Season in Review: #4 Nick Collison
By Nick Gallo | Thunder Basketball Writer
There’s no one who has a better pulse on the Thunder locker room, culture and what the team needs to do moving forward than Nick Collison.
During this postseason run, the Thunder displayed poise and composure to win Games 6 and 7 against the Memphis Grizzlies and overcome a seven-point deficit with less than a minute remaining in Game 5 against the Los Angeles Clippers. Against the San Antonio Spurs, the team came up just short in executing in the series-ending Game 6.
Both the wins and losses highlighted the importance of focus and being sharp for every minute on both ends of the floor. While the Thunder made strides in that department this season, Collison recognizes that the team can take an even bigger leap in its situational play next season.
“We realize the importance of possessions and how important each possession is,” Collison said. “You learn when you lose too. We still have a ways to go. We had a good year and we moved along and we improved, but we still have some work to do for sure.”
“It’s a fine line when you get to the end and there’s four teams left,” Collison explained. “Most of the games come down to the end and it’s a fine line between winning and losing. For us it’s just to be able to try to be better in those moments. Our habits have to be good all season. Our mindset has to be right and our focus has to be right in those moments.”
The most tenured player on the roster, Collison sets the tone with his work ethic and quiet but firm commitment to all of the finer aspects of the game that can make the difference between winning in losing. Comfortable in his role, regardless of the number of minutes, Collison hopes to continue finding his ever-evolving niche on the team.
Expanding his abilities shooting corner three-pointers can help him see more time on the floor, but he also knows that his rapport with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, among other members of the Thunder’s core, can help the team find success next year.
“I’ve been here forever and I have a comfort level with what I do and people have a comfort level with me and know what they’re going to get from me,” Collison said. “With experience and being with the guys who have been here and being able to help young players, I think I bring value in that. That’s what I want to do, which is do whatever it takes to help us win.”