Thunder Back to Work After All-Star Break

Despite a busy weekend for some and a relaxing weekend for others, every member of the Oklahoma City Thunder came back to work Monday night with the same attitude. Work hard and be ready for the last stretch of the season.

“The break was good, good for my body,” said Thunder center Nick Collison. “The first practice back sometimes you don’t feel great but I felt good and I thought the guys looked really sharp.”

Some had gone home to visit family and friends. Some stayed in Oklahoma City to continue working out and of course Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and James Harden were in Los Angeles participating in All-Star Game activities.

Coach Scott Brooks was out in L.A. also taking it all in.

“It was great fun watching our guys compete like they did,” he said. “I thought they all did great. They all did a fine job of representing this city and this organization.”

But was he concerned at all that the four who participated in All-Star activities and especially Durant and Westbrook, who played in the game Sunday night, would be a little gassed come practice time?

“I was a little,” the coach admitted, “I was waiting to see how they did in warmups and they had energy, they looked good. I probably could have told them to sit out a few drills and they wouldn’t have listened. They’re gym rats, they love the game, they love to work and we had a great practice. So yeah I was worried at the beginning but not now, not at all.”

Thunder forward Jeff Green just tried to take it slow over the long weekend.

“For me it was all about rest, trying to get my legs back. I feel good now.”

And Green was impressed with how his teammates worked during Monday night’s practice inside the Integris Thunder Training Center.

“It was intense, guys worked hard, we’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”

It all begins Tuesday night at Oklahoma City Arena when Blake Griffin brings his Los Angeles Clipper teammates into the building. The Thunder lost to the Clippers early in the season at Staples Center.

“I think both teams have really improved a lot,” Collision told reporters after practice, “they’ve really turned their whole season around. They’ll be difficult to play against.”

The Thunder has 28 games left in the regular season, more than any other Western Conference team.

“We have a really difficult schedule, so it’s important that we take care of ourselves,” Collison said. “We have a ton of back-to-backs and it’s also a time when the games pick up especially if you’re playing against teams fighting for playoff positioning. So we have a lot of work to do but I’m looking forward to it.”

Tipoff is set for just after 7 PM Tuesday night. The Thunder will shoot-around Tuesday morning in final preparations for the Clippers.