Thursday, January 24, 2008

Notebook: Carlesimo on Sene's Progress

I didn't get to this last night, but Sonics Head Coach P.J. Carlesimo talked before the game with Houston about the progress of center Mouhamed Sene in the D-League with the Idaho Stampede.

"He's doing very, very well," said Carlesimo. "I talked to him when he was in Bakersfield or going to Bakersfield the other day. I think in the beginning he understood, but he probably didn't embrace it. I think being there now and getting the regular minutes, he really likes it. We've had a lot of guys on Sam (Presti)'s side go down - (Director of Pro Player Personnel) Billy Branch has been down, (Director of Basketball Technology) Paul (Rivers) has been down, (Assistant GM) Rich (Cho) has been down. I think we've got to get one of our guys (coaching staff) down right now (during the homestand) so we can see him."

Carlesimo said the Sonics have not discussed when to bring Sene back to the NBA.

"I think he's doing way more good there and it's doing way more good for him than it would be here," he said. I guess we've got to balance - we don't want him to forget everybody's name and stuff like that. It's really a good thing."

- Sonics center Robert Swift went through the entire practice with the team as he works his way back into action after lingering aftereffects of his ACL surgery sidelined him in mid-November. Swift has been doing some 1-on-0 drills, but this was the most extensively he has worked with the team since then. Swift went through the entire practice of just under an hour, including a shell drill and a live transition defense drill.

"He looked OK," said Carlesimo. "He showed a little bit of rust, but I think it's good news he didn't feel anything during it. It will also be interesting to see what he's like tomorrow and the next day."

The Sonics will continue to be cautious with Swift's rehabilitation as he progresses toward a return to game action.

- With the team healthy besides Swift, Carlesimo has had to make decisions on his rotation to leave it at a manageable number.

"I'm trying to play nine guys for the most part," he explained, "depending on foul trouble and depending on matchups."

At this point, Luke Ridnour has stepped into the role of backup point guard, with Wally Szczerbiak and Damien Wilkins coming off the bench on the wings and Chris Wilcox up front. However, that can be subject to change depending on matchups and foul trouble. Johan Petro played extended minutes in both matchups against Houston as Sonics big men got into foul trouble defending Yao Ming. Meanwhile, guard Delonte West matched up with Dallas' smaller backcourt on Saturday.