Thunder Preparing for Denver Adjustments

Kevin Durant scored as many points in the second half Sunday night as he averaged per game during last season’s playoff series with the Lakers. Durant (41) and Russell Westbrook (31) combined to torch the Nuggets for 72 points leading Denver Head Coach George Karl to hint at changes.

“We can make some adjustments on Durant and Westbrook,” he said. “If we can keep controlling their other guys we can make it a heck of a series.”

Exactly what those changes, if any, will be no one at the INTEGRIS Thunder Training Center knows for sure, but they will be ready for whatever the Nuggets decide to do.

“I’ve already seen about everything,” Durant told reporters this afternoon. “When they throw a lot of guys at me it makes you think more because you’re used to going against one defender, but when they sent Kenyon Martin, (Danilo) Gallinari, Wilson Chandler even (point guard Raymond) Felton sometimes you got to switch things up.”

Durant said, despite his 41 points in Game 1, he already can see some areas he wants to improve on from Sunday’s performance heading into Wednesday’s game.

“I got to do a better job of finding the open man quicker than I do and I got to make the right pass. I just need to keep watching film and keep getting better.”

Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks is also focusing on areas his players can step up their games. The top of that list includes controlling Nuggets center Nene, who had 22 points Sunday.

“He had a good game against us,” Brooks admitted. “We have to do a better job of making his catches difficult, but that’s not easy to do. He has excellent foot speed and quickness but hopefully we can do a better job on him.”

The Game 1 victory was a great accomplishment but Thunder players and coaches know this series is far from over. They only have to remember back to their own series with the Lakers last season for the reminder.

“This series can go either way,” said Durant. “We saw that last year we were down 2-0 and tied the series up when we came back home. We did what we were supposed to do last night and now we have to worry about what we can do to get better on both ends of the floor. If we continue to play together and feed off our crowd’s energy hopefully we’ll be fine.”

Thunder center Kendrick Perkins was encouraged after a disappointing first quarter with how well the team responded to the challenge the rest of the way.

“We didn’t have the best start and we were down (13), but the good teams in the NBA find ways to win even when you’re down,” he said. “So I just thought it showed a lot about our character, the way we grinded it out, did the little things and got it done.”

At least the Thunder players and coaches have the luxury now of making some adjustments with a 1-0 series lead instead of what Denver faces.

Game 2 of the Thunder-Nuggets playoff series will tip-off Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. inside Oklahoma City Arena. You can watch all the action on Fox Sports Oklahoma or listen in on the Thunder Radio Network.