Fast Break Points- June 4 Notebook
SAN ANTONIO -- It’s Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, and the Thunder is tied 2-2 in the best-of-seven series against the San Antonio Spurs with the pivotal swing game tonight.
Head Coach Scott Brooks’ club embraces the one-game-at-a-time approach, and that attitude will continue tonight as the Thunder understands the importance of this game, but also realizes it is one of many important games.
“They’re all big,” forward Nick Collison said. “The later in the series and the closer you get to the four number, the more important they are. We have to bring everything tonight.”
Collison is one of the deepest thinkers on the Thunder roster, so his perception of what this game means in the grand scheme of the series is important, and meshes well with guard Derek Fisher’s thoughts in terms of how the team should approach tonight’s game. Instead of piling insane amounts of pressure on top of the outcome of this one, Fisher said that he and his teammates need to simply approach this one the same way it has throughout the year.
“Just to play the game and not put any extra burden and all of the extra meaning on one basketball game,” Fisher said. “The entire series doesn’t ride on this game; it’s the first team to four wins and we just have to come in and play this game by itself. Nothing before and nothing after, and we’ll be OK.”
Below are the Fast Break Points from Monday's shootaround:
- Collison said the Thunder is going to go in knowing that when it moves the ball, it is a better team offensively and usually that results in open shots. Everyone is going to shoot those shots with confidence, he said.
- Fisher said that no matter what the score is throughout the game, the Thunder has to keep fighting because the Spurs are not going to give an inch and anything can happen in an NBA Playoff game.
- Fisher was asked about the shot he hit for the Lakers with 0.4 seconds left against the Spurs in Game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference Finals. He responded by joking that the young guys on the Thunder were barely learning how to write cursive when he hit the shot.
- Fisher said that in Games 3 and 4 the Thunder got back to doing some things that it is capable of doing consistently. The team found it can be who it is -- an active, defensive team that gets out into the open court and puts pressure on the opponent’s defense with its flow. The Thunder has to play the whole game and can’t afford lapses.
- Fisher said Brooks started off the postseason with the best statement of all by asking the group how many points a certain star player averaged in the Playoffs 10 years ago. No one could answer, and the point was people only remember who won the championship, not about individual statistics.
- Brooks said guard Russell Westbrook is defending really hard, doing a great job of pursuing, chasing and that his offense will come around. He and his staff don’t put pressure on his players to make every shot, they put pressure on them to play tough defense all night.