Fast Break Points- May 18 Notebook

A lot has been made of the tempo and pace at which the two games so far in this series have been played. At Friday morning’s shootaround, Head Coach Scott Brooks talked about his team’s ability to play multiple ways, but also its desire to impose its style on the game.

Brooks said that the Thunder has to do a better job of playing early in the shot clock on offense. On defense, it’s tough to speed the Lakers up since they move the ball and take shots late in the shot clock. The goal for the Thunder is getting a defensive stop first, rebounding the ball, then running into sets. Brooks wants his team to start the offense at 19 or 20 seconds on the shot clock instead of with 14 or 15 seconds on the clock. The plan is not necessarily to get a quick shot, but a good shot, and to help on the back end of the shot clock so they aren’t rushing.

In all, the Thunder has to play at a pace that they’re comfortable with.

Below are the Fast Break Points from Friday's shootaround as the Thunder prepares for Game 3 in its Round 2 matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Playoffs.

- In terms of what it wants to do in those offensive possessions, Kendrick Perkins said that the Thunder has to take care of the ball a little better because the Lakers’ defense is loading up on them. In Game 1, the Lakers weren’t trapping the pick-and-rolls so Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and James Harden were coming off screens with wide open shots. Now, the Lakers are trapping and guys are helping. The Thunder has to trust each other, make the extra pass and make plays.

- Perkins was asked about his health, and he responded that he is just trying to do what he can and give up his body for the team and do what he can on the court. He doesn’t think anyone is 100 percent healthy in the playoffs.

- Derek Fisher knows the members of this Lakers team pretty well and said that there won’t be any quit in them because they have veteran guys. The Thunder has to be ready to come and play a much better game than it played in Game 2, Fisher continued to say.

- Perkins talked about Andrew Bynum, saying that the Lakers center is not only the biggest guy in the league, but the most talented big man in the league at that size. Perkins credited Bynum’s soft touch around the rim. The goal is to try to go out there and make it hard for him, which for Perkins is a lot easier when he has Serge Ibaka to back him up and block shots.

- Perkins also discussed the nature of this Friday night matchup in Staples Center against the Lakers, saying that guys get up for these types of games. He also mentioned that Westbrook and Harden are from Los Angeles, so every time they get a chance to come home you have to expect them to be locked in even more.

- The question of whether this series is different because of the back-to-back games that will be played here in Los Angeles came up in Perkins’ media briefing. Perkins said that the Thunder is just taking it one game at a time and there’s no looking forward to tomorrow, the team is just worrying about tonight. Coach Brooks said you can’t carry points over and you can’t carry games over so the Thunder has to focus on what they do well and concentrate on tonight.

- In all, Coach Brooks said that this game will boil down to defense. “Both teams are going to play hard, both teams are going to play a physical basketball game, a defensive minded game,” Brooks said. “That’s what we do. We want to hold teams in the low 40 percent shooting and I’m sure they do also. It’s always about defense for us.”


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