and morale would be low, but surprisingly it's not. The players are an an even-keeled group and almost nothing like their coach P.J. Carlesimo, which isn't necessarily a good thing. Say what you will about his tactics, you can't doubt Carlesimo's passion.

Watching these games, however, you can doubt the player's passion. Carlesimo said his group has "lost its passion and enthusiam."

He also threatned changes, but that could just be a threat. He did this before and didn't do anything.

Not sure what he could at this point. Chris Wilcox is coming back, but Nick Collison is playing his best stretch of basketball and it might be unwise to remove him from the starting lineup. Collison, as we all know, isn't going to score 18 points - as he did Wednesday - every night and Wilcox can give the club an energy boost. Still, Collison has grabbed at least 11 rebounds in the past five games and that's not Wilcox's forte.

My guess is Carlesimo was threatening Earl Watson. If Luke Ridnour is finally healthy, don't be surprised to see a change at point guard. Since his season-high 20-point explosion last week at Phoenix, Watson has taken a severe dip.

Also, rookie Jeff Green is showing his offensive warts. Again, what can Carlesimo do. Start Wally Szczerbiak. The sharp-shooter would like that, but Green needs playing time. He'll likely get another 10 starts before the team makes a move there.

Don't look for chairman Clay Bennett to spend some of the $10 million on a 10-day free agent even though that wouldn't be a bad move. Not sure adding another player is going to fix anything.

What's disturbing is the lack of cohesion on the court between Green and Kevin Durant. If they're the future of the team, then they need to begin developing a rapport and right now that doesn't exist.

The Sonics remained in New York last night and will fly to Seattle today. They're not going to practice and hold a shootaround Friday morning. That's when Carlesimo will evaluate Wilcox and Ridnour to determine who much they'll play in the Dallas game.

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