Oklahoma City Thunder preview: Why Thabo Sefolosha is Kendrick Perkins' new favorite defender

THABO SEFOLOSHA — The man Oklahoma City asks to guard the opponent's best perimeter player is healthy after a season of suffering in silence.
By DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Published: December 18, 2011
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Thabo Sefolosha claims he doesn't remember all the aches and ailments he suffered last season.

Either he was trying to be tough about them, or it really was too many to keep track of.

“I really can't remember,” Sefolosha said. “Right now, I'm feeling good.”

He can only hope it stays that way.

As far as we know, Sefolosha's laundry list last year included a sprained left knee, a jammed pinkie, plantar fasciitis and an undisclosed illness that prevented him from traveling with the team to its preseason opener.

At the conclusion of the playoffs, Sefolosha opened up and admitted he was only about 70 percent healthy during the postseason.

“Rest is going to be a key this year, especially with the amount of games that we have in a small, small time,” Sefolosha said. “I think we all got to work hard but at the same time rest enough so the body can hold up.”

Sefolosha is one of the many players the Thunder cannot afford to see go down.

As the team's best perimeter defender, Sefolosha will again get the nightly assignment of guarding the other team's best wing players. Last year, while battling injuries, Sefolosha's success rate took a hit. But he was still good enough to slow down his man. And he did it without complaining.

“I like guys that go out there and do their job and don't complain about being banged up,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “And I know Thabo was banged up. I never questioned his effort because he was giving us everything he had…He never used it as an excuse. He kept going after it and kept challenging guys.”



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