Thunder Returns to Work After Day 'Off'

Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks has to chuckle a little to himself when he schedules off days for his players. The first such day was Thursday and it was like most every other day off the coach has ever marked on the calendar.

“Typical day off for the Thunder,” the coach said with a gleam in his eye. “All the guys showed up. Not one guy didn't show up and I love that. They keep putting pressure on each other, you don’t want to be the one that doesn’t go to work. That’s the mentality our guys have, that’s the culture we want to continue to create.”

During Friday’s scheduled practice, coaches didn’t let the players do much live scrimmaging. “Today we just went over some of our offensive sets and our defensive schemes. We only did a few minutes of live since we’re going to play tonight.”

The team will go at it for an extended period for the first time tonight during the annual Blue and White Scrimmage. Brooks is looking forward to seeing how his players respond.

“It’s going to be great. ... The minutes the guys play, they’re going to play them hard,” Brooks said.

Only a week in, training camp is already almost half finished, but Thunder forward Nick Collison said he doesn’t feel rushed. “No, I think we feel pretty comfortable, we’ll see. The pre-season game against Dallas should be good, we can kind of see where we’re at in a regular-game situation. There’s a lot of things we haven’t even got to yet, but we’ve done them before.”

That’s an advantage the Thunder will have over teams that are still settling on their rosters. This team has a great familiarity with sets and schemes and coaches and teammates.

“It’s a little different with our team with the continuity and carry-over with the same personnel and the same coaches, so we feel pretty comfortable about things," Collison said. "I think it’s a big advantage for us.”

Collison has always been a good gauge as to where the team stands as far as preparation, so what’s he happy with at almost the halfway point in camp?

“I like the fact that everyone seems to be in shape, so I don’t think that’s going to be a problem for us," he said. "I like the fact that we can just jump right in and run our sets and it doesn’t seem like we’re doing something new.”

It’s not all gravy, though. Collison admits there are some things he and his teammates need to work on.

“We need to get better with our timing offensively and moving the ball, those type of things, and that’s really just because we haven’t had time to do much scrimmaging and moving the ball up and down,” he said.

That’s all about to change, beginning with tonight’s Blue-White Scrimmage then the first pre-season game Sunday night in Dallas.