Follow the Sonics off and on the court with reporters Percy Allen and Jayda Evans.
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January 25, 2008 11:24 PM
Posted by Percy Allen
Just when you thought the Sonics had turned the corner and were headed in the right direction, they play a game like this against and look as if they don't belong on the same floor as the Atlanta Hawks.
They were so good on Wednesday. Everything was clicking. The rotation seemed set and roles were being established.
But coach P.J. Carlesimo felt the need to tinker with the lineup and re-insert Chris Wilcox in place of Nick Collison. He conceded Collison did nothing wrong, but he wants to get Wilcox back in the groove. It's a questionable move because Collison was playing his best basketball of the season as a starter. Carlesimo told me he's doing it because Wilcox is more comfortable as a starter and Collison has shown the ability to play well as a starter and a reserve.
In many ways the coach is right as Collison finished with 12 points and Wilcox (18 points and seven rebounds) looked like the only Sonic capable of matching Atlanta's athleticism.
Still not sure how wise it was to make a change after Seattle played one of its best games of the season.
It's also obvioius that 35-year-old Kurt Thomas can't deliver big numbers consistently. He was fantastic on Wednesday (16 points on 6-for-7 shooting and five rebounds) and awful (two points on 1-for-5 shooting and six rebounds) on Friday.
The same can be said for 33-year-old Wally Szczerbiak. Some games he'll score 22 points and other times he'll only have 2. That just shows how important the oldest players are to a team that's the fifth youngest in the NBA.
Still don't understand what's going on with Jeff Green. He's had a combined five points and three rebounds in the past two games.
The only positive from the game was Johan Petro. The guy was a monster. He blocked a career-high five shots, played great defense and flushed two emphatic dunks, including a coast-to-coast jam on Zaza Pachulia. Petro also grabbed six rebounds.
When he plays like this, there's no doubt Petro will continue playiing in the NBA. At times I had my doubts. Too often he settles for that mid-range jumper and rarely does he get the tip jams that's become Collison's signature.
Not sure if Petro will play with the Sonics next season, but a more games like this will force management and the coaching staff to seriously consider the guy.
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