Thunder Ready for Busy Stretch in Schedule

Things are about to get really busy for the Thunder. After a couple of days off from playing games, the team is ready to navigate one of its most hectic stretches. Five games in six nights, with three of those games coming during a back-to-back-to-back stretch that begins tonight.

Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks said he believes his team is ready to accept the challenge.

“Of course we don’t have much of a choice,” he said, “but yeah, we’re ready. It’s been talked about since the schedule’s been out and the guys are ready. They just want to play basketball.”

The Thunder gets a bit of a break with its back-to-back-to-back set in that two of the games are in Chesapeake Energy Arena and two of the games are against the same opponent, the Houston Rockets.

“It makes it easier for the scouting and for the players to know what they (the Rockets) do and for the personnel groupings,” Brooks said. “But you still have to play the team well to beat them and Houston has a lot of talented players.”

The Rockets have most of their core group back this season including point guard Kyle Lowry, shooting guard Kevin Martin and forward Luis Scola. However, the Rockets have struggled on the road, losing each of their four games away from Houston.

Thunder guard Eric Maynor has noticed something different about this Rockets team under new Head Coach Kevin McHale, saying: “They’re shooting a lot more jumpers,trying to score a lot more, playing a little faster.”

The Rockets may be trying to score more points because their defense has given up a lot in those four losses. The Clippers scored 41 in the first quarter against Houston on Wednesday night in Los Angeles on the way to a 117-89 win. Still the Rockets will present certain challenges for the Thunder.

“They have got a bunch of guys who can score,” Maynor said. “Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry are playing really good this year and then you have Scola down there on the block. They have a good overall team.”

The Thunder's deep roster will likely come into play during this stretch. Brooks may be tempted to use more guys than usual in his rotation during the three games this weekend.

“We have guys that I’m confident if they’re thrown into the game they will perform and do well," he said. "It’s going to take all the guys. Our starters have to do their jobs and our backup guys have to do theirs.”