Lack of practice harms defense

The Sports Xchange

--For a team that prides itself on defense, the condensed schedule doesn't help. That makes communication an imperative for the Thunder.

"Defensively, that's really the area where you have the most slippage in a season where you can't practice," Derek Fisher said. "So understanding our rotations and the spaces where we need on the floor defensively and how to help each other out, those are the things that you cover the most when you have practice time and shoot-around.

"So that's what we spent a lot of time talking about."

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said the recent stretch of games has only allowed for one full practice. The quality of competition has also been steep. Oklahoma City has played playoff-caliber squads in Chicago, Memphis, Miami and, in Friday night's 103-98 loss, at Indiana.

"It's a little bit of a challenge because you only have them once and we've had a lot of games lately," Brooks said. "We don't have a lot of time to prepare, but everybody is in the same predicament. We just have to go out and do the things that we do very well and do it on every possession."

--Oklahoma City has held the last four opponents to less than 42 percent shooting. It's also lost three of those games.

"We haven't shot the ball well, but it's good for us," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "When you play meaningful games in April, it's going to help you going into the playoffs."

"They have a great team. They can stack up with anybody. They have inside, outside presence. They have a lot of weapons. They're going to be tough in the East. We got a taste of it tonight." -- Forward Kevin Durant, on Indiana.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


Biggest Stories



Most Popular