With knees bent, arms spread wide and eyes glued to his opponent’s chest, Russell Westbrook is the first wall of defense for the Thunder.

This season Head Coach Scott Brooks’ club is only allowing 95.6 points per game on 42.6 percent shooting, figures that become more remarkable when factoring in the up-tempo pace at which the Thunder plays. Led by Westbrook at the top, all five players on the floor for the Thunder at any given time are locked in and playing with effort, enthusiasm and focus.

With games almost every other night in the NBA, time management is critical in order to get the team ready to play hard from the opening tip each night.

After a stretch of 17 games in the month of November, the Thunder is going into only its sixth game in the month of December tonight against the Sacramento Kings. With that extra practice time so far through the first half of the month, Head Coach Scott Brooks has been able to work with team leaders like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to keep the entire team sharp.