Fast Break Points- May 28 Notebook
Guard Derek Fisher liked the way the Thunder defended the Spurs through three quarters, building a nine-point lead heading into the final 12 minutes. Unfortunately it couldn’t sustain that pressure and fell, 101-98.
“We did some good things in the first three quarters that we need to do for longer tomorrow,” Fisher said Monday. “We just have to continue to play the game. It’s not so much how you play in a particular quarter, it's finding ways to win in the fourth quarter.”
The Thunder is always finding new ways to improve and get better on a daily basis, so the young core of players like Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Russell Westbrook and James Harden all put in maximum effort in practice, as did their veteran teammates. During Monday’s session the Thunder watched more than an hour of film from Game 1, continuing to learn when and how to make the correct play on every possession.
“It’s just all about making the correct play,” Durant said. “If somebody’s open, you pass them the ball. I have trust in all of my teammates to make shots and to convert on plays. That’s just part of me growing up, knowing when to really take over and really get a ball out to my teammates.”
Below are the Fast Break Points from Monday's practice:
- When asked about the Thunder’s bounce-back ability, Durant said he and his teammates just have to be ready and will be. He said the Thunder played hard and fought to the finish, but it will need to make some adjustments here and there. He believes in the coaches and doing the right things to get better. He said the players are all confident and keeping their heads up, but they have to keep fighting.
- Ibaka said the Thunder knows the Spurs are a good team, they play very well together and they move the ball, but the Thunder can play better. Ibaka and his teammates can’t let the Spurs score so much in the paint and have to try to get easier buckets of their own.
- Fisher was asked about his production, along with other reserves like Nick Collison. He said they just will be who they are on the court and do the things they’re capable of doing to help the team win. They have to do things defensively and when shot opportunities come, they have to make plays and make shots.
- In response to the notion the Thunder let some scoring opportunities slip away, Fisher said it’s not about scoring every time you get a defensive stop, but bad decision making or turnovers that let an opponent get back in transition hurt. The Spurs are in some ways like the Suns, according to Fisher, because you can’t give them possessions where they don’t have to sit down and play defense.
- Harden said he just needs to be better defensively and physically, and on offense he needs to stay in "attack mode" and get to the line.
- Brooks said the Thunder always been a good close-out team, but last night wasn’t one of its better games. It won’t be easy to win against the Spurs, but the Thunder thinks it can do it.
- Brooks talked about the play of his "bigs" like Kendrick Perkins and Ibaka, saying they do a great job of setting screens, so the Thunder has to reward them with pocket passes and give them a chance to touch the ball and make plays. Brooks believes in his guys and that they will do a great job of figuring things out.