Fast Break Points- June 9 Notebook

Practice has never been taken for granted in the Thunder organization, so after two recovery days after its Game 6, series-clinching win over the San Antonio Spurs, the Thunder got back to work. The practice floor is where the Thunder put in the time and effort to rise together from a 23-win team in its first season in Oklahoma City to the position it is in now. As a result, Head Coach Scott Brooks wasn’t surprised by his team’s energy, effort and focus today.

“We scrimmaged at the end, which was nice to see guys get up and down the court and blow it out a little bit,” Brooks said. “I thought they did a good job of competing, playing defense and passing the ball. It was a good day today.”

Tonight, the Thunder will be anxiously awaiting the opponent that it will host in Game 1 of the Finals on Tuesday. The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat will duke it out in a win-or-go-home Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight, so come tomorrow morning when Kevin Durant and his Thunder teammates again hit the practice floor, they’ll be able to prepare for their toughest test yet.

“We really respect these two teams and no matter what it’s going to be a battle,” Durant said.

Below are the Fast Break Points from Saturday's practice:

-Brooks said that the team has no clue which team it is playing but there are some similarities there with how the Heat and Celtics play and how they guard. Miami has probably some of the best players in the league at those three positions and the Celtics have incredibly experienced players at those positions plus Rajon Rondo who is one of the premier point guards in the NBA.

-Brooks was asked about playing and coaching in the NBA, saying it is not guaranteed to make it in the NBA just because you work hard and it takes a lot of work and a lot of luck, and it’s the same thing with coaching. You’re not entitled to be in the position or have a coaching job. He joked that you can make it as a coach without being a player, but you can’t make it a player without being a player.

-Durant said that he is not satisfied but is happy with the way he’s progressed this season with rebounding and passing. He has a long way to go with learning the game, his teammates and where guys are supposed to be on the court through film study.

-Durant said that the Thunder is all about one thing, getting a win. Everyone has to help out. Derek Fisher and Kendrick Perkins do a lot to help keep the team composed. Once Perkins arrived he and Serge Ibaka instantly clicked and they are helping each other out.

-Brooks said Fisher can still play, he’s one of the best defenders because he fights through screens, holds up bigs, makes the right passes and hits shots. He’s a winner and wins games for us.

-Perkins said that any fear went out the window when he got to Oklahoma City when the team welcomed him with open arms and when he saw the organization had the same winning attitude, it was just younger.

-Perkins said that once you get to the Finals it’s all about will and heart. At the end of the day you’ve worked so hard to get here it comes from within. It’s about digging deep and seeing who wants it more.

-Fisher talked about his early playing days in the NBA when he actually faced Coach Brooks when Brooks was also a player. He said the two tried to get after one another when they played against each other. He remembers Brooks playing with toughness and passion, which he emphasizes today as a coach.


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