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Oklahoma City Thunder notebook: Thunder-Grizzlies is 'great competition'

Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said he had no reason to think about former Grizzlie Hasheem Thabeet playing for Oklahoma City.
By John Rohde and Anthony Slater Published: November 14, 2012


photo - Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (9) defends on Memphis' Zach Randolph (50) during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, in Oklahoma City, Okla.   Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (9) defends on Memphis' Zach Randolph (50) during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

THUNDER-GRIZZLIES IS ‘GREAT COMPETITION'

The intensity between the Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies continued Wednesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena, where the Grizzlies posted a 107-97 victory before a sellout crowd of 18,203.

Asked beforehand about the series between the franchise, Memphis coach Lionel Hollins downplayed it as a budding rivalry.

“Great competition, that's all it is,” Hollins said. “Doesn't matter whether it's this series or another series. It's a basketball competition. Fans come to see players do their thing, go out there and compete against each other at the highest level and battle till the end. Obviously somebody's got to win, somebody's got to lose. Competition is really what's special about it.”

THABEET IN THE PAST

The Grizzlies drafted center Hasheem Thabeet with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Even though Thabeet now plays for the Thunder, he wasn't on Hollins' mind — not even while scouting OKC for Wednesday's game.

“I haven't thought about Hasheem, period,” Hollins said. “I don't even think about Hasheem … He's not in my thought process. He's not on my team anymore. I'm looking at (Kevin) Durant, (Russell) Westbrook and the guys who play the majority of the minutes, what they bring to the party and how we can stop them.

“I'm not sitting here trying to stop Hasheem. He very well may have a big game, which is good for him. I'm happy that he's still in the league and I'm happy that he's doing well. There's a ton of guys I've coached that I don't think about any more. That's just the way it is. I've just got to worry about the guy's I'm coaching now.”

HAPPY RETURN

Former Oklahoma State standout Tony Allen was erratic, yet effective, in 19 high-energy minutes, jumping passing lanes, pestering opposing guards and clanking jump shots. He finished with six points (2 for 6 shooting), four rebounds, one assist and two steals in the Grizzlies' victory.

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