Sonics Update

  • Thursday, November 16, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

Herald Staff

  • Opponent: Dallas Mavericks

  • When: 7 p.m.

  • Where: KeyArena, Seattle

  • TV: None

  • Radio: KJR (950 AM)

  • Probable starters: For Seattle – forwards Vin Baker (6 feet, 11 inches) and Rashard Lewis (6-10), center Patrick Ewing (7-0), guards Ruben Patterson (6-6) and Gary Payton (6-4). For Dallas – forwards Dirk Nowitzki (7-0) and Michael Finley (6-7), center Shawn Bradley (7-6), guards Greg Buckner (6-4) and Steve Nash (6-3).

  • Next game: Seattle at Los Angeles Clippers, 7:30 p.m. Saturday

  • Scouting report: Even though the Mavericks start the tallest NBA tandem with 7-6 center Shawn Bradley and 7-0 forward Dirk Nowitzki, they are not purely a power team. According to Seattle coach Paul Westphal, Dallas likes to spread the floor and create lanes to the basket, and, if the defense collapses, to find sharpshooters at the 3-point stripe.

    It is a style of play long favored by Mavs coach Don Nelson, going back to his days with the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors.

    “Dallas is a very explosive offensive team,” Westphal said. “They want to spread the floor and find mismatches, and they have a lot of good 3-point shooters. They’re just the type of team, like the (New York) Knicks, that if they get it going offensively they’re hard to shut down.

    “You’ve got to be able to play their guys off the dribble,” he said. “If you can do that, you’ve got a good chance against Dallas.”

    Beating the 5-4 Mavs usually involves finding a way to slow high-scoring forward Michael Finley. Though Finley is averaging just 16.0 points a game while shooting an unusually low .383 percent (57-for-149) from the field, he is coming off his first All-Star season in which he averaged 22.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists.

    “He’s a great player,” said Westphal. “He can score inside, outside, off the dribble. And he never gets tired. He’s a great matchup for anybody.”

  • Patterson update: Ruben Patterson, who started Tuesday’s game with New York at shooting guard, missed practices Wednesday and Thursday because of a viral infection. Patterson is questionable to play tonight and would be replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Desmond Mason.

  • Go Beavers: Seattle’s Gary Payton and Brent Barry are Oregon State alums, and both are obviously pulling for the Beavers in Saturday’s pivotal game with Oregon, dubbed “the Civil War” in that state.

    Being in Seattle, Barry knows how much the Washington Huskies need an Oregon State win to go to the Rose Bowl, “and I’d be happy to see them oblige,” Barry said. “The Civil War game is obviously going to be huge … and hopefully the Beavs will pull it out.”

  • On the night table: The Sonics are airing a public service TV advertisement, urging kids to read. Several of the players talk about books they’ve enjoyed, and Barry lets on that he recently read one of the popular “Harry Potter” books.

    “I just like to stay in touch with the younger audience,” Barry said with a grin.

    His critique? “It was all right.”

    And would he read another? “Probably to my kid when he gets a little older,” he said.

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