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February 22, 2008 11:20 PM

Swift update

Posted by Percy Allen

There's a chance center Robert Swift will play again this season despite tearing the meniscus in his right knee on Thursday. An MRI exam on Friday revealed the tear.

"I wouldn't rule out him coming back," coach P.J. Carlesimo said.

Swift will fly to Los Angeles to be examined by Dr. Steve Lombardo and it's unknown if surgery will be required. Since undergoing right knee surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament on Oct. 25, 2006, Swift has played in just eight games. He is a restricted free agent this summer and this latest setback may end his career with the Sonics.

"It's horrible news for him and it's not good for us," Carlesimo said.


When asked if the Sonics are better now than they were at the start of the season, Carlesimo chuckled.

"We're not better," he said. "Better would imply that we were good at that point."

He went on to say they were "terrible" back then and are "decent" right now.

Carlesimo points to the Jan. 21 Houston game as the tipping point. The Sonics lost 96-89, but he believes that's when players finally began playing his type of defense, which calls for quick rotations and not fouling. The Sonics still get in trouble defensively because they average 16 turnovers, but they are seventh in the NBA in opponent's field goal percentage.

The Sonics are 5-1 when they old opponents under 90 points and they are 9-5 when they hold opponents to fewer than 40 percent shooting. Those statistics are telling.

Tonight Carlesimo used a solid 10-man rotation in which nine players played at least 17:51 minutes. Newcomer Francisco Elson managed just three points in 11 minutes, but he played solid defense.

It will be interesting to see how Carlesimo distributes minutes when Donyell Marshall, Ira Newble and Adrian Griffin arrive.

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