GH And Petey's Timberwolves Blog

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Suns vs. Sonics

First off, I promised my thoughts on the Vince Carter trade. Altogether, I thought it was a solid deal for the Raptors. I mean, they didn't get all that much, but what are you going to get for Vince these days anyway? They got a couple of solid role players, Alonzo Mourning, and best of all--two first round draft picks. Since the Raptors are in rebuilding mode anyway, these draft picks could make a huge difference to them. They can use these picks to draft players to help complement their up and coming star Chris Bosh, who made quite an impression against the Wolves last week.

On the other hand, I've lost all faith in VC. He's been pretty lackluster for quite a few years now. On top of that, he's currently nursing a sprained achilles tendon. One of the things I learned during my ACL rehabilitation a couple years ago is that the achilles tendon is the primary determining factor of how high you can jump (and of general quickness for that matter). Vince is the type of player that relies on his tremendous athleticism. With an injury to his achilles tendon, this puts a big question as to ho good he'll actually be when he comes back. On the other hand, if this is something that's been bothering him for years, he could come back and be amazing again. He claims that this has been bothering him for years, but that just seems really weird to me. Something like this should have enough time to heal during the off-season.


As I mentioned last time, I was busy studying during this game, but I just couldn't turn down the opportunity to watch the two teams in the league with the best records (notice I didn't say the league's two best teams) go head to head. It looked to be a shoot out, and it didn't disappoint. The Sonics came out and scored 37 first quarter points. Watching it brought back memories of the game that Petey and I attended, as they just kept making shot after shot. Of course there were a lot more layups this time than against the Wolves. Unlike the Wolves game, they somehow found a way to blow this one.

Before moving on, I just have to say--Reggie Evans is the new Vlade Divac. Fighting his way through a screen, the 180-pound Steve Nash put his hand on Reggie's chest, and Reggie went flying to the ground. There's no way Nash could do that, Reggie is a big dude! I can only assume he's been hanging out with Derek Fisher during the off-season.

I will now acknowledge that Seattle is for real. Even after seeing them live, I still had my doubts about them. Part of the reason is that they just shot the ball so well, especially from three point range, that I just had trouble believing that they could keep it up. With that said, I still have trouble believing that they'll keep it up. I think they're a very solid team, but still a very flawed team.

I also think the Suns are a good team, but also very flawed. They have a lot of talent, but were somewhat underrated before the season mostly due to the fact that they over paid for that talent. Any time you offer somebody a contract and Mark Cuban says "There's no way I can ever possibly match that", you know that you've really offered them too much. Ok, maybe I paraphrased a bit there.

If I had to pick one of those two teams to win the NBA championship, I think I'd have to go with the Sonics. The reason is simply. They can actually play a little bit of defense. The Suns are full of guys who are incredibly talented offensively, but deficient defensively. There's no greater example of this than Steve Nash. Despite what Eric Neel says, Steve Nash is not the league's MVP. He's averaging a solid 16 points a game and an amazing 11 assists, but when it comes to playing D, you may as well put a monkey out there. Just watch him sometime, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

As for the Sonics, they have two major flaws (which are inherently related). First, they have no inside presence to speak of. Second, they rely very heavily on jump shooting to score their points. I had started to write a piece about 3-point shooting and why it's not all that, but I got busy and never finished it. I'll start over from scratch soon, and get that one out there in the next couple of weeks.

Can you name me an NBA champion in recent history that had either of these flaws?