After beating the San Antonio Spurs 94-74 Friday night, the Seattle SuperSonics turn around tonight to face the Denver Nuggets, who many people are calling the worst team in the league this season.
Not only are the Nuggets winless, but they have not played particularly well all season. To boot, their best player, Eric Williams, is out for the season with a knee injury.
So there are two ways for the Sonics to approach this game.
Either, “Sweet, this is an easy win.”
Or, “Oh no, they’re due for a win and we’ll probably be their first victim.”
“They are an NBA basketball team,” Sonics coach George Karl said. “They are struggling. But a lot of teams in the league can lose eight or nine in a row and then go back and win five or six in a row. And road wins are difficult wins. I don’t care if you are playing Penn Hills High School (Karl’s high school), they are difficult wins.”
Praise for Green
With Dallas Mavericks forward A.C. Green breaking the consecutive games played streak the other night by playing in his 907th game in a row, Karl reminisced about how much he would have liked to have Green on his roster.
“He’s the reason Dallas beat us earlier this year,” Karl said, “because of the energy he provided that team. I’ve tried to finagle him onto our roster for five years. Then he went to Phoenix and got that crazy contract. He had an all-star salary and we saw him as a sixth man.”
However, Karl has his own iron man in Hersey Hawkins. Hawkins has started 390 consecutive games, second only to Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz. (Green’s streak is for games played, but not necessarily started.)
Karl was looking for an extra pair of tickets for the game Friday when Spurs public relations director Tom James entered Karl’s office and handed him a pair from San Antonio’s allotment.
“This is for being one of the top 25 players in Spurs history,” James told Karl. Karl was voted that distinction in the preseason for the Spurs’ 25th anniversary.
“This is the first all-anything team I’ve been named to,” Karl said.
It was not exactly true; Karl has been named to the all-interview team the past five seasons.