Fast Break Points- May 30 Notebook
The Thunder held a team meeting on Wednesday morning after landing in the wee hours of the night after its Game 2 loss in San Antonio against the Spurs. Heading back home to Chesapeake Energy Arena for the third and fourth games of the Western Conference Finals, the Thunder knows it has an opportunity ahead of itself to get back into the series, starting one game, and one possession at a time in front of its home crowd.
“We have to do a good job of taking it one game at a time and winning Game 3,” guard James Harden said. “Game 3 is the most important game for us. We’re happy to be back at home and getting to play in front of our home crowd and bring some energy.”
Head Coach Scott Brooks’ club has looked at the x’s and o’s, but Wednesday’s meeting was more about the intangibles, the will and desire and effort the team must display on Thursday night in order to beat the Spurs. For 48 minutes, the Thunder will have to put forth its best possible force into the game.
“We have to play with maximum effort every possession and the entire possession,” Brooks said. “We still have enough experience and enough talent in our locker room to win Game 3 and that’s all we’re focusing on.”
Below are the Fast Break Points from Wednesday's media session:
- Guard Derek Fisher, on the team’s approach, said that the Spurs won their first two games at home, and the Thunder obviously feels it is capable of winning at home against whoever it plays against. The team has an opportunity tomorrow night to go out and do it and let everything after that take care of itself.
- Harden said in the meeting the team talked about Game 2 and went over what it needed to do in order to play better. Obviously the Spurs are a good team but there were a few mental mistakes and mental spurts when the Spurs went on runs. The Thunder can’t get down by 20, but fought and played Thunder basketball and cut it to six but didn’t quite have enough.
-Harden, on his 30 point night along with Kevin Durant’s 31 and Russell Westbrook’s 27, said that points don’t matter, all three of them scored 30 but they still lost. It’s about defending. The Thunder is going to score points, but the Spurs had 120, so it’s the defense that matters. The Thunder has to really lock in and contain and stop the Spurs. There were spurts when the Thunder was really good and if they don’t get down 20, that fourth quarter spurt puts them in the lead.
- Brooks said the Spurs did their job and now the Thunder has to do its job of taking care of these games at home. All the focus and attention to detail has to go into Game 3.
- Brooks said the team has to take some of the good things it did last night and use it in Thursday night’s game. For example, getting to the free throw line by being aggressive was a big positive.
-Brooks said that the Thunder is a physical team, and has to play that way. His squad can beat teams playing free flowing basketball, but is at its best when it plays physically on both the defensive and offensive ends.
- Brooks, on the home crowd, said that his team knows it has the best building in basketball, the fans will give them the energy that they need, but the Thunder is going to give it to the fans also. His squad still has to make some shots, easy ones around the basket and some threes.
- Brooks on his team’s attitude through adversity: “Throughout a season, throughout a Playoffs there are going to be frustrations, but there’s never a bad attitude. We always focus on what we have to do. Guys were great today. We had a great meeting. We just have to win a game. It’s as simple as that.”