Friday, November 2, 2007

After Two Games, a Pause

Following their season-opening back-to-back against Denver and Phoenix, the Sonics took Friday off. They'll be back at The Furtado Center tomorrow to prepare to face the L.A. Clippers Sunday (12:30 p.m., KTTH 770 AM).

The day off gives us a chance to look back on the last two nights. In the Sonics and Storm business offices, the buzz was about how much fun was had on Opening Night. The result wasn't what people were hoping for, but the Sonics played very well and stared down a Phoenix team that could easily win the championship for all but the final couple of minutes of the game.

We've talked a lot about developing each day and constant improvement. The Sonics haven't been good enough to win their first two games, but they have made strides from where they were at the end of the preseason. Considering today is one month from the Oct. 2 start of training camp, it's impressive how far this team has come.

That will pay off.

"When we play that hard it’s going to be rewarded," P.J. Carlesimo said after the game, "maybe not in the first game against Denver, maybe not the second night against Phoenix, but our guys did a lot of things well. We still have a lot of things we need to work on and execute on the floor. I’m really pleased with our effort, just disappointed with the result."

A couple other notes:

- Chris Wilcox's game last night (23 points, 11 rebounds) showed what he is capable of in this system. He has developed his post game this season.

- Johan Petro has taken advantage of the chance to play extended minutes the first two games with two other centers out of the lineup. He had 10 boards in Denver, six points and six boards against Phoenix.

- Give credit to Luke Ridnour for being ready to play last night, even though he is not in the rotation right now. Ridnour gave the Sonics a good run off the bench in the second quarter.

- Last night's game was really a good defensive effort, as I emphasized at halftime in Live From the Press Box. Phoenix's Offensive Rating was 103.7, which is very poor by the high standards set by the Suns.