Follow the Sonics off and on the court with reporters Percy Allen and Jayda Evans.
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February 12, 2008 3:22 PM
Posted by Jayda Evans
Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo is going to give F Mickael Gelabale and C Robert Swift minutes, but it most likely will not be tomorrow against Utah. Gelabale hasn't even practiced with the team again, appearing in his final D-League game on Monday night in Utah while Swift is just getting into the swing of practice.
Swift ran with the starting unit today, rotating the center position with vet Kurt Thomas.
"We're not going to change the rotation, yet," Carlesimo said. "If I can find him [Swift] some minutes, I will. It's going to be hard to find minutes for five guys. That's the only issue. And it's one game left [before the All-Star break]. When we come back, we can maybe start all over and say, 'all right, look, we've got to start making some changes.' Right now, it's one game left, they've been playing well, so let's finish up the way we are then we'll look when we come back about making some changes."
Many have used Carlesimo's want to get Gelly minutes as reasoning for Seattle making a trade soon. GM Sam Presti's office was dark at practice today and it's doubtful the team will make a swap prior to the All-Star break. The team most likely won't make a deal at all because it likes some of the young pieces it has in this rebuilding mode. Plus, Carlesimo said before that he'll just bench guys to give others minutes and they'll have to deal, it's not like everyone doesn't know the situation here.
Whether Gelly plays PG again is doubtful. Although he wasn't horrible at the position in extremely brief stints earlier this season, that may be a project Carlesimo asks Gelly to work on during the offseason. But Gelly already said he didn't want to play the position, yet, I'm thinking the comment was made because he wanted playing time and knew he wouldn't get it as the fourth guard in the Sonics' rotation.
At practice, the Sonics hardly seemed like a team dying to get to the All-Star break. Most have plans to return home to see family, but there appears to be a want to defeat Utah to end a rough "first half" of the season on a high note.
PG Earl Watson gave Utah much respect, however. The Jazz defeated the Sonics 96-75 in December and recently had a 10-game win streak snapped by Sacramento on Friday. Utah defeated Chicago 97-87 on Saturday.
"It's amazing how they're playing so good but no one is talking about them," Watson said. "They remind me of a San Antonio team - like a younger version of San Antonio because they have everything. [Kyle] Korver is the first time in a long time that I can remember that they ever had a knock-down, dead three-point shooter. That was all they were really lacking, that element. Now they have everything they need to have the whole ingredient to win a championship. I've always thought the most of [coach] Jerry Sloan and they're playing great right now."
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