Fast Break Points- April 27th Notebook
Here are some quick-hitting Fast Break Points from Friday’s media session as the Thunder prepared for Game One of the opening round series against the Dallas Mavericks.
• The Thunder had nearly a two hour practice today at the Integris Health Thunder Development Center. The squeaking of sneakers, shouts of encouragement and direction from the coaching staff could be heard throughout the morning.
• While the Thunder has made the NBA Playoffs for the third consecutive year, it’s not something that Oklahoma City, its team and fans take for granted. Kevin Durant was visibly excited to get the postseason going tomorrow, saying, “It’s going to be fun, it’s something we’ve been looking forward to for a long time… I think the coaches do a great job of preparing us and we’ll be ready tomorrow.”
• James Harden was made available to the media for the first time since he sustained a concussion. He said that he is feeling well and just excited to get back out on the basketball court like he did this morning in practice. Harden described that the team really got after one another in practice today and that the support from his teammates and Oklahoma City fans since he was injured has been great. Head Coach Scott Brooks was happy to have Harden back in the fold, saying the Thunder is at its best when James is attacking and being aggressive.
• Derek Fisher, a new member of this Thunder roster, pointed out that both his team and the Mavericks are quite different squads from the teams that met up last season in the postseason. The Mavericks are missing Tyson Chandler, JJ Barea, DeShawn Stevenson and Peja Stojakovic from last year’s squad. Fisher was a member of the Lakers last season when Dallas defeated Los Angeles in the second round.
• Kevin Durant on the keys to defending last year’s NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki: “Dirk is a tough cover. He gets better every single year. The shots he makes are tough. You can’t get discouraged if he makes tough shots over hands. You can’t give him open shots.”
• The Thunder seems like a very confident bunch heading into Round One, but one whose confidence stems from its preparation, attention to detail and intensity. “We have to come out and earn each game,” Fisher said.