SEATTLE — After several technical difficulties. I’m up and running. I had no internet connection for the entire first half. The Sonics lead the Suns 58-55 at the break. Kevin Durant has 18 points. Make that 18 impressive points. He’s done it all. Hit step back jumpers. 3-pointers. Dunks. Attacked the rim. Got to the foul line. This guy’s going to be great. What’s most impressive about him is his basketball IQ. You can tell he knows the game. Hearing it from coaches and seeing it are two totally different things. He ran a pick and roll one time down the court in the first quarter with Nick Collison and hit him at the perfect time for Collison to get a wide open layup. He looked a little winded in the first half. Probably a result of his first NBA back-to-back. Big difference in a back-to-back against the Nuggets and Suns than AAU two years ago or OSU and Kansas last year.
As for the off-the-court stuff. There’s one sign that I see. It says NOklahoma on one side and Trade Bennett on the other. The two guys who came to the game together are pretty passionate about their cause. The only other occasion that something happened was halfway through the second quarter when half the arena began chanting “Save our Sonics.” It got pretty loud and passionate. No sign of Clay Bennett, although he’s said to be here. I definitely don’t see him sitting courtside like previous owner Howard Schultz once did or behind one of the baskets like he did at so many Hornets games at the Ford Center. I think he might be in a suite.
There is a nice crowd for the game. Several seats in the lower bowl end zones have gone unoccupied, but all in all it’s a good turnout. The report out of the Seattle papers was that there were 1,500 tickets remaining this morning. A lot of it might be because of Steve Nash and the Suns. There are a lot of Suns fans in here and some cheers from the crowd each time they score. My early impression is that there won’t be any sort of lame duck season up here. Of course there are 40 more home games to be played so anything can happen. But this team looks as if it will play hard every night. I suspect the fans here will come out and support hustle, dedication and Durant. Even if the losses pile up.