Fast Break Points- June 2 Notebook

The Thunder concentrated for a full 48 minutes in Game 3, using discipline, will and effort to get a 102-82 victory, and if wants to replicate that outcome in Game 4, it will have to come out with the same fire. Head Coach Scott Brooks said that despite falling behind 0-2 in the series, the Thunder’s confidence hasn’t wavered and that it wants to build off its Game 3 success.

“We showed that we can compete and we did a good job last game and we have to do the same,” Brooks said. “We have to duplicate that effort and we have to play as well.”

In order to play just as well, the Thunder started locking in and focusing this morning at shootaround. Center Kendrick Perkins said that that type of concentration isn’t just a light switch-type mentality, but it is something that starts early in the day. As a result, the Thunder gets into game-mode with a strong shootaround session.

“The focus is all mental,” Perkins said. “It starts right now, getting locked in for the rest of the day and it carries over. With a young ball especially, you can’t just turn it on an hour before the game. It starts with manifesting good thoughts.”

Below are the Fast Break Points from Saturday's shootaround:

-Perkins said that to stay focused, he just stays to himself all day. He doesn’t have tons of people to talk to so he just watches a little film, just stays quiet and stays out of the way.

-Brooks and James Harden said the Thunder has versatility on defense, and Brooks wouldn’t be surprised if Kevin Durant defended Parker some, because he was on him two or three possessions last game. With Westbrook, Sefolosha Harden and Durant there is a lot of versatility on defense.

-Brooks said Thabo Sefolosha is a good defender because he has length, he’s 6’7” with long arms and a defensive disposition. He doesn’t get down on himself if a guy scores on him, blocks that possession out and goes to the next possession with everything he has. Sefolosha doesn’t get a lot of credit for a lot of things that he does, but he’s one of the glue guys who does a good job within his role. He also made some shots, which is a bonus because Brooks has confidence in Sefolosha’s shooting.

- Perkins said the Thunder can’t let Tim Duncan set up deep in the post. He’s a hard guy to cover because he can face up and pick-and-pop and hit the bank shot. The Thunder guards are giving good digs and recovering out to the three point line so he and Serge Ibaka will just get a hand up and give him a good contest.

- Ibaka said that Russell Westbrook did a great job in Game 3 and that he told him after the game that it didn’t matter that he only had ten points. Ibaka told Westbrook that he made everybody else look good and made defensive-minded guys like Sefolosha look like an offensive All-Star.

- Ibaka said tonight the Thunder just needs to play better basketball, be themselves, keep fighting and keep playing hard. On offense, the Thunder must catch the ball in the paint and try to get and-ones through traffic, not just try to draw fouls. It gives you confidence to see the ball go through the hoop.

- Harden said that when the Thunder’s athletic guys move the ball and can shoot it and get to the basket, it is hard to guard. There are no schemes for that and that’s how the Thunder has to continue to play in order to beat the Spurs. The team has to continue to have that same focus every possession of the game.

-Harden said that Sefolosha makes him better in practice by guarding him. He has long arms, he’s very smart, he knows how to play the game on the defensive end. The pair has competitive battles in practice and getting better in practice. Passing, shooting, trying to drive against Sefolosha is tough. He even joked that Sefolosha talks trash in his language, which Harden laughingly said he doesn’t understand.


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