Archive for the ‘Sonics’ Category

Looming Draft Question #2: Why can’t the Sonics, Wolves, and Heat work out a deal?

June 26, 2008

The Sonics want Beasley, the Wolves would be more than happy with Love, and Pat Riley seems determined to draft Mayo.

So why haven’t I heard rumors about the simplest solution? CBA throw-ins aside, the basic configuration should be: the Sonics give up something to the Wolves to swap picks 3 and 4, then Seattle takes on Mark Blount’s terrible contract to trade the 3 for the 2 with Miami. Everyone wins.

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Holy Crap, Kevin Durant

April 6, 2008

I’ve been talking a lot about Kevin Durant lately, and good God, did he put on a show tonight. Look at this shot he hits to send the game to double-OT. That’s from Arenas-range. In particular, check out his reaction…

… that’s right, he just walks toward the other end of the court smiling. It was like watching him at Texas all over again, right down to the irrational exuberance.

In 51 minutes over two overtimes, Durant lit up the Nuggets for 37, 8, and 9, while adding 2 threes and 3 steals — and gave the Warriors new hope for the playoffs. Now if they win out, including beating Denver in Oakland this Thursday, I’m going to some playoff games at Oracle. Thank you, KD.

Here’s a clip with much better resolution if you want to see it again.

Durant’s On, But Something’s Off

April 3, 2008

Kevin Durant did it again, shooting-wise, last night versus the Clips: 30 points on 13-23 shooting, 4-5 from the line, 2 offensive rebounds, but only 1 assist and an ugly 5 turnovers. That assist number may have had something to do with his teammates combining for 53 points while shooting 22-70 (pi/10, as it turns out, or 31.4%). Regardless, the Sonics lost again, something like their 19th in the last 21 games.

That Miami-Heat-like slump coincides with Durant’s sudden jump in FG% and efficiency, serving as yet another example that scoring isn’t everything. Having watched relatively few Sonics games recently, I can’t really say why they’re stinking even worse than usual, but defense is my guess. Will investigate after work.

A Tale of Two Kevins

April 2, 2008

Earlier this fantasy season, our friend Justin, winner of the 2007 Hancock draft lottery, announced Kevin Durant was on the block. Since Hancock is a keeper league populated mostly by UT alums, I figured he’d be overwhelmed with options. Nope. After waiting for weeks for better offers, Justin eventually traded me the struggling, “one-dimensional” Durant for Kevin Martin (Y! Rank like 22) and Jamaal “45 Games a Year” Tinsley.

For a couple months after the trade, Durant didn’t exactly tear it up. His shooting percentage was Jacque Vaughn-esque. He turned it over like Rafer Alson circa 2005. And he hit the offensive glass like Earl Boykins. Then came March. He stopped shooting 3’s and his FG% went through the roof. Assists were ever so slightly up, TO’s a bit down. He still needs to hit the offensive glass more. But I didn’t hear much about this new-found efficiency, outside of some local outlets (that article’s definitely worth a read if you’re a KD fan).

Strange thing is: when Durant started playing well, his stat line basically morphed into Martin’s. For now, Durant’s perception (disappointment; chucker) vs. Martin’s (budding superstar; efficiency God) has yet to follow suit.

A quick comparison:

  • Kevin Martin: tall, lanky SG; resembles member of Kid ‘n Play
  • Kevin Durant: tall, lanky, SG; often resembles college kid who just failed a final
  • Martin’s season: 23.4 ppg | 61.0 TS% | 4.6 rbd | 2.1 ast | 2.0 TO
  • Durant’s March: 21.8 ppg | 60.6 TS% | 4.1 rbd | 2.2 ast | 2.9 TO
  • Durant’s season: 19.9 ppg | 51.9 TS% | 4.1 rbd | 2.0 ast |3.0 TO

It’s safe to say that if Durant could get his TO’s down, he’d find himself near Martin’s offensive rating of 120.9, good for 10th in the league.

The other big factor here, of course, is that I can’t believe people have been so hard on a 19-year-old who still lives with his mom, is stuck in the worst possible ownership/fan situation, and who is keyed on by every defenses he goes again. Martin is 25, in his fourth season, and surrounded by about 8 guys better than anyone the Sonics have.

But, hey, let’s give that ROY award to the 27-year-old role player averaging 10 and 6.

Just for a little perspective (and coincidentally also noted by this guy), Lebron’s rookie season, at age 18, with the caveat that no one this generation will compare with LBJ:

  • Lebron: 20.9 ppg | 48.8 TS% | 5.5 rbd | 5.9 | 3.5 TO

Some final stat notes:

  • While advanced numbers aren’t available in splits, both Durant and Lebron are sitting on an offensive rating of 99 for their rookie year.
  • Rookie years are notoriously poor predictors of careers, too. Karl Malone, career ORtg of 113, slapped up an abysmal 93 his first season.
  • Lebron’s rating is now up to 117 with a staggering usage rate above 33%.
  • Martin’s usage rate this year is lower (26%) than both Durant and Lebron’s as rookies (around 28%). That slightly helps his efficiency.
  • The best offensive player on Durant’s team prior to the Thomas/Wally trades: Kurt Thomas, ORtg = 115
  • After the trades: Collison (ha ha!), ORtg = 108

All right, time to go watch Warriors-Mavs.

Whoa.

February 21, 2008

Danny Ferry just made a good trade. What is going on in the NBA?

The Cavs get Wallace, Delonte, Wallyworld, and Joe Smith in exchange for Hughes, “Bitch Tits” Marshall, and Gooden. That actually might work. The Bulls can finally play their promising young bigs (you know I grabbed Tyrus off waivers before I even finished reading about the trade), and Hughes no longer has to pretend to be a point guard. That works, too.

And this comes in the same season when the Hawks, of all teams, got Bibby for practically nothing, which looks great on paper.

Dogs and cats living together, etc.

Where did all this competency suddenly come from?