• Saturday, January 15, 2005 9:00pm
  • Sports

Opponent: Cleveland Cavaliers

When: 6 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 Cleveland – forwards Drew Gooden (6-10) and LeBron James (6-8), center Zydrunas Ilgauskas (7-3), guards Ira Newble (6-7) and Jeff McInnis (6-4).

Next game: Denver at Seattle, 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Lewis questionable for tonight’s game

Forward Rashard Lewis stayed mostly on the sidelines for Seattle’s Saturday practice and is questionable to play against Cleveland tonight.

Lewis has tendinitis in his left knee, which means he could be on the court tonight or he could be out a few weeks. It simply depends on how long it takes the inflammation in the joint to go away.

Seattle coach Nate McMillan said it will be a game-time decision for Lewis, who was unavailable for comment Saturday.

Forward Reggie Evans, meanwhile, also sat out most of Saturday’s light workout. Evans came out of Friday’s game against Golden State with a sore left arm, which he evidently hurt when taking a hard foul from Golden State’s Mike Dunleavy in the second half.

“He needed a day off,” McMillan said of Evans.

Staying the same: McMillan said the Sonics will not unveil any new defenses tonight for Cleveland star LeBron James.

“Our schemes really don’t change no matter who we play,” McMillan explained. “The rule is to defend and keep the ball in front of you and force a tough shot, and then rebound.”

James is listed as Cleveland’s starting small forward, which means Lewis would probably draw the defensive assignment, assuming Lewis is healthy enough to play. “But if (James) is at (shooting guard), Ray (Allen) will guard him. So whoever (James) guards, that guy will guard him.”

The Cavaliers, who won twice against Seattle a year ago, are one of the league’s up-and-coming teams. After starting 0-3, Cleveland won the next six straight and now is battling Detroit for the top spot in the Central Division.

“They’ve improved,” McMillan said. “They’re a good team. They’re a solid team and they play hard.”

No reunion: Cleveland guard/forward Luke Jackson, a teammate of Seattle’s Luke Ridnour at the University of Oregon, underwent back surgery for a herniated disk on Thursday and will miss not only tonight’s game, but the rest of the season.

Ridnour said he called Jackson on Thursday “just to make sure he’s doing all right and to tell him I was praying for him. It’s tough to go through something like that in your first year. He wasn’t playing much, so maybe this way he can get it done, get healthy and be ready to go next year.”

Jackson, who last played in a Jan. 3 game vs. Charlotte, has struggled much of the season. He has appeared in just 10 games, averaging 2.9 points in 4.3 minutes a game, and reportedly let on just recently how much his back is hurting him.

“He’s tough,” Ridnour said, “so I’m sure he tried to play through it, but it didn’t work out.”

What’s in a name: Radio/TV broadcaster Kevin Calabro likes to call forward Vlade Radmanovic “Broadway Joe,” citing a resemblance to former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath. McMillan, though, prefers another moniker.

“I call him ‘Hollywood,’” McMillan said with a smile. “He has that appearance, that swagger. You guys have seen him in the winter with his (heavy clothes), but you ought to see him in the summertime. He has all this tight stuff and his shades. He’s Hollywood to me.”

Rich Myhre, Herald Writer

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