Sonics Update

  • Wednesday, December 13, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

Herald Staff

  • Opponent: Miami Heat

  • When: 7 p.m., Friday

  • Where: KeyArena, Seattle

  • TV: KONG (Ch. 6/16)

  • Radio: KJR (950 AM)

  • Be like George: More and more, Sonics coach Nate McMillan is sounding like former Seattle coach George Karl, for whom McMillan played for seven seasons.

    Karl used to preach that playing hard was talent, just like shooting and ballhandling. He demanded that his athletes play hard, and he filled the end of his bench with gung-ho guys who could go in the game if the big-reputation starters failed to put out effort.

    That is the same message McMillan is trying to convey.

    “It doesn’t make a difference who you play, if you don’t play (hard) for 48 minutes, you will face defeat,” McMillan said. “I’m going to challenge (Seattle’s players) to work together and bring energy for 48 minutes. That’s all we can do. We play hard, we play together, and we execute offensively and defensively.

    “If you don’t come with energy, I don’t care (what opponent) it is out there, you won’t win.”

  • League leaders: Seattle’s Gary Payton entered Wednesday’s game seventh in NBA scoring at 25.2 points a game. He was fourth in assists at 8.8 and 13th in steals at 1.74. Payton’s minutes, meanwhile, were tied for third at 40.9.

    Teammate Rashard Lewis was 10th in field goal percentage at .498 and 12th in 3-point percentage at .427. Lewis’ 41 total 3-pointers, meanwhile, are tied for second for players in the top 20 in percentage.

    As a team, Seattle’s 98.7 points a game ranked third and the team’s 45.3 field goal percentage was tied for fifth. Of course, Seattle’s opponents’ scoring average of 99.5 ranks 27th among the league’s 29 teams.

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