Perk set To Undergo MRI

Thunder center Kendrick Perkins did not practice with the team today after straining his left groin in last night's game with Miami.

Perkins will have an MRI today to determine how bad the damage is. Until that news is known Thunder head coach Scott Brooks refused to speculate how that would affect his lineup going forward.

When Perkins missed time early in the season after the death of his grandfather, rookie Steven Adams started. One of those games was against the Clippers, the Thunder's next opponent.

Adams played almost 22 minutes that night and scored seven points on 3-for-4 shooting. he also grabbed four rebounds.

If Perk can't go Sunday, Adams would certainly be the logical replacement.

Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook talked to reporters after practice and said he, "feels great," after playing 24 minutes last night and has had no problems at all with his right knee.

Brooks said Westbrook's minutes restriction has nothing to do with his knee and everything to do with his conditioning and getting back into game shape.

"You play an NBA game it's different than practicing, it's different than working out. I'm not worried about his knee, I'm worried about his body."

At this point in the NBA season practice time is precious for teams because there's usually not much of it.

The rigors of the schedule prompt many coaches to cut back on the work and road trips don't usually provide many opportunities for quality practice sessions anyway.

That's why the Thunder's current homestand comes at probably the best time possible. At six games, it equals the longest stretch of home games this season and it provides good opportunities for practice in between games.

With the All-Star break behind them and all the distractions that come with it and now with the return of Westbrook and the home loss last night to Miami, the Thunder need some time to work on a few things.

"We got some good work in, after last night I just wanted the guys to get back in the gym and touch the basketball and compete against each other," Brooks said. "I love the attitude that we brought today. I told the guys, I'm disappointed in how we played last night but I'm not disappointed in you."

A team that looked about as good as any can look leading up to the break, 15 wins in 17 games, appeared out of sync and at times out of gas in trying to deal with the Miami Heat last night.

"Our guys love to compete, they love to win, so we have a great foundation."

And they have a great reputation for bouncing back in games following a loss. OKC is 9-3 in those situations this season and 41-10 (best in the NBA) since the start of the 2011-12 season.

The Thunder's next bounce back effort tips at noon on Sunday against former OU star Blake Griffin and his Los Angeles Clippers.

Randy RennerComment