Saturday, November 10, 2007

Jazz Keep Sonics Winless

The Utah Jazz beat the Sonics 103-101 Friday night in Seattle. Making it the 2nd straight game that the Jazz have won by the identical score - the other being the Cleveland game on Wednesday night. While the Jazz got the win they expected, it wasn't as easy as it looked on paper and several observations can be made after watching the game unfold.

  • The Jazz can be very good at times. However, at times they show that they are still pretty young are erratic. Several times the Jazz had a chance to blow this game open, and while you could argue it was the Sonics fighting back that kept it close - it's mostly that the Jazz couldn't sustain the momentum and execute the very things that provided the lead.
  • The Sonics can be good and you wonder how they are winless. Most of the time they looked young and very average, but at times you could see some strong pieces are already in place - Wilcox gives them something in the post. Collison gives the hustle. The Rookie Green doesn't get the hype, but is very legit.
  • Kevin Durant is a terrific athlete and but very raw. He can get a shot off at any time and can penetrate pretty well. However, his point per game average seems to be primarily the result of hoisting a lot of shots. Most of which are not good shots and some come from ridiculous distance. I realize the lack of maturity he has should be expected from such a young guy - but I think people need to give him time to climb up on the pedastal before putting him there unearned. This kid is future all-star, but right now he is an athletic gunner.
  • Kirilenko is playing with passion. His passing, his defense, his hustle are all game changers and in spurts he is unlike any other player on the floor. At this point, I give a lot of credit to the Jazz for maintaining their composure when all signs pointed to trading him in the off season. Kirilenko is doing his part an not pouting.
  • Point Guard play is sporadic at best for the Sonics. Delonte West was good in the 4th, but he seems best when he gets to shoot. Last night his shots went in so he looked good, but I wonder if that type of play is best for this young team. Earl Watson is just limited and while could help the supporting cast, is hardly starter material in this league.
Memo to the NBA, the owners of the Sonics, the City of Seattle, and the fans of Seattle: Can't we all just get along? Why must so many machismo statements be made about do this or else? I don't think anyone will win by moving the team out of Seattle. Sure, I haven't followed this story - I'd recommend reading for more of the history - but to move the team because it feels like the NFL and MLB were treated better by the city seems unfair. For crying out loud, Key arena was refurbished in a big way only what 15 years ago? Since then the city has built baseball and football stadiums. Maybe the NBA should negotiate something 5-6 years down the road and let the good people of Seattle catch their breath before demanding more money for Billionaire sports owners. That - or pull a Larry Miller and try to self finance your own arena. The Energy Solutions Arena (formerly Delta Center), still looks like new because the superior on-going maintenance - and that arena I believe is in it's 16th season. Instead of committing to a long term solution in Seattle, all the parties throw ultimatums around that will result in no team in Seattle. That would be a sad sad thing. No offense to Oklahoma City, because they stepped up when they had a shot - but how about that being a location for a team that isn't being supported - and leave the Sonics and their history where it belongs?

Next up for the Jazz - the Memphis Grizzlies at home. I expect 115+ points for the Jazz and if they play with some consistency tonight, a 15 point margin of victory. Read more about Memphis on a pretty good blog - the Grizzlies Locker.

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