December 06, 2007
How is this team 29th in offensive efficiency?
Now, the per game numbers aren’t horrible. Seattle averages 98.6 points per game, which is good for 16th in the NBA. But this number is pumped up by the team’s running game, the SuperSonics are fourth in the NBA with 97.6 possessions per game, which allows the team more chances to sprint down court, take and rarely make bad shots.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Seattle was supposed to be this season’s batch of lovable losers, a late night call-in for NBA freaks with a dish who want to see 120 points and a whole lot of rainbow treys. And yet, thus far at least, the 4-15 SuperSonics can’t be bothered to lose pretty. The team isn’t shooting well, turns the ball over way too much, and certain veterans (Wally Szczerbiak and Earl Watson to name, well, both of them) are dominating the ball a bit too much. Wally remains the team’s most efficient perimeter option, but enough with the head-fakes already.
In the middle of all this is young Kevin Durant, who, we don’t mind saying, is playing exactly how we thought he would at this point in the season. In fact, his shooting percentage is absolutely in line with a guess I had about it before 2006-07: 39.7 percent. It’s not Durant’s cross to bear, he’ll be brilliant one day, but until he figures out his footwork and puts a little economy and precision in his moves, he’s just a 6-10 Jamal Crawford.
So how can we create an aesthetic masterpiece in Seattle while still remaining true to the team’s long-term goals? Both of those point guards (Luke Ridnour being your other option, sadly) need to go, so try and package the PG of P-Riley’s choice to the Miami Heat (along with Damien Wilkins, a chucker for Seattle who has had a few good games this year, and Dwyane Wade depth for le Heat) for Jason Williams and his expiring contract. Bring Williams in, tell him to party like it’s 1999, see a few passes head toward that flammable scoreboard, and enjoy sweet, sweet salary cap space this summer.
In the offseason, who knows? Play off of the seething Spaniard discontent with the Toronto Raptors, and throw that space at Jose Calderon. Watch as Jose flourishes at 35 minutes per, watch him defy gravity with those stretch lay-ups and watch as I watch and tell others to watch because the SuperSonics are infinitely more watchable than the team I’ve been watching so far this season.