The Pelican Blog

Postgame report: From the Thunder locker room

Thunder coach Scott Brooks
“I thought our defense was really good in the first three quarters. We only gave up 62 points and 15 points after the half time break. That’s something we’ve been trying to work on; coming into the 3rd quarter and getting better on the defensive end. The last three games have been really good. Hopefully that continues. I thought Serge (Ibaka) was spectacular. He’s right there with the best defensive players in the league. He’s right there with the defensive player of the year. Blocked shots, he had eight tonight, but he altered probably ten others. And that’s what makes our defense good. When everybody is participating, and when we do have a break down, he’s out there backing everybody up and covering for everybody’s mistakes.”

On the Thunder’s transition defense tonight
“It’s something that we talk about. When we get back on defense, we’re tough to score on. We have to do a better job throughout this year of communicating in transition. The last couple of games have been really good. Tonight was probably some of our best transition defense of the year. Everybody was communicating. And you heard it throughout tonight. That’s what makes good defensive teams, when you talk and you communicate and you have each other’s backs.”

On the Thunder’s lower number of turnovers recently
“It’s been great. I think taking care of the basketball is our priority every game and we’ve been doing a very good job with that the last few games. We just have to continue to execute with some good pace and precision in our routes and make the simple, easy pass. A couple of times we were trying to get a little too crafty with our passing, but for the most part, I thought we were making easy passes tonight to win another.”

Thunder forward Kevin Durant
On outscoring a team in fast break points 28 to nothing
“We definitely want to get some easy baskets and that’s the easiest way to do it – to get stops. Guys are running for each other, getting other people a shot, sacrificing and putting their bodies on the line in transition running into crowds to get everyone else open in the wings. Our point guards did a great job of pushing the ball. So when you get stops we open up that transition game and that’s where we’re the best.”

On Russ’s play
“He’s playing well. He’s well rested and he’s taking advantage of a lot of matchups. That’s what we need for him to do. He’s playing extremely well and he’s picking and choosing his spots well. He’s playing with a lot of intensity.”

On Serge’s impact on the defensive end
“It seemed like he had 10 or 11 blocks. I don’t know how many he had officially, but it seemed like he had a lot. He was protecting the paint, getting pick and rolls. He’s the best defensive guy in the league I think, for his position. He was there for us all night. We got beat on the dribble and he was there. Like I said, pick and rolls. He’s doing a great job for us and he was aggressive. He was running the floor and knocking down the jump shot.”

Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha
On how they played tonight and the energy
“We played well, we played really well. I think the energy was high. We did what we were supposed to do, we played together offensively and defensively.”

On how New Orleans had zero fast break points and what he is focusing on in transition
“I think it is mostly not turning the ball over and taking good shots, that leads into a good flow and balance on the floor going back onto the defense end. I think other than that it is just communication. With me being out for a little bit I saw things from the bench I just try to do my best basically get a win and keep improving.”

On what it does for the team with Serge playing like that
“It is incredible, you know but at the same time we don’t want it to turn into a curse where we let guys go to the basket hoping that Serge will be there to block shots. The way he blocks shots and grabs the rebounds, he is a force down there and we are definitely happy to have that.”