Fast Break Points- May 2 Notebook
Below are the Fast Break Points from Wednesday's practice as the Thunder prepares for Game Three of the first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks.
- Durant looked like he got in a great workout today, still sweating from his post-practice efforts. The three-time scoring champion said he wants to rebound better, can’t worry about missing shots and has to stay confident, while continuing to get to the free throw line. In addition, Durant mentioned that the Thunder has to start out well and get can’t let the Mavericks get momentum. The first three minutes are very important as far as energy and intensity is concerned.
- Fisher addressed the offense and Durant, saying that the team needs to execute around him and do a better job of moving the basketball and moving opposing players around the floor, while Durant stays aggressive and does what he normally does.
- Despite chirping to the contrary, Fisher says that there has been nothing unusual about this Playoff series in terms of physicaity. He hasn’t seen an overly physical type of game going on, nor any dirty plays happening. Fisher said it’s just been two teams trying to win a game and that because of the familiarity of the two teams, it’s not a lot of fun to see the same guys out there every day. He continued that it’s almost like practice, when you get mad at each other and beat up each other because you get tired of seeing them. Fisher went on to say that Playoff series are supposed to be physical and supposed to chippy because that’s how you know people care.
- Fisher and center Kendrick Perkins faced off against one another as members of the Lakers and Celtics, but now are teammates whose lockers are next to one another. Regardless of their roots, Fisher has major praise for his teammate. Fisher said that any team that Perkins is on is going to be more competitive, more passionate and more about the team and less about himself. He continued that it’s just the kind of guy Perk is and that is why he’s made every team he’s been on better. “Playing against Kendrick, you always knew he was going to play hard,” Fisher said. “You knew that he was going to bring an intensity and passion to the game every time he stepped on the court. That’s why he’s been a champion before. That’s what he’s doing for our team right now. He’s playing hard, he’s playing with passion, he holds his teammates accountable and that’s all a testament to his character and his integrity, who he is as a person outside of a basketball player and we’re fortunate to have him on our side.”
- Fisher had a great one liner when asked about Perkins’ screens and if he’d ever been on the wrong side of one of the hard ones he’s been setting all series. Fisher said: “Anytime Kendrick sets a screen on you, you’re on the wrong side.”
- Coach Brooks talked about the offense, saying that while Shawn Marion is doing a nice job defending Durant, the team will still run the offense through his small forward. Durant has improved in his post up and pick-and-roll game, in addition to his already established catch-and-shoot ability. Brooks added that the team has to run their sets with energy and force. The four guys without the ball have to come off cuts and screens with good energy and the spacing has to get better as the series goes on.
- Noting the contributions of players like Serge Ibaka, Perkins and Fisher offensively and Nick Collison on the defensive end, Brooks said that his team is full of guys that can step up. “What makes our team really good is when other guys step up,” Brooks said. “Sometimes we look at what they do if they’re scoring or not, but those other guys have to set screens, rebound, make important reads on the defense.”
- As expected, the extra day between games allowed the Thunder to get in an extended practice session today, which Brooks was very happy about. “We had a good film session this morning,” Brooks said. “We really emphasized the areas that we wanted to improve on during that. Guys really locked in and it was good for everybody to be in there and really pick on the things that we didn’t do well and try to work on the things heading into next game to get better at it. Our practice was good today. We worked a lot on the zone that we will be seeing from them the (next) few games. But I thought the guys’ energy and concentration level was very good.”