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Thunder notebook: Derek Fisher learning on the fly

Fisher's 15 years of experience should help him adapt to OKC's system quickly.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: March 22, 2012

At the end of Thursday's practice, newly acquired Thunder guard Derek Fisher remained on the court with Kevin Durant and a couple of assistant coaches.

The group was clearly trying to help Fisher get acclimated to the team's playbook.

“At the very end, (the session) was for Derek,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks, “just to pick up the offense and some of the things that we do.”

Forward Nick Collison and others during Fisher's debut game Wednesday against the L.A. Clippers were instructing Fisher on the court, telling him where to be and what plays were which. Collison said the team tried to keep things simple on offense with Fisher in the game and added that Fisher's 15 years of experience should help him adapt quickly.

Fisher certainly looked comfortable, playing 19 minutes and scoring five points with one rebound and one assist. Brooks said he wasn't surprised at Fisher's success despite not having a single practice or shoot-around to settle in.

“That's who he is,” Brooks said. “He's always been a player that understands the game. You can see that last night. A lot of teams run the (same) plays with just different name calls. We didn't throw a lot of things at him, but it was enough that he was going to have some success.”


After saying Sunday that he wanted to limit Thabo Sefolosha's minutes for another game or two, Brooks said he thinks his starting shooting guard is now ready for more playing time.

“He can play more minutes now,” Brooks said. “He's coming along good. You're always worried when a guy misses six or seven weeks. But he came back like he's never missed a game. He's in great condition. I can see him being closer to his normal minutes.”

In his first 17 games this season, Sefolosha averaged 21.5 minutes. Since returning five games ago from a 23-game absence caused by a foot injury, Sefolosha averaged just 14.4 minutes.


For two days now, players and coaches have hailed Fisher for his championship experience. With five NBA titles on his resume, Fisher gained instant credibility when he walked into the Thunder's locker room for the first time Wednesday.

“We looked up to (Kendrick Perkins) when he had one ring,” said Kevin Durant. “So to get five is just on another level. So we're just trying to soak as much information out of those guys as we can. Perk has been great for us this last year. Having Fish for just one game, he was talking to guys and encouraging guys and telling us what he sees out on the floor. After a few hours, that meant a lot to us. So I can imagine what it's going to be like for the next three or four weeks.”

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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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