Fast Break Points- June 18 Notebook
MIAMI -- A normally potent offense has been slowed down a bit, but the Thunder used practice on Monday as an opportunity to get back on track.
Head Coach Scott Brooks’ team came into Game 3 of the NBA Finals in Miami averaging more than 102 points per game in the Playoffs, but was limited to 85 on Sunday night because of turnovers, missed free throws and some offensive execution that it would like to sharpen up.
“We have to do a better job of releasing some of that pressure by making quick passes,” Brooks said. “We have to continue to do what we do well. We just have to get a little bit better.”
One major cog in the Thunder’s wheel is Kevin Durant, whose fourth-quarter performances have received quite a bit of notoriety during this run. With three game-winning baskets and multiple double-digit scoring performances in the final quarter, including 17 and 16 points, respectively, in the final 12 minutes of Games 1 and 2. In Game 3, Durant only had four points on six shots, but that hasn’t changed his confidence moving forward.
“I’m just doing what I do,” Durant said. “I have 100 percent confidence in myself that I can do it. When the fourth quarter comes around next time, I’m going to be as aggressive as I can.”
Below are the Fast Break Points from Monday's practice:
- Brooks said he thinks both teams are very physical defensively, both teams do not want to let their opponent get into their offense early and get to their spots. "That’s how we play and I know that’s how they play. … I thought we played a very competitive game. That game could have very easily gone either way," he said.
- Brooks said Durant, who had been called for five personal fouls in each of the past two games, has to continue to play his game. Durant reached five fouls in only two regular-season games. "He’s an aggressive player and the Thunder is a good team because he defends and the team is aggressive defensively," Brooks said. "He has to put himself in a position to get fouled as well."
- Brooks said Kendrick Perkins was active, defending well on Chris Bosh and rebounding hard and well on both ends of the floor. Brooks said he thought Perkins had his best game of the series thus far.
- Durant said the Thunder has to do a better job of making its free throws. The Thunder is shooting 54-for-77 through three games and was just 15-for-24 in Game 3. "I wouldn't say it's nerves because we miss a free throw, and then we hit a big three after that or get a big stop and then it's a layup," he said. "I don't know. We just have to do a better job."
- Russell Westbrook said he team feels like it had an opportunity to win both Games 2 and 33 and that tomorrow the Thunder has an opportunity to win again. "We felt we let two games get away. We honestly felt we had an opportunity to win both games," he said.