RE: [APBR_analysis] Re: DeanO in the P-I
- I should have clarified what I meant by "best":
not best outcome (1979 clearly beats both 1978 and 1996 in
that regard), nor most wins.
What I meant was "most incredible", "most enjoyable",
"most memorable" ... along those lines.
1978 beats both 1979 and 1996 because the Sonics literally
came out of nowhere to make it all the way to Game 7 of
By 1996, the Sonics were a regular 60-game winner. In 1979,
they were a repeat finalist; everyone knew they were good.
But in 1978, the Sonics were coming off a chaotic, mediocre
season (which was both a cause and an effect of Bill Russell's
resignation), and they started the season a miserable 5-17.
A mediocre team fraying into disarry.
Lenny Wilkens stepped in as head coach (after Bob Hopkins
was fired), replaced almost the entire starting lineup
(Slick Watts, Fred Brown, Paul Silas, Bruce Seals) with
a cast of then unknowns (Gus Williams, Dennis Johnson,
John Johnson, rookie Jack Sikma) and the Sonics went on
to win 70% of their remaining games and make it all the
way to the Finals, the first time a Seattle major pro
sports team had ever advanced so far (unless you count
the 1977 Sounders making it to the Soccer Bowl as a major
The word "Cinderella team" doesn't even begin to describe
that 1978 Sonics squad. Has there ever been such a sharp
mid-season turnaround in NBA history?
That's what makes the 1978 season "best", better by far
than 1996 or even 1979, not in terms of outcome, but in
terms of a team exceeding expectations, and also making
a historic (by Seattle standards) achievement by making
it to the Finals.
This 2005 Sonics team did not have the burden of a 5-17
start, just an 0-1 shellacking by the Clippers (almost
as embarassing). But pre-season, they probably had
even lower expectations than the 1978 team did in
pre-season, so if they do make it to the Finals, with
an excellent won-loss record, they'll have matched
the 1978 team, IMO, in terms of exceeding expectations.
From: John Hollinger [mailto:alleyoop2@...]
Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 4:52 PM
Subject: [APBR_analysis] Re: DeanO in the P-I
>>>this could shape up to bethe best Sonics season since 1978
Woooooooooaahhhhh -- didn't they win 64 games with Glove and Rainman?
--- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Tamada" <tamada@o...>
> -----Original Message-----how
> From: Dean Oliver [mailto:deano@r...]
> Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2005 10:51 AM
> >beliefs, is valuable. Giving them tools to improve the players or
> >to use the players (two different things) -- that's more valuablethan
> >overall ratings and that can come from some of what Roland has.the
> One great thing about the Sonics and Suns is that they've continued
> trail set by the Kings and Mavericks, showing that one can have anteam.
> up-tempo, offensively oriented team which is nonetheless a good
> (Championship team? That's another matter).talent
> And the Sonics, if one believes that their roster is not filled with
> a particularly scary amount of talent, have continued the examples
> shown by the Pistons, Argentinian Olympic team, etc. in which team
> play and team effort overcame the seemingly superior individual
> level of teams such as the Lakers and USA Olympic team.anything
> Up-tempo, team-oriented basketball. What a concept.
> >get canned often. Success is winning a bit in the playoffs. So we
> >have a lot left to accomplish -- well beyond any regular season win
> >total -- to consider this season a success.
> As I've mentioned on a Sonics email list, this could shape up to be
> the best Sonics season since 1978 -- although the Sonics will at
> a minimum have to make it to the Finals to match that incredible
> Cinderella season. But I think even non-Sonics fans have to
> appreciate what the Sonics and Suns have accomplished so far this
> season. DeanO's right that they really haven't accomplished
> yet, the season's only 1/3 over so it's too early to be handing outYahoo! Groups Links
> awards, but what a 1/3 of a season it's been. Some positives have
> been going on, to balance out the Pacer-Piston slugfest.