Durant, Thunder Not Taking Sixers Lightly
By Randy Renner
The Philadelphia 76ers may have lost 14 straight and 24 of their last 27 but Thunder superstar Kevin Durant and his teammates aren't taking tonight's opponent for granted.
"We know they've got a bunch of guys looking to make a name for themselves in this league and they're gonna play extremely hard," Durant told reporters after shootaround.
"They really have nothing to lose, so they're gonna play hard and play fast and they have a really good coach (Brett Brown) who worked under (Gregg) Popovich and he does a lot of different schemes on defense and they move the ball really well on offense so we have to be prepared."
In the past, preparation against teams with losing records hasn't been the problem, it's been more the execution of the game plan that's fallen short.
"We definitely have a lot of work to do," Durant admitted today, "but sometimes that's the best part of not really playing well is to learn from your mistakes and tryin' to get better from 'em."
Durant also said he's been impressed so far with what he's seen from Caron Butler, who practiced for the first time with the Thunder yesterday.
"He's a vet, it's not his first time being on a different team. He know his way around and right now he's just trying to learn the system. But his game is on both ends of the floor and I can't wait to see him play tonight."
Thunder head coach Scott Brooks wasn't available after shootaround so he didn't confirm whether Butler would indeed play tonight but the veteran acquired just a couple of days ago is widely expected to get in them game at some point.
Brooks will wait until just before the game to announce who's starting at shooting guard in place of Thabo Sefolosha who is out for the next several weeks with a strained left calf.
Butler is a candidate to do that, but so is Perry Jones III and Jeremy Lamb and Andre Roberson.
We'll update the blog about an hour before tipoff tonight with the coach's choice.