Fast Break Points- May 3 Notebook
Below are the Fast Break Points from Thursday's shoot-around as the Thunder prepares for Game Three of the first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks.
- Sefolosha and Brooks discussed how the Thunder aims to continue to guard Jason Terry and stick with the team’s defensive philosophy. It’s been a focal point to keep the sixth man in check early in the game to prevent him from getting into a rhythm. Not only will Sefolosha and Russell Westbrook’s defense be key, but it will be a full team effort that gets the job done.
- Much has been made of the Thunder’s 37-for-39 free throw shooting night in Game Two. Sefolosha said that the Thunder works on free throws every day, with a game they use. Viewing from afar, the game consists of two players going against each other in a one-on-one contest. A player gets one point for a make and two points for a swish.
- Brooks echoed Sefolosha’s point and talked about the importance free throws have during a Playoff game. “It’s important for all of us to be able to step up there with confidence and make it,” Brooks said. “There are so many NBA games that are decided by a few points. If you have good free throw shooters, a lot of times you win those games. One of our strengths the last three years or so has been free throw shooting. We have guys that get there, and the guys that do get there are great shooters from that line. It’s important that you have your best free throw shooters being the ones that get there. We work on it every day. I carve out time out of every practice to work on free throws. Doesn’t matter if it’s a shoot-around or a practice, if we have 10 baskets or two baskets, we’re going to spend some time on the free throw line.”
- Only four players took free throws for the Thunder in the 102-99 victory in Game Two, with James Harden going 10-for-10 from the free throw line, Russell Westbrook going 8-for-8, Kendrick Perkins going 5-for-5 and Kevin Durant going 14-for-16. Sefolosha had a great comedic timing when he was asked whether the team gave Durant a hard time for being the only one to miss free throws, simply replying, “No. We did not.”
- The Thunder is a younger team than the Mavericks, and the series thus far has been a battle between youthful speed, endurance, strength and quickness versus the experience the Mavericks has. Brooks said that the team doesn’t look at the Mavericks as old, nor as a seven seed, but rather as the defending champions. Sefolosha said that the dichotomy is an interesting one. “At this level and that time of the year, age is also a plus,” Sefolosha said. “Experience is definitely something that counts. At the same time we want to push the pace up and keep running, getting some stops and getting some easy baskets.”
- Both games so far have been intense on the court and on the scoreboard and also thanks to the fans in the stands at Chesapeake Energy arena. Sefolosha said that he thinks that as the series progressed, the games will become more and more intense, and they should.
- Derek Fisher continued to get praise from Coach Brooks, who said that the 37-year old is a high-IQ basketball player who picks up things very quickly. He gives the Thunder a lot of experience, toughness, and consistency. He made his shots last game but Brooks looks for more than just his ability to make big shots because he’s a big-time winner and a competitor.