Wednesday, March 30, 2005
I have a feeling this one won't take too long.
The Sonics shot like crap, the Spurs got a double-digit lead in the first quarter after driving into the paint at will, the Sonics never led.
...okay, I'm never that quick with anything I've ever posted here at Sports and B's, but that's pretty much what happened. This one was so bad that I actually fell asleep during the fourth quarter. That should never happen with me, though I did wake up when I heard Calabro mention a Sonic run, but it still didn't get them within double digits.
Speaking of double-digits, the Sonics fell behind by ten or more points for the first time with 5:35 to go in the first quarter. A Reggie Evans free throw at the 4:01 mark got the Sonics within nine for 34 seconds before Tony Parker hit one of many layups in the first quarter. The Sonics got the deficit to single digits for a stretch in their big run of the second quarter. They cut the Spurs' lead to four with a 9-0 run featuring a couple of Nick Collison baskets down low and a Damien Wilkins three-ball, the latter getting the Sonics within single digits at the 10:21 mark of the second quarter. The Spurs outscored the Sonics 18-8 over the final eight minutes of the half, getting their double-digit lead back with five minutes left before going to the locker rooms. The Sonics never got within single digits of the Spurs in the second half, and fell behind by 20 points before the end of the third quarter. The closest they came was with their 11-0 run that cut a 21-point deficit to 10 points. Ron Murray, who hadn't shown up in the game to that point, had 13 points in the fourth quarter (eight points coming after the last-gasp run).
There was a reason I included the times in the last paragraph considering double-digit leads by the Spurs. The Spurs had a double-digit lead for 11 minutes and 40 seconds of the first half. They led by double digits for all of the second half. Add that up, and the Sonics were down by double digits for 35 minutes and 40 seconds of this game. That's damn near three quarters of basketball. Coincidentally, if you look at the Sonics' quarter-by-quarter scoring (18 17 13 28), you could also argue with those numbers that they didn't show up for the first three quarters. Ron Murray didn't, and he led the Sonics in scoring tonight. Totally unrelated, but Sean freakin' Marks scored 8 points in the first quarter. The Sonics had four guys score in double figures, and the Spurs had 2 (Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili). Of course, the Spurs played all 12 of their guys and had 11 of them score. This is the kind of weird game it was. Remember when the Spurs had Tim Duncan? The Sonics beat the Spurs twice with Tim Duncan. In a related note, I miss Danny Fortson.
Okay, I've got throwaway in-game numbers and I don't know what to do with them. The Spurs had their way in the paint in the first quarter as mentioned, where they got 24 of their 31 first-quarter points. They shot 13-for-23 (56%) in that quarter, and that's what happens when the game degenerates into a layup line. Meanwhile, the Sonics shot 6-for-19 (31%) and missed all four three-point attempts they took. At half, the Sonics were shooting 14-for-38 (36%) from the floor and 1-for-7 (14%) from beyond the arc. Ugh.
Having Rashard Lewis would have been nice, sure, but there's not much we can do about that.
PEEK AT THE BOXSCORE
Ron Murray 17 pts/7 reb/2 blk (7-19 FG, 1-2 3pt, 2-2 free throws, 33 min), Ray Allen 14 pts/4 reb (6-17 FG, 0-3 3pt, 2-2 free throws, 38 min), Reggie Evans 5 pts/12 reb (1-3 FG, 3-7 free throws, 26 min), Luke Ridnour 2 pts/2 ast (1-7 FG, 0-2 3pt, 25 min)
Damien Wilkins 11 pts/7 reb/2 stl (5-6 FG, 1-1 3pt, 30 min), Antonio Daniels 11 pts/3 reb (3-8 FG, 1-3 3pt, 4-4 free throws, 30 min), Nick Collison 11 pts/8 reb (5-8 FG, 1-2 free throws, 26 min), Vitaly Potapenko 3 pts/3 reb (1-3 FG, 1-2 free throws, 8 min), Robert Swift 0 pts/0 reb (3 min)
Jerome James Watch
2 pts/1 reb/1 stl/1 blk (1-6 FG, 1 turnover, 4 fouls, 21 min)
shot 30-for-77 (39%) from the field, shot 3-for-11 (27.3%) from downtown, shot 13-for-19 (68.4%) from the line, were beaten 50-36 in the paint and 12-4 on the break, outrebounded San Antonio 46-44, turned ball over 15 times, bench outscored San Antonio bench 36-28 (outrebounded them 21-14)
Ugh. Just a horrible night all around. In the third quarter, I had a thing planned where I was going to ask where the hell Ron Murray's jumpshot went (he was 2-for-10 in the Memphis game the night before), but then he scored a bunch of points in the fourth quarter.
For a couple players in particular -- Jerome James and Luke Ridnour -- the turnaround was blindingly quick from the night before. Combined, the short guy and tall guy shot 2-for-13 from the field and grabbed two rebounds (slam on James) and had two assists (slam on Ridnour, but his two assists led the team tonight, which is pathetic).
How do I assess the boxscore? Well, Ray Allen had subpar numbers (for him) along with the aforementioned James and Ridnour. Ron Murray provided the production that the team needs as long as he's in the starting lineup, though I wish a portion of it could have come earlier when the game was in a little less doubt (final run notwithstanding). Antonio Daniels had decent numbers off the bench. Nick Collison had a solid Collison-type night like he's been having lately. Any time Damien Wilkins scores in double figures, I'm considering it a good night for him. I didn't expect the guy to grab seven rebounds.
The lesson? One, seal off the damn paint against a team that is missing Tim Duncan (imagine Parker abusing Ridnour on the way to the basket, which happened multiple times). Two, when you have three guys in the starting lineup with an off night (and two having nights that are a 180 from the night before), your chances are not good. Three, you don't win too many games by shooting 39 percent.
I would have asked Jinkies if he's ever slam-dunked one of those jingle ball toys.