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Thunder notebook: Players' expectations for winning is evolving

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, Modified: February 23, 2010 at 4:42 am •  Published: February 23, 2010
A byproduct of the Thunder’s nine-game winning streak and its 33-21 record being 10 games better than last season’s final win total is a changed attitude. Players are now walking into games with confidence that wasn’t present last year.

"We expect to win every game we play,” said Nick Collison. "We’re disappointed when we don’t play well.”

The Thunder is 20-7 since Dec. 23, and the seven losses over that span have come by a combined 26 points. That figure includes a 10-point loss to Chicago, a sign of how good the Thunder’s play has been of late.

"I think we have a good chance of winning every time we step in,” said Kevin Durant. "Versus last year and the year before, when it was, ‘Just come out and play our hardest and see what happens,’ I think this year we got an attitude that we can win games when we play. So that’s what makes it fun.”

While Durant downplays his streak of 28 games with at least 25 points, coaches and teammates credit Durant’s diligence for allowing him to assemble such a stretch.

"KD is as consistent as a worker as we have on our team,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "It’s based on his consistency, his preparation, his approach to the game. He prepares himself every day to be a better player. It doesn’t surprise me that he has success. He works. He watches film every day, and he’s going to get even better.”

Said Collison: "He’s playing great. He’s obviously a very talented scorer, but he’s still making the right decisions.”

Brooks called veteran point guard Kevin Ollie’s number at the start of the fourth quarter Sunday at Minnesota, a surprising move considering recently acquired rookie Eric Maynor has had a stranglehold on the backup minutes.

Ollie played three minutes and went scoreless without an assist, rebound or turnover.


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