Thunder notebook: Curious decision

Oklahoman Modified: December 17, 2008 at 5:31 am •  Published: December 17, 2008
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photo - San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) keeps the ball away from Oklahoma City Thunder forward  Joe  Smith during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) keeps the ball away from Oklahoma City Thunder forward Joe Smith during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
Veteran Joe Smith has been one of the Thunder’s most consistent players, averaging 7.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in 19 minutes a game. Smith wasn’t injured but didn’t play against the Clippers.

"It was a decision that just happened during the game,” said coach Scott Brooks. "It’s tough to balance all of our bigs. With Jeff (Green) at (power forward), and you’ve got (Chris) Wilcox, (Nick) Collison, (Johan) Petro and Smith, it’s tough to play five guys at two positions for 96 minutes.

"Joe’s a pro. He will be ready. It was just a decision based on Weezy coming out and giving us a good spark. Nick was giving us good energy. It was just a game-time decision.”

Wilcox returns
Wilcox suffered a dislocated ring finger on his left hand last week. The original diagnosis was Wilcox would be sidelined 10 days to two weeks, but he missed only two games. Playing with two fingers taped together, Wilcox scored 13 points in 17 minutes.

"This is a rough stretch for us,” Wilcox said. "I want to be out there and help my teammates through the struggles. I told the trainer whatever it takes for me to get out there then make it happen.”

Draft rewind
The Thunder selected Russell Westbrook No.


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