There will be no over-confidence, resting or complacency for the Thunder heading into Game 2 tonight. Head Coach Scott Brooks, forward Nick Collison and guard Russell Westbrook each noted that the Los Angeles Lakers will certainly bring a tougher test than in the Thunder’s 119-90 victory in Game 1.
During the regular season, the Thunder played a full 10-man rotation. In Game 1 of its second-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers, Head Coach Scott Brooks stuck to that rotation and then some.
The Thunder tips off at 8:30 p.m. tonight in Game 2 of Round 2 of the Western Conference Playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers. This morning after shoot-around, forward Nick Collison and Head Coach Scott Brooks addressed the media, and guard Russell Westbrook spoke with Thunder broadcaster Kelly Crull.
Depth and toughness along the front line will be key for the Thunder throughout this second-round series because the Lakers have a formidable front line of Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and Jordan Hill.
Thunder center Nazr Mohammed said that it’s important to play Bynum and Gasol the same way he would against Shaquille O’Neal when he was playing. That means staying between the Lakers’ towers and the basket, forcing them away from the rim and making them take shots over top of you.
In the NBA Playoffs, you don’t get extra credit for margin of victory.
The Thunder certainly had plenty to be happy about after Monday night’s 119-90 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of the teams' best-of-seven, second-round series. However, that resounding victory is only one of the four wins the Thunder needs to advance in this Playoffs.
Protect the basketball.
Those three words have been spoken frequently by Head Coach Scott Brooks during his four seasons with the Thunder, almost as a Mission Statement for his team.