Sonics update

  • Tuesday, December 21, 2004 9:00pm
  • Sports

Opponent: Denver Nuggets

When: 7 p.m.

Where: KeyArena, Seattle

TV: FSN (cable)

Radio: KJR (950 AM)

Probable starters: For Seattle – forwards Rashard Lewis (6 feet, 10 inches) and Reggie Evans (6-8), center Jerome James (7-1), guards Ray Allen (6-5) and Luke Ridnour (6-2). For Denver – forwards DerMarr Johnson (6-9) and Kenyon Martin (6-9), center Nene (6-11), guards Greg Buckner (6-4) and Andre Miller (6-2).

Next game: Seattle at Utah, 6 p.m. Monday.

Respiratory infection sweeps through Sonics

This is the season for giving, of course, though in one respect the Sonics should probably be a little less generous.

An upper respiratory infection seems to be passing through the team and two players, guards Ray Allen and Antonio Daniels, are questionable to play against the Nuggets tonight.

Both missed Tuesday’s practice, with Allen being sent home with a fever and Daniels staying home for the third straight day. Coach Nate McMillan said he expects to have the duo vs. Denver, though he will not know for sure until later today.

Forward Reggie Evans was evidently the first player afflicted. He missed a Saturday workout, but was back on the court Monday.

There was also good news on the medical report. Forward Rashard Lewis returned to practice after sitting out two days with a sore left knee and ankle that were injured in last Friday’s game with Phoenix. Lewis is due to be in his usual starting spot tonight.

Scouting report: Denver will be short-handed against the Sonics, missing one and perhaps both of the team’s usual starting forwards.

Definitely out is Carmelo Anthony, who suffered a sprained left ankle in Friday’s game at Miami. Anthony, the team’s leading scorer at 21.4 per game, also missed last Saturday’s game at Orlando and Monday’s home game with Phoenix, and is not due back until a Sunday game with Dallas at the earliest.

Forward Marcus Camby, meanwhile, has acute bronchitis and is questionable against the Sonics. He did not play against Phoenix on Monday, a game the Nuggets let get away in the late seconds.

Denver started slowly this season, losing four of its first five games (including a 108-88 home loss to Seattle on Nov. 9), but later had a stretch where it won 10 of 12 games. Of late, though, the Nuggets are again struggling, having lost five of their last six and three in a row.

Stating the obvious: It was an odd question, with a TV reporter asking forward Danny Fortson if the Sonics are still Allen’s team.

Silly, since Allen leads the team in scoring (24.3) and minutes per game (40.5), is the team’s No. 1 go-to guy, and is the unquestioned veteran leader in the locker room. To no one’s surprise, then, Fortson said as much.

“This is still Ray’s team,” he confirmed. “He’s our leader and we listen to him. He’s obviously a great leader and we have a lot of respect for him.”

Numerology: Forward Vlade Radmanovic had a simple reason for choosing No. 77 when he joined the Sonics as a rookie in the 2001-02 season.

As a younger pro playing in Europe, Radmanovic had always worn No. 7. But in Seattle, he said, “Rashard already had that number, so I decided to take double-7.”

Rich Myhre, Herald Writer

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