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Sonics Notes: Allen goes on the offensive
Seattle Times staff reporter
SALT LAKE CITY — Ray Allen doesn't have an 81-point game on his résumé, but the Sonics guard has played a minor role in the individual scoring explosions that have highlighted the first half of the NBA season.
Allen tossed in 42 points on Sunday. He also had games of 39, 33, 32 and entering Wednesday night's game against Utah was 11th in scoring with a 24.6 average.
Coach Bob Hill has revamped the Sonics' offense to create more scoring opportunities for his leading scorer.
"I got a lot of stuff for him and I just put in more for him [on Tuesday]," Hill said. "He's handy in that way.
"He's got four of five different ways of getting shots. What I'm trying to do is watch and study and find out what he's the best at."
During his three stints as a head coach, in New York, Indiana and San Antonio, Hill has had just one player comparable to Allen: Reggie Miller. Hill was coach of the Pacers in the 1990-91 season, when Miller averaged 22.6 points — the second-highest average of Miller's career.
"They are similar and they are different," Hill said. "Different off the dribble. Reggie got to the foul line a little bit more than Ray. You could isolate Reggie for instance.
Star of the game: Ray Allen did his best work early, scoring 13 of his team-high 22 points in the first quarter.
Play of the game: Early in the second quarter, Rashard Lewis elevated over 7-foot center Greg Ostertag and flushed a dunk that bounced off Ostertag's head.
Turning point: The Sonics jumped out to an 11-2 start and never looked back. Seattle led from start to finish and build a double-digit lead (17-7) with 5:38 remaining in the first quarter.
Key statistic: Seattle collected 11 turnovers, its most this season since they nabbed 13 against Utah on Dec. 9.
"Reggie learned as Ray will learn the value of setting good screens to get open. Ray is not as easy at times to get open, but some of that is the team. It's a new system."
Allen is averaging 24.1 points. He averaged 23.9 points last season.
Radio game plan
The Sonics are discussing how they will broadcast games next season when broadcast rights move from KJR (950 AM) to KTTH (770 AM). They're contemplating hiring just a play-by-play announcer or a two-person team that would include a color analyst. Kevin Calabro will stay with the team, but will only broadcast on the radio when games are not on TV.
• G Luke Ridnour received three stitches to close a cut over his right eye in the second quarter.
• F Vladimir Radmanovic sprained his right foot early in the third quarter during a collision with Rashard Lewis. X-rays revealed no serious damage.
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company