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February 2, 2008 11:25 PM

Final thoughts

Posted by Percy Allen

There's bad and then there's the Knicks. Anytime Sonics fans want to groan and bemoan how terrible their team is, they need to take a long look at the Knicks and thank the basketball gods that Isiah Thomas isn't coaching this team.

Ok that's a little harsh. Isiah the coach isn't so bad, but Isiah the GM is horrible. Case in point is New York's broken down lineup of mismatching parts.

Spoke with Rainier Beach boys Jamal Crawford and Nate Robinson afterward. Crawford is ready for a new change of venue. He told me he's making the best of a tough situation, but wouldn't mind being traded. He talked about returning to Seattle and playing here, but then a lot of the Seattle guys say that. Crawford seemed serious, however, there's nothing in the works and it probably will never happen because he essentially plays Kevin Durant's position.

Still Crawford is too good to waste away in New York. As for Robinson, he's been given freedom to do his thing and it looks as if Thomas needs to pull him in a bit. It's hard to make judgements off of one game. Robinson had incredible outings 22-8-5 and 22-9-4 to start New York's 0-5 road trip so you got to cut the guy some slack.

I would like to report that the Sonics are showing signs of life, but that would be premature. Durant certainly wasn't efficient (7 of 21) but he was clutch (game-winning 3-ptr with 59 seconds left). Chris Wilcox (20 points and 10 rebounds) is proving what an idiot I was for suggesting he should come off the bench. Some guys are just better in the starting lineup and he is one of them. And some guys (Nick Collison) don't care about starting and they're still able to put up solid numbers. I think three of Collison's four baskets came off of putbacks, which says so much about him. He had a game-high 12 rebounds.

Coach P.J. Carlesimo said a few weeks ago that he wanted to see Luke Ridnour in the starting liineup, but at this point in the season it seems like it would be a senseless experiment. Earl Watson's scoring will always be erratic, but his assists are steady. Tonight he had eight and Thursday he had 12.

I believe these are the types of games that Carlesimo wants the Sonics to play. He's trying to make them mentally and physically tough. Seattle is 4-5 in games decided by three points or fewer. That's amazing for the third youngest team in the NBA.

And Durant is growing right before our eyes. Not only did he knock down the game-winning three-pointer, he prevented Crawford from countering on the final play. All of this from a 19-year-old.

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