By the time this post is completed, the Sonics will have fallen to 0-2 under P.J. Carlesimo. They could be 2-0 but the talent gap and divide in terms of experience in crunch time or winning time – otherwise known as the fourth quarter.
Sure enough as I’m typing this, this is what Doug Collins and Kevin Harlan have discussed. Hubie Brown and Mike Tirico also discussed this Wednesday on ESPN as the Nuggets outscored the Sonics 34-22 in the fourth en route to a 120-103 victory.
The Sonics had a chance, hung around all of the third quarter and were within 85-81 with just over a minute to play. Then Delonte West, the same guy, whose mere presence impacted the game in Seattle’s favor picked up a technical after making two crucial turnovers.
So where did West wind up?
On the bench for the next eight minutes.
And where did the margin go from. It went from four to 10 and eventually 16. I wasn’t in the locker room to pick up the answers but the Seattle Times was for the different versions of things.
“There was no message being sent,” Carlesimo said. “Not from me. Obviously, I don’t like technicals, but no message.”
“No doubt, I thought Coach was trying to send a message,” West said. “The message was I’ve got to do a better job of keeping my head, of keeping my composure. I let things get away from me and Coach, even if he didn’t say anything, he let me know.”
I didn’t watch the TNT game against Phoenix as closely because I wasn’t home. I picked it up in the third and watched the Suns outscore the Sonics 27-17 and pull off a 106-96 victory.
If you don’t get league pass, you’ll still a few more chances to see how these fourth quarters play out for the Sonics. Not including NBA-TV, this was the second of nine games on TNT, ESPN and ABC.
So what happened here? Durant kept them in it with back-to-back threes. Next thing you know he’s making two turnovers and the Suns are ripping off seven straight points and that’s that.