Fast Break Points- June 8 Notebook
Two days removed from winning Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, the Thunder had a recovery day on Friday to get some weight lifting, drills and treatment in to get everyone’s bodies right. The Thunder is gearing up for its first NBA Finals appearance since moving to Oklahoma City four years ago, a new experience that Head Coach Scott Brooks will help guide his young team through.
“You have to go through it, it’s another level in intensity,” Brooks said. “Both teams are going to fight extremely hard to get the championship.”
In preparing his squad, Brooks knows that his team played its own brand and style of basketball all season that helped get it to where it is today. As a result, the Thunder are going to understand the magnitude of the moment, but also stick to the principles and core values that the team has built over the past four years.
“You have to do the things that you’ve done so far to get you to this point,” Brooks said. “It’s the biggest stage. When you’re a kid, you dream about playing in the NBA Finals.”
Below are the Fast Break Points from Friday's media session:
-Brooks said that teams have to be mentally tough to be in this league and that the Thunder showed the mental effort that you need in the last series against the Spurs.
- Brooks said that this series is no different than the last two or three that they’ve had some time off to prepare and time off to get (rid) of all the bumps and bruises as best as they can. His players love to play and they love to practice.
-Brooks said that Perkins changed the attitude of the team and took the team to another level when the Thunder and Celtics made the big trade last season. When Perkins dunked the ball to seal the victory in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, Brooks said that the Chesapeake Energy Arena crowd was louder than any building he’s ever been in.
-Brooks’ mom is flying out from California, which she only did when his team was in the Finals as a player and is only doing now when his team is in the Finals again. “If I had her toughness I’d have been a starter in the NBA,” Brooks said.
-Brooks said that going to the Finals is a great opportunity for us all to reflect on our families, parents, brothers, sisters, relatives, coaches, friends who have been in your life to help you accomplish things.
-Brooks was asked about comparisons between this Thunder team and the 1994 Houston Rockets team that Brooks played on that won the title: Brooks said toughness is the biggest thing. Both teams were as tough as they come. They were stingy on defense, had a big time shot blocker in (Hakeem) Olajuwon and Serge (Ibaka). The toughness and togetherness as a group, the team was very close and it didn’t happen overnight.
-Brooks said his relationship with Sam Presti and Clay Bennett has been incredible. Sam has assembled a group of guys that believes in doing your job every day, and if it wasn’t for Mr. Bennett, there wouldn’t be the opportunity. Everything has been first class.
-Brooks said that if you watched practice film when the team was 3-29 in the first season in Oklahoma, you never would have thought the team had a bad record. The players always worked and prepared like they were a championship team.