Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Friday, April 29, 2005

Sonics vs Kings, Game Three

Just to know up front, I think we're going to lose this game but win games four and five for my prediction pre-series to come true. This will be one heck of a test as Sacramento will be desperate with hometown fans at their back. Luke Ridnour will be the key to the game.

First Quarter: Sonics 19, Kings 31
Good news: Jerome James had our first four points of the quarter, including one put-back. Bad news: he then tried to run our offense three straight trips down the floor, unsuccessfully. That's when the Kings grabbed the lead. However, Ray Allen has come to play, hit some huge shots to match the intensity that Sacramento has brought. The Kings are only hitting long jumpers, which won't last. I was afraid that we would be down ten midway through the quarter. Only down four at the six minute mark is a great place to be on the road. Luke Ridnour has played good defense on Bibby and is slowing the ball down on the offensive end. He still can't shoot, and we'll have to put in Antonio Daniels if he continues those woes. After the six minute mark nothing has gone right for Seattle. We're lucky to only be down eight at the three minute mark. The offense is lax with poor spacing, Rashard looks hesitant to shoot (we desperately need him to be a consistent scorer) and we were allowing some dribble penetration. Kenny Thomas is the first quarter MVP for the Kings, with good ball on the offensive and defensive end. Really, this quarter would have been even if the Sonics hadn't turned the ball over nine times. I wrote above that I thought we would be down by ten midway through the quarter, I was wrong... it happened at the 2 minute mark. We have to calm down, run our offense, and get good shots. Not the end of the world, but it'll take a nice run to get back in this one.

Second Quarter: Sonics 45, Kings 54
Well this just keeps getting worse and worse. We can't shoot worth anything. Fortson gets two quick fouls. Sacramento can't miss. We've gone almost nine minutes without a field goal. Don't we shoot threes every once in a while? Ridnour collects our field goal, hope that starts the fire.
Side Note: I'm watching the M's play during commercials and I can't believe Aaron Sele gets anyone out. Every at-bat is a serious struggle... anyways, back to the game.
Rashard Lewis is officially AWOL. he shouldn't even be out there right now if he can't give us some points. Why doesn't Jerome James guard Brad Miller? At least get a hand in his face? Man! Finally go down by twenty at the five minute mark. I'm going to quit blogging in hope that we go on a run. Back at halftime...
Or MAYBE NOT!!! Within 8 with 3 minutes left!!! Ray Allen putting us on our back!! 14-1 run!!! Kudos to Vlad for hitting the three after we were down by twenty, it seems to have released some kind of positive energy for us. That and the Kings are not hitting jumpers all the time (except for that three just now by Mobley). Under 2:00 score, Sonics 2, Kings 2. I was hoping for one more run here, but we did weather the storm and are back in the game. Good job guys.

1st Half MVP: I'll give this to Ray Allen for those nine straight points getting us back in the game. Hopefully Rashard and Ray can continue the comeback in the second quarter.

Key Stat: 13 Sonics turnovers. Do I have to say anything about this except ouch?

Third Quarter: Sonics 81, Kings 92
This quarter has been very poor defensively. Sacramento is scoring almost every time down the court, and it's only been because we've been good offensively that we are still within striking distance. Jerome is doing well offensively, but not moving his feet on the defensive end. That, and we're giving up too many offensive rebounds. It's a textbook way to not get back into the game. I'd like to see Antonio Daniels replace Ridnour for his defense. The refs are starting to call the game our way and giving us the body calls we weren't getting in the first half. Time to get over the "down by eight" hump. Collison is playing good basketball but is missing some EASY shots. Missing lay-ins causes us to go back down by 12. Well, we are least playing aggressive basketball, it's just not translating into a run because the Kings can't miss those jumpers (which is what I called for one game this series). We get over the hump to be down by seven with a minute and a half left (of course then Mike Bibby buries a jumper). If Nick Collison could hit two foot shots we would be down by four... Basically, this comes down to defense. If you give up over 90 points in three quarters you have not played good defense. End of story. Hopefully we come back in the fourth, but I'm not optimistic.

Fourth Quarter Final: Sonics 104, Kings 116
Sonics can't shoot well enough to get back in this game and that technical on Daniels was just silly. We need to maintain poise and perhaps play some actual defense. We are simply not forcing enough turnovers. I'll blog some more if we make this close, but if not we lost for simple reasons... we didn't play good defense, the Kings shot insane (55 percent), and Ray and Rashard didn't dominate. All that and we kept it close after that 21 point spell. This is nothing to panic over. We'll win Games 4 and 5.

MVP: None. I can't really in good conscience give this to anyone. Ray scored, but shot horribly. Jerome scored, but defended horribly.

Key Stat: It all comes back to those turnovers in the first half. Don't have those and we win this game, hands down. That 54 percent shooting percentage for the Kings didn't hurt either... that won't continue. We also won't let the Kings have over 30 free throw attempts too. An awful lot of things went wrong, and I don't think it will all happen again.

posted by Gavin @ 10:11 PM  0 comments

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