Game 2 adjustments, preview
San Antonio dominated Game 1 of its Western Conference semifinal series with Seattle and led from start to finish in the 103-81 victory. The Spurs played nearly a perfect game, which will force the Sonics to make adjustments. Here are a few moves and countermoves that will likely impact tonight's game.
What went wrong for Sonics: San Antonio guard Tony Parker used a variety of screens to free himself from Luke Ridnour and drive into the lane, where he hit seven layups and scored 14 of his game-high 29 points.
Game 2 at a glance
6:30 tonight at SBC Arena
TV/Radio: TNT/KJR (950 AM)
Records: San Antonio leads the Western Conference semifinal series 1-0.
Bottom line: Seattle is 0-6 in playoff series in which it trailed 0-2.
Injuries: Sonics — G Ray Allen (sprained ankle) is questionable; F Vladimir Radmanovic (sprained ankle) is out. Spurs — none.
Tickets: Fewer than 500 remain for Games 3 and 4 at KeyArena. They can be purchased at Supersonics.com, by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX or at any Ticketmaster outlet.
What can they do: The Sonics have to make Parker a jump shooter. To do so, they could either instruct Ridnour to dip under the screens, which would give Parker an open look at the basket, or have their big players pop out early and block Parker's path. Either way, Ridnour has to do a better job of disrupting Parker.
What went wrong for Sonics: The Sonics averaged 20 assists in their first-round series, but managed just 10 in Game 1.
What can they do: One of the weakest parts of Rashard Lewis' game is his inability to decipher double teams and make the correct pass. He's averaging just 2 assists in the playoffs, embarrassingly low for someone who touches the ball as much as he does. Still, he can't change overnight, so Ridnour and Antonio Daniels will have to penetrate even more and find open shooters on the perimeter. Ray Allen didn't play long enough to make much of an impact, but he helps the Sonics with his passing as well as his scoring.
What went wrong for Sonics: Even before losing Allen and Vladimir Radmanovic to right ankle sprains, the Sonics trailed 39-26 early in the second quarter and failed to match San Antonio's intensity at the start of the game. Ten of the Spurs' 12 shots in the first quarter were either dunks or layups.
What can they do: Reggie Evans! Wake up! Jerome James! Wake up! Evans has been overshadowed lately as rookie Nick Collison matures, but the feisty power forward is the Sonics' equivalent of a few shots of espresso. In the past, he's given them energy with his hustle plays and defensive aggressiveness, but he managed just one rebound in the first quarter Sunday. Granted, San Antonio missed just four shots, but Evans was uncharacteristically lifeless.
What went wrong for Spurs: Short answer, very little. San Antonio did score just 13 points in the third quarter, while Seattle had 22.
What can they do: The Spurs will have to fight complacency and overconfidence. They were the favorites before the series began, and the injuries to Allen and Radmanovic make the Sonics an even longer shot.
|F||Reggie Evans||6-8||4.3||7.3 R|
|F||Rashard Lewis||6-10||16.8||4.3 R|
|C||Jerome James||7-1||15.0||8.2 R|
|G||Ray Allen||6-5||28.3||4.3 A|
|G||Luke Ridnour||6-2||8.3||4.8 A|
|F||Tim Duncan||6-1||22.0||10.8 R|
|F||Bruce Bowen||6-7||2.8||4.8 R|
|C||N. Mohammed||6-10||6.8||8.7 R|
|G||Brent Barry||6-7||7.2||2.5 A|
|G||Tony Parker||6-2||20.0||5.3 A|
|* playoff averages|
Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom describes some of the factors that may have led to the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon on Thursday, May 23.