Team Meeting in Sacramento
By Randy Renner
Thunder superstar Kevin Durant played it down a little bit saying, "it wasn't no state of the union or anything like that," but he told reporters at the team's shootaround players got a few things off their chests during today's film session.
"It's one of those things you keep internal," he said when pressed for details, "but it was great. We were watchin' film and just trying to learn where we made mistakes at."
We're told the Thunder had a longer than normal shootaround session today, most of it spent in that film session.
When the Thunder have these in the past, both players and coaches are pointed in their analysis of where things broke down and who was responsible. Many times players have said they point the fingers at themselves when they see mistakes on film they didn't even realize they were making during games.
This time, things may have gotten even more pointed with the problems OKC has had on defense over the teams last two games in Houston and Phoenix.
"Individual one-on-one defense," Durant said was an area that must improve. "I think that controls a lot of our problems and once we control that, we just need to talk. If we talk on every possession that makes up for a lot."
Talking on defense (or not) is something that has been a problem before. When Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha first left the lineup because of their injuries, communication became an issue. Perkins usually called out certain defensive assignments. Now the same problem has apparently surfaced again.
"It's not like we can't stop anybody," Durant said today, "we just have to be able to do the small things for the big things to be able to work."
When Thunder head coach Scott Brooks talked to reporters he said Perkins would play both tonight in Sacramento and tomorrow night in Los Angeles against the Clippers. That's a reversal of what Brooks said when Perkins first returned to the lineup last week. At that time he said Perk, like Russell Westbrook, would not play in both games of back-to-back sets.
That has changed now for Perkins, as to Westbrook probably not.
The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry, who was at shootaround inside Sleep Train Arena said Westbrook was sitting courtside with ice on his right knee the entire practice so it would appear Russ will not go tonight, however Brooks declined to say one way or the other when asked.
Thabo Sefolosha could be back in the lineup tonight. Brooks had said earlier he hoped to have Thabo back sometime during this roadtrip and if that's going to happen it will have to be tonight or tomorrow.