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Thunder notebook: Did player's-only meeting spark Game 2 win?

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Modified: May 4, 2011 at 11:05 pm •  Published: May 4, 2011
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Following Sunday's Game 1 loss to Memphis, the Thunder held a player's only film session and dinner at Kevin Durant's home. The entire team watched the 114-101 loss and analyzed what went wrong.


According to a report first published by Yahoo! Sports, Kendrick Perkins was the mastermind behind the idea.

“Perk did it,” Durant told the website. “He wanted us to do it, and everybody listens to Perk. We talked about how we didn't come out with any energy. We wanted to see it over again to see that we never wanted to play like that again. That's the kind of feeling we had coming into (Game 2), and it helped us. Guys spoke up on what other guys should have done better. We made sure that we helped each other out. That's the biggest thing.”

Said Perkins: “We had to get a reminder and watch the film without the coaches telling us anything. We had to correct each other.”

Thunder coach Scott Brooks knew Monday the players were planning a gathering that night. And he couldn't have been prouder of his young team.

“That's the good thing about our team,” Brooks said. “They weren't happy with the way they played. And I love the fact that they care so much. I'm not saying that the majority of the teams wouldn't have done that. But they're a close-knit group. They're always with each other and hanging out with each other. And they were disappointed, as we all were.

“I've always told them we have to figure out things together, and it's not my way, it's not your way, it's the best way. And they took it upon themselves to watch the film, and I think it's great. That shows great leadership and that shows that our team is growing up right in front of our eyes … It shows that we are committed to playing better.”

BROOKS STICKS UP FOR WESTBROOK

On Wednesday, Brooks came as close as he'll ever come to lashing out on a topic.

It was no surprise it had to do with the growing criticism and scrutiny surrounding point guard Russell Westbrook.

“With Russell, we analyze ever possession,” Brooks started. “I do that myself when we break down the films. But it seems like everybody's breaking down the film. They're like, in my meetings or in my head. It's not fair to him.”

Brooks then brought up Westbrook's achievements and how far he's come in such short time, developing into an All-Star and helping to lead the Thunder to back-to-back playoff appearance despite playing mostly at off guard in college.

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