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NBA Preview: Seattle Supersonics


Record:  31-51, 5th in Northwest Division, 14th in Western Conference

Statistical Comparisons:


28th in opponent field goal %
26th in blocks


12th in the league in scoring (99.1 ppg)
22nd in opponent scoring (102.9 ppg)
22nd  in ppg differential (-2.9 ppg)
14th in field goal %  
11th in three-point %  
17th in assists
7th in steals
16th in turnovers
18th in opponent turnovers
Average offensive rebounding team
Very Poor defensive rebounding team

Significant Additions:  
Kevin Durant (R), Jeff Green (R), Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West, Kurt Thomas

Significant Subtractions:
Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis

P.J. Carlesimo

Key Players

PG:  Luke Ridnour, Earl Watson
SG:   Kevin Durant, Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West
SF:   Jeff Green, Damien Wilkins, Mickael Gelabale
PF:  Chris Wilcox, Kurt Thomas, Johan Petro
C:  Nick Collison, Robert Swift, Mouhamed Sene

Comments:  The Sonics picked up the best scorer and the best all-around wing player in the draft this year in Kevin Durant and Jeff Green.  Durant will average 20 a game and probably run away with the Rookie of the Year trophy, but will likely shoot a low percentage as he adjusts to the league.  He will not help much defensively or rebounding until he bulks up, which won't be for a while yet.  Green may be this year's Brandon Roy, surprising folks with his solid contributions even as a rookie.

To balance that, the Sonics also lost two of the most prolific scorers in the league in Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis.  To surmise that Durant and Green are going to compensate for that loss immediately would be foolish.

The Sonics were horrible defenders and pretty bad on the glass last year.  It's hard to see where the former is going to change.  None of their acquisitions fill you with dread at their defense.  Some, like Szczerbiak and Durant, will probably be laughable.  The addition of Thomas and the return of Robert Swift may help the rebounding prospects a little, but neither is likely to stem the tide.  Wilcox and Collison can each contribute but after that it gets dicey.  

You look at this roster and you think, "There are a fair number of nice players here."  The problem is that "nice" is all they are.  Only Green looks like a complete player at this point and he's a rookie.  Delonte West can do some things but he's buried on the bench.  Everyone else has gaping holes in their game.  P.J. Carlesimo is known for getting more out of his teams than their talent would indicate but it's a fair bet he's going to demand things that the Sonics just can't do at this point.  Other than some great Durant scoring highlights and the more subtle joys of watching Green, West, and Collison continue to develop it's hard to see what good is going to come out of this season for the Supes.  Another ultra-high draft pick and a couple years of experience are in order before this team thinks about getting good again.

--Dave (