Thabo Sefolosha was in street clothes during Monday's practice session and his return from a sore right foot remains unknown.
Sefolosha has missed eight straight starts and last played in the first half of a Jan. 27 game at Golden State. Conditioning has become a concern because Sefolosha has only been able to shoot free throws and set shots.
Meanwhile, reserve point guard Eric Mayor was spotted on the court Monday holding a basketball. He was wearing practice gear and socks, but no shoes. Maynor spent the end of practice at the same basket with fellow Thunder guards, where there was plenty of laughter.
Maynor suffered a right knee injury at Houston on Jan. 7 and had season-ending surgery to his ACL on Jan. 18. He is expected to be ready for training camp next season.
The Thunder didn't have much time to reflect on Serge Ibaka's 10 blocked shots last Thursday night at Sacramento because OKC had to immediately depart for a game at Utah the following night, and also because the Thunder lost 106-101.
Upon further reflection: “During the game – like I do often – I was talking to myself and I was saying, ‘I can't believe what I'm seeing,'” Brooks said. “He just kept protecting (the basket) and kept blocking. NBA players have short memories, and their players had short memories. They didn't realize they were getting their shot blocked. They just kept coming at him. You would think sooner or later guys would stop and say: ‘This is not working. We've got to try something different.'
“You look at the 10 blocks, (and) he probably altered seven others that were near-blocks. That's special when you do that. You don't anticipate that's going to happen, but when it does you're amazed. That doesn't happen often, and the way he was doing it … our guys, everybody was excited about it.”
Russell Westbrook beat out Thunder teammate Kevin Durant for Western Conference Player of the Week honors spanning from last Monday through Sunday. It marks the second time this season Westbrook has won the award.
Westbrook helped OKC to a 3-1 week, averaging 30.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.5 steals. Westbrook scored 28 or more points in all four games and posted double-double (28 points, 11 rebounds) in a 111-107 road win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Westbrook connected on a career-high 15 field goals in the loss at Sacramento.
New York point guard Jeremy Lin was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
Because the Thunder (21-6) is guaranteed the Western Conference's best record by Wednesday's league-imposed cutoff date, Brooks will coach the West at the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 26 in Orlando, Fla.
Brooks will get to coach Durant, who is starting, and Westbrook, who was selected as a reserve.
Fan balloting determined the starting lineup, but Brooks playfully was asked who he would start.
“I can't start Russell and Kevin? Do they frown upon that?” Brooks deadpanned. “No, we haven't even talked about that. We have seven games before that.”
DURANT JOINS SPECIAL OLYMPIANS
Durant will participate in the first-ever NBA Cares Special Olympics Unity Sports Basketball Game, which will take place as part of the All-Star weekend festivities.
The game will be held on Center Court at the NBA All-Star Jam Session and will feature 12 Special Olympics athletes along with NBA Legends Clyde Drexler, Chris Mullin, Dikembe Mutombo and Sam Perkins, current WNBA players and celebrities. Rookies Kemba Walker and Derrick Williams will join Durant.
Special Olympian Steve Lynn of Oklahoma is on the West squad.
In the previous seven-game stretch, OKC played the first game on the road, one at home, then five straight on the road. In the current seven-game stretch, the Thunder will play one game at home, one on the road, then five straight at home.
The exact opposite.
After playing at home against Utah on Tuesday at 7, OKC will fly to Houston for a Wednesday game. Then come consecutive home games against Golden State, Denver, New Orleans, Boston and the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Sometimes it's nice to get out on the road and build our chemistry and bond with one another, but we've done that enough lately,” Brooks said with a smile. “We needed to get back home. I needed to see, for selfish reason, my wife and kids. It's just good to be home in our own house, in our own city. We're going to be home for a while, but it doesn't guarantee victories.”
Brooks, on being able to give his team the entire weekend off: “It's almost like a high school team. Play Friday night and then, ‘See you guys Monday.'”