Sonics Update

  • Tuesday, February 19, 2002 9:00pm
  • Sports

Talking to a reporter before Tuesday’s game against Phoenix, Seattle SuperSonics forward Predrag Drobnjak tried to explain why he played so well the previous two games, making up for the absence of the injured Vin Baker.

As the 27-year-old Yugoslavian rookie stumbled in basic English, fellow rookie Vladimir Radmanovic wandered by and offered this simple explanation:

“He is getting more minutes,” Radmanovic said.

Yes, Drobnjak agreed, that is why after a season in which he has averaged 4.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12 minutes, he has averaged 15 points and almost six rebounds in 24 minutes since Baker dislocated three toes on his left foot three games ago.

“I have more minutes, I have more shots, I get more opportunities when I am on the court,” said Drobnjak, who had 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting against the Suns on Tuesday, as well as two rebounds and two assists.

Indeed, but it looks almost as if Drobnjak is a different player. Through the first 50 games of the season, the Fred Flintstone lookalike seemed as if he might have been another foreign experiment gone bad, stumbling around the court, unable to grasp the NBA game.

Then, in Seattle’s past three victories, things clicked for Drobnjak. He is hitting shots he hasn’t hit all season, and against Sacramento on Sunday, he timed his jump perfectly and blocked the shot of All-Star forward Chris Webber.

Drobnjak said a lot of his turnaround is that he finally is healthy after spraining his ankle early in the season.

“He’s doing the things we thought he was capable of doing,” Sonics coach Nate McMillan said. “With extra minutes, he has gotten the opportunity to play and is not getting rotated out as quickly as I have been this season (when Baker was playing). He’s shown that with minutes, he can give me something out on the floor. I think his biggest strength is understanding the game and shooting the ball. He has done a good job for us the last couple games.”

“I just want to show myself and my coach and my teammates that I can play in

the NBA,” Drobnjak said.

Short shots: Shammond Williams is expected to rejoin the team for the game tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers. … Even before they shot 55.4 percent against the Suns, the Sonics were leading the league in field-goal percentage (.465) and 3-point field goal percentage (.394). Oddly, they are 17th in the league in free-throw percentage, shooting .748 percent.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Washington's Sami Reynolds bats during a Women's College World Series game this past June in Oklahoma City. (UW Athletics photo)
The Herald’s 2022-23 Woman of the Year in Sports: Sami Reynolds

The Snohomish grad capped an outstanding five-year career with an All-American season and one of the biggest moments in UW history.

Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Sept. 18-24

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Sept. 18-24. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Arlington’s Caleb Reed is thrown into the air by lineman Dylan Scott after scoring a touchdown against Ferndale on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Prep football power rankings after Week 4

Here are our top 8 local teams after all the action from Friday and Saturday.

Monroe’s Mason Davis (1) celebrates with Trent Bublitz (11) after Bublitz’s touchdown reception against Edmonds-Woodway on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, at Edmonds School District Stadium in Edmonds, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Reader poll: Make your picks for Week 5 prep football games

Do you think you can beat the experts in our weekly high… Continue reading

The 1987 Cascade boys soccer team poses for a photo in front of the Space Needle in Seattle. (County Sports Hall of Fame photo)
County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023 bio: 1987 Cascade boys soccer

The 1987 Cascade boys soccer team won the AAA title and kicked off a run of five straight appearances in the state title game.

Prep roundup for Monday, Sept. 25

Prep roundup for Monday, Sept. 25: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III celebrates after scoring against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of Sunday’s game in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Grading the Seahawks in their 37-27 win over the Panthers

Seattle turns in a solid all-around performance in front of the 2013 Super Bowl winners.

Arlington’s defense stuffs Ferndale running back Talan Bungard on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Arlington steamrolls Ferndale in 3A Wesco North showdown

The Eagles light up offense in the first half, finish business to earn a 46-14 win.

Lake Stevens High School head football coach Tom Tri hoists his team’s championship trophy during a community parade and celebration Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
The Herald’s 2022-23 Man of the Year in Sports: Tom Tri

The Lake Stevens coach guided the Vikings to Snohomish County’s first large classification football state title in more than 30 years.

Most Read