Guard and defensive specialist Thabo Sefolosha scored just one point in the Thunder's season-opening victory over Chicago on Wednesday night, but his presence was felt elsewhere with four assists, four rebounds, four blocked shots and two steals.
"Thabo was a huge part of our win," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "He does a great job of defending his man. He chased down two layup opportunities (for Chicago) and blocked them. Those were huge, game-changing, game-winning basketball plays. He does it all the time for us. I don't take it for granted because I know it's a special quality that he has. He does a lot of great things for our team."
EASY DOES IT
The Thunder went through a light, 40-minute workout Thursday morning.
"I told our guys, 'I'm not looking for a lot of effort. I'm just looking for focus,'" Brooks said. "It was 40 minutes of good focus and a lot of teaching. Not a lot of sweat, but that was on purpose."
The team charter left for Detroit at 2:30 p.m.
Lightning-quick Chicago point guard Derrick Rose got off to a fast start in the opener, scoring 20 points and handing out four assists in the first half.
When Rose repeatedly blew past Thunder defenders with early game drives, was Brooks worried perhaps his players had tired legs because he had worked them too hard during the preseason?
"I probably would have said that, if I didn't see him do that to the rest of the league," Brooks said of Rose. "What he does is not easy to guard. We threw a few things at him (defensively). He makes a coaching staff look not good. He's fast and explosive and gets to the basket in seconds. He's good. You've seen that (adidas) commercial. He's fast."