Fast Break Points- June 10 Notebook

The final buzzer sounded in Miami on Saturday night, and with it came a Miami Heat win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics. As a result, the Thunder found out that its NBA Finals opponent would be the Heat, who will travel to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder in Chesapeake Energy Arena on Tuesday night in Game 1. Head Coach Scott Brooks prepared his team today with a practice session at the Integris Health Thunder Development Center on Sunday.

“Miami is a very good team,” Brooks said. “They have some of the best players at their positions in the league. (LeBron) James, (Dwyane) Wade, (Chris) Bosh, they are amazing players, they can score without screens, they can score with screens, they can help their teammates score. That’s what they do and they do it at a high level. It’s going to be two competitive teams going at each other.”

While the quality of its opponent and the test it faces will be the toughest yet for the Thunder, Brooks and his squad will prepare the same way that it has all season. Forward Serge Ibaka has been consistent in taking extra jump shots after practice every single day, and that repetition and regular approach is something that exemplifies the process-based approach the entire Thunder roster takes every day.

“We just are practicing like we work every time,” Ibaka said. “Our first mentality is defense first. So we’re working a lot on defense and on offense we’re trying to get better at moving ball, getting into space and playing the right basketball.”

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

-Ibaka said the Thunder is excited and can’t wait to play. They know it will be tough because the Heat has some great players who can finish at the rim and shoot the ball, but everything the Thunder will try to do will be as a team.

-Ibaka said that he is proud of Durant and the whole team for how it has grown not only as players but mentally. He thinks that Durant and the team can succeed if they play together. The team needs to make sure the Heat don’t get anything easy and the Thunder has to stay aggressive.

-Russell Westbrook said that the Heat is a good team and it’s their second year in a row in the Finals. The Thunder has watched film and looked over the personnel to pick up on the Heat’s tendencies.

-Westbrook said that Coach Brooks is really into detail and making sure that the Thunder is always making the right play with their teammates. The players and coaching staff have a good, trusting relationship with one another.

-Westbrook said that Coach Brooks keeps the guys together and puts them in the right spots. He was glad that the crowd recognizes how Brooks has brought the team from where it was four years ago to now.

-Brooks said that Kevin Durant is always about the team and he’s sure LeBron James is the same way. It’s the same thing with Westbrook and Tony Parker in the last series. It’s not about individual matchups.

-Brooks said the team is based on work and the organization is based on work. The team is just worried about coming to work every day and doing their job. They can’t hide the fact that they have a young team, and young is good.

-Brooks said that he and the team have grown up together over the past four years. It’s been great because they work every day. You don’t want to every get anything without earning it. All the guys have the same attitude.


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