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Scott Brooks: Lineup change isn't happening

Thunder coach Scott Brooks says his starting lineup will stay the way it is because the team is winning.
by Darnell Mayberry Modified: January 21, 2011 at 4:59 pm •  Published: January 21, 2011

As the Thunder aims to make adjustments in the final half of the season, there is one thing coach Scott Brooks says isn't likely to change.

That's the starting lineup.

“I don't see a change,” Brooks said Friday.

The reason?

The Thunder is winning.

“Our record is good,” Brooks said. “We won 50 games last year, which I don't like to talk about. That's history, but it is part of what this team is. Every year has its own dynamics. But we're 27-15 right now. We're winning games.”

Mounting questions, however, surround three of the Thunder's five starters as the team enters tonight's game against New York.

Starting shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha's perimeter defense hasn't been as stout as a year ago, while his shooting continues to be streaky. Starting power forward Jeff Green has struggled to defend opposing big men, while also being mired in a shooting slump. And starting center Nenad Krstic might be becoming less useful offensively as Russell Westbrook continues to emerge. Krstic also is in the final year of his contract and might not return next season, which could push the Thunder to see what it has elsewhere.

Additionally, each of those three starters has a backup who has outplayed them throughout stretches this season. For Sefolosha, it's second-year man James Harden. For Green, it's been second-year forward Serge Ibaka. And for Krstic, it's been gritty glue guy Nick Collison.

Brooks, though, continues to believe in his starters.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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THUNDER VS. KNICKS

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Oklahoma City Arena.

TV: FS Oklahoma (Cox 37, HD Ch. 722)

Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, 640 AM

THREE THINGS TO KNOW

* The Knicks beat the Thunder, 112-98, on Dec. 22 inside Madison Square Garden.

* New York ranks second in scoring at 107.7 points per game, just 0.25 points behind Denver.

* The Thunder is 18-3 when it out-rebounds its opponent. The Knicks rank 27th in rebounding differential at minus-3.54 per game.

PROJECTED STARTERS

THUNDER (27-15);;;;;

Pos.;Player;Ht.;Pts.;Reb.;Ast

G;Russell Westbrook;6-3;22.5;5.0;8.4

G;Thabo Sefolosha;6-7;5.5;5.3;1.6

F;Kevin Durant;6-9;28.2;6.2;2.9

F;Jeff Green;6-9;15.0;5.5;2.1

C;Nenad Krstic;7-0;7.8;4.8;0.4

KNICKS (22-19)

G;Raymond Felton;6-1;17.6;3.9;8.8

G;Landry Fields;6-7;10.1;7.4;1.8

F;Wilson Chandler;6-8;17.4;6.3;1.7

F;Danilo Gallinari;6-10;15.2;4.5;1.7

C;Amar'e Stoudemire;6-10;26.4;8.8;2.6

Note: Stats and records are through Thursday's games.

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