Sonics Update

  • Tuesday, December 5, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

Herald Staff

  • Opponent: Detroit Pistons

  • When: 7 p.m.

  • Where: KeyArena, Seattle

  • TV: None

  • Radio: KJR (950 AM)

  • Probable starters: For Seattle – forwards Jelani McCoy (6 feet, 10 inches) and Rashard Lewis (6-10), center Patrick Ewing (7-0), guards Emanual Davis (6-5) and Gary Payton (6-4). For Detroit – forwards Michael Curry (6-5) and Ben Wallace (6-9), center Eric Montross (7-0), guards Jerry Stackhouse (6-6) and Chucky Atkins (5-11).

  • Next game: Seattle at Los Angeles Lakers, 7:30 p.m. Friday.

  • Scouting report: In preparation for tonight’s game against Detroit, Sonics coach Nate McMillan pulled out tape of a Nov. 12 game against the Pistons.

    It wasn’t pretty. Guard Jerry Stackhouse, who was tied for the NBA scoring lead heading into Tuesday night’s game at Vancouver, poured in 38 points as Detroit breezed to a 118-96 win.

    “I looked at that tape, and it was a bad, bad tape,” McMillan said. “There were a couple of times on that tape where I would have substituted five guys at one time. Our energy, effort and concentration were not there. We just had no emotions. There was no way we even deserved to be in that game.”

    Tonight, McMillan promised, the Sonics will do a better job of defending Stackhouse, who sports a 28.4 scoring average. “We’ll try to contain him and not let him have a big night,” McMillan said. “We’ll definitely pay attention to him.”

    Point guard Chucky Atkins is Detroit’s assist leader (5.7 per game), and forward Ben Wallace is high in rebounds (11.2) and blocked shots at (1.53).

    Detroit has been mediocre in recent seasons, but most Seattle players have never beaten the Pistons, at least with the Sonics. Detroit won the single meeting between the teams in the lockout-shortened 1999 season, then won both games a year ago. Detroit’s win in mid-November gives the Pistons a four-game winning streak against the Sonics.

  • Baker update: Forward Vin Baker missed Saturday’s game at Denver and Sunday’s home game with Golden State because of a leg injury. Baker worked out Tuesday and seemed to move without pain, and he might be available tonight.

    “He looked good (at practice Tuesday),” McMillan said. “And he shot the ball well. I even forgot that he’d had an injury.”

  • Patterson ailing: The Sonics might get Baker back, but they also might be without forward Ruben Patterson. He was excused from Tuesday’s practice because of illness, and his availability for tonight’s game is uncertain.

  • Sparks fly: The Sonics closed their Tuesday workout with an energetic scrimmage, and tempers got a bit frayed between Baker and Jelani McCoy. Rather than punches or shoves, it was mostly an exchange of taunts, with Gary Payton finally coming over to push the two parties apart.

    Of course, tension between the two may have something to do with McCoy getting Baker’s spot in the starting lineup when McMillan was promoted to head coach.

    McMillan shrugged off Tuesday’s incident. “That’s practice,” he said. “As I told them, I like that. I want them to be competitive. Just understand that when it’s over, you’re teammates. If it’s carried on any further than that, then we’ll have to deal with it.”

    Occasional spats “are part of any competitive sport,” McMillan added. “That means you’re working hard and you care about what’s happening on the floor. … I don’t mind, as long as we understand that when we leave the floor, we’re back together.”

  • Turning back the clock: McMillan is obviously enjoying his stint as head coach. Truth be told, though, he would prefer to be a player again.

    That is, if he could have a healthy body.

    “I came in the league with injuries,” he said. “I always had tendinitis. It flared up some years more than others. But I probably only had a couple of years total (in a 12-year career), meaning a month here and a month there, where I was injury free. That would be my biggest regret, that I was never really healthy.”

    Still, McMillan said, “I retired when I was ready. And I haven’t missed it, I really haven’t.”

    Talk to us

    > Give us your news tips.

    > Send us a letter to the editor.

    > More Herald contact information.

  • More in Sports

    Seattle Mariners star Julio Rodriguez connects for a two-run home run next to Texas Rangers catcher Jonah Heim and umpire Mark Carlson during the third inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Tuesday, April 23, 2024. It was Rodriguez’s first homer of the season. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
    Finally! Julio Rodriguez hits first homer of season

    It took 23 games and 89 at bats for the Mariners superstar to go yard.

    Lake Stevens pitcher Charli Pugmire high fives first baseman Emery Fletcher after getting out of an inning against Glacier Peak on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
    Lake Stevens tops Glacier Peak in key softball encounter

    The Vikings strung together a three-run rally in the fifth inning to prevail 3-0.

    X
    Prep roundup for Tuesday, April 23

    Prep roundup for Tuesday, April 23: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

    Seattle Seahawks linebacker Jordyn Brooks (56) is taken off the field after being injured in the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. The former first-round pick is an example of the Seahawks failing to find difference makers in recent NFL drafts. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
    A reason Seahawks have 1 playoff win since 2016? Drafting

    The NFL draft begins Thursday, and Seattle needs to draft better to get back to its winning ways.

    Shorewood and Cascade players all jump for a set piece during a boys soccer match on Monday, April 22, 2024, at Shoreline Stadium in Shoreline, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
    Shorewood shuts out Cascade 4-0 in boys soccer

    Nikola Genadiev’s deliveries help tally another league win for the Stormrays.

    X
    Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for April 15-21

    The Athlete of the Week nominees for April 15-21. Voting closes at… Continue reading

    X
    Prep roundup for Monday, April 22

    Prep roundup for Monday, April 22: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

    Mountlake Terrace’s Brynlee Dubiel reacts to her time after crossing the finish line in the girls 300-meter hurdles during the Eason Invitational at Snohomish High School on Saturday, April 20, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. Dubiel placed fourth with a time of 46.85 seconds. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
    Big turnout for 34th annual Eason Invitational

    Everett’s Ndayiraglje, Kings’s Beard and Glacier Peak’s sprinters were among the local standouts.

    X
    Silvertips swept out of playoffs by Portland

    Everett’s season comes to an end with a 5-0 loss in Game 4; big changes are ahead in the offseason.

    Seattle Kraken coach Dave Hakstol’s status remains in question after the team missed the playoffs. (Fred Greenslade/The Canadian Press via AP)
    Kraken GM leaves open possibility of changes

    Ron Francis was mum about coach Dave Hakstol’s status after Seattle missed the playoffs.

    Everett freshman Anna Luscher hits a two-run single in the first inning of the Seagulls’ 13-7 victory over the Cascade Bruins on Friday at Lincoln Field. (Aaron Coe / The Herald)
    Everett breaks out the bats to beat crosstown rival Cascade

    The Seagulls pound out 17 hits in a 13-7 softball victory over the Bruins.

    X
    Prep roundup for Saturday, April 20

    Prep roundup for Saturday, April 20: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

    Support local journalism

    If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.