Failure to stop: Why Sonics have worst defense ever

There's bad, there's worse, there's worst ... and then there's worst ever. That's the distinction the Sonics have earned on defense this season, writes John Hollinger.

Originally Published: March 31, 2006
By John Hollinger | ESPN Insider
It wasn't supposed to be like this in Seattle. Coming off a 52-win season that saw the SuperSonics give the eventual champion Spurs all the Texans could handle in the second round, the Sonics were looking forward to continuing their winning ways in 2005-06.

Yes, they were a poor defensive team, but they could score in bunches. Thanks to their potent 3-point shooting and ferocious offensive rebounding, the 2004-05 Sonics had the NBA's third-most efficient offense. Thus, even with a defense that ranked a mere 25th out of the league's 30 teams in defensive efficiency (my measure of a team's points allowed per 100 opponent possessions), the Sonics scored enough to win on most nights.

This year, that equation changed in a major way. The Sonics still had the great offense. Through Wednesday's games, the Sonics ranked fourth in the NBA in offensive efficiency and were just a hair behind Detroit for third, which would be a repeat of last year's performance.

Defensively, however, things went from bad to worse. Or worst, I should say. Not as in "worst in the NBA," although that certainly applies. No, I mean worst as in worst defense ever.

You heard me.

Worst.

Defense.

Ever.


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