OKC vs. ORL Game Preview – Preparation is Key for Thunder

The transition from game-to-game in the NBA is an important one, and for the Thunder it is a vital part of its team success.

As soon as Friday night’s victory over the Los Angeles Lakers was in the books, Head Coach Scott Brooks and his staff turned to the Orlando Magic, who the Thunder squares off against on Sunday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. With a practice on Saturday, the Thunder had the chance to engage in a long film session and get in some live work on the court to not only prepare for Orlando but also to improve upon itself and its own strategies.

“We watched a lot of film on what we’ve done well throughout the season and things that we need to work on,” Brooks said. “Then we got into Orlando and what we feel puts us in the best position to win that game. We came onto the court and did some things to clean up some areas we feel we needed to get better at. It wasn’t a very physical day, it was more of a mental improvement day.”

While the Magic’s record stands at 7-16, it is a dangerous club that boasts a leading scorer in Arron Afflalo who is scoring 21.4 points per game and the team has six players scoring in double figures. It will important for the ever-developing Thunder to build good preparation habits throughout the year, which is why young players like Jeremy Lamb can gain quite a bit from opportunities to scout new opponents and get a sense for the best ways to attack and defend different types of players.

“The focus today was just preparing mentally and physically, going over (Orlando’s) personnel, their plays and really trying to focus in,” Lamb said. “We got a little work in, going at each other, trying to make each other better.”

“They’re quick, they can score and they’re a good overall team,” Lamb said. “They have some good big men and good guards and some good overall talent.”

In the Notes:

- The Thunder went 2-0 against the Magic last season, and overall is 6-4 against Orlando.

- Head Coach Scott Brooks reached 250 career wins as a Head Coach in the 11th fewest games coached (401) out of all NBA coaches since 1970-71.

- Russell Westbrook has recorded at least nine assists in each of the Thunder’s past four games.

Broadcast Info:

6:00 p.m. CT. TV – Fox Sports Oklahoma, Radio – 98.1 FM The Sports Animal, Thunder Radio Network