|Traffic | Weather | Your account||Movies | Restaurants | Today's events|
Follow the Sonics off and on the court with reporters Percy Allen and Jayda Evans.
Posted by Percy Allen at 11:11 PM
In their past two wins, the Sonics have needed a career-high 41 points from Damien Wilkins and a career-best 35 from Kevin Durant. Even still, this win felt different than the 126-123 double overtime win against Atlanta on Nov. 16. Back then, Wilkins was the whole show. Tonight, it was a collective effort.
And more important, the defense led the way. Can't harp on this enough, but when the Sonics play defense like this, they're a decent bunch capable of winning their share of games.
To be sure, the Pacers missed several open three-pointers in the fourth quarter. But the Sonics negated Indiana's interior attack. It helped that F Jermaine O'Neal was obviously rusty after missing 5 games because of a sore left knee. He scored 12 points and had 10 points, but essentially he was a non-factor while Kurt Thomas played big.
Keep an eye on him. Coach P.J. Carlesimo certainily is monitoring his minutes, which is a little troubling. Carlesimo said tonight that he doesn't want to lean too heavily on Thomas, which means don't expect him to play more than 30 minutes. Tonight he logged 28:31 and that's about his max. Still it was enough time for him to collect 18 rebounds and secure the middle.
And it helps when reserve C Johan Petro can add positive minutes. He wasn't great, but then he doesn't have to be. Forget the 6 points and 5 rebounds, the best thing he did was block three shots. I'll take the block shots more than the scoring any day from him.
It was also interesting to listen to Carlesimo talk about the point guards as a tandem when accessing their performance. Rather than say Earl did this or Delonte did that, he said: "Our guards gave us 16 assists and just 2 turnovers." Watson played a better floor game and unless West makes dramatic strides in the next week or so, he'll likely return to a backup role.
And lastly, there's Durant. I wrote the other day that he needs to make the game easier for teammates in the first three quarters and take over in the fourth. Well, tonight he scored 10 of Seattle's final 12 points, including seven from the line.
It helps when reserve C Johan Petro can add positive minutes. He wasn't great, but then he doesn't have to be. Forget the 6 points and 5 rebounds, the best thing he did was block three shots. I'll take the block shots more than the scoring any day from him.
Posted by Joe at 8:08 AM, Dec 01, 2007