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Thunder notebook: OKC to catch up on rest this week

Down time will not be used to instruct newcomer Derek Fisher. The 16-year pro has picked up Thunder's system quickly.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, Published: March 26, 2012

After playing five games from Sunday to Sunday last week, the Thunder has a chance to catch its breath with only two games this week before Sunday's noon start against the Chicago Bulls at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

OKC did not practice Monday before leaving for Portland and Tuesday's 9 p.m. contest at the Rose Garden against the Trail Blazers. The Thunder also plays at the Los Angeles Lakers at 9:30 p.m. Thursday. OKC also is expected to have off days on Wednesday and Friday.

Down time between games will be used for rest and not necessarily to instruct free agent signee Derek Fisher, who joined the team last Wednesday.

“We're going to take some time off that we need,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said after Sunday night's 103-87 victory over the Miami Heat. “We're going to do some things in (pregame) shoot-around. He (Fisher) is picking up things pretty quickly. We have a great video playbook of what we do.”

Brooks said the video, which is narrated by one of his assistants, has detailed descriptions of offensive sets and their options, plus defensive concepts.

“He obviously has watched it because he knows our stuff,” Brooks said of the 37-year-old Fisher, who is in his 16th NBA season.


Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and Brooks got their first NBA head coaching jobs in 2008. Spoelstra started the season as Pat Riley's replacement, and Brooks replaced P.J. Carlesimo after a 1-12 start in the Thunder's inaugural season.

Spoelstra was asked if Brooks' coaching method has developed an identity.

“Yeah, their whole organization has an identity,” Spoelstra said. “They've built this team with a plan, and also with patience. No question, you have to have some luck on where you draft, but at the same time, you have to pick the right people. Scott fits their philosophy. They're organized. They play hard. They compete. They do things in the right way. When you see them have a coaching staff the way they do, it makes sense. When they acquire players the way they do, it makes sense and it's all part of the plan from management. It's a well-run organization.”

As for the acquisition of Fisher?

“Makes sense. It really does,” Spoelstra said. “It's not a surprise to anybody when he comes here. He's the type of player they like, especially with their role players.”


True to his word, Brooks has stuck with the 20-minute maximum playing time for starting guard Thabo Sefolosha, who returned March 15 after missing 23 games with a sore right foot.

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