The Thunder held a light practice today, refining some schemes and doing some drill work before getting out of dodge. I’ll have a note in tomorrow’s paper about a free throw game that has helped turn the Thunder into one of the league’s best free throw shooting teams of late. (Not playing Chris Wilcox and Desmond Mason taking less trips to the line have also helped, as has Jeff Green’s improvement this month). But here’s the note that’ll be in the paper tomorrow…..
The Thunder is evolving into one of the best free throw shooting teams in the league, netting 83.7 percent of its foul shots this month. OKC made 77 percent of its free throws in November and just 71.9 percent in December. Toronto leads the league in free throw percentage at 82.8 percent, and the Thunder currently ranks 15th in the league at 76.2 percent.
The difference this month can be attributed in part to a free throw game the team plays at the end of practices. Games go to 21. Swishes are two points, other makes are one point and misses are zero points. Each player gets two shots.
“Sometimes you kind of take free throws for granted and you might skip a day or two,” Brooks said. “But with this game, they’re so competitive they’d rather we come in on an off day just to play that game.”
OKC is also attempting more foul shots, shooting 27.1 in January after attempting only 23 per game in December and 24.8 per game in November.
* Joe Smith participated in some of practice today but is still listed as day-to-day with left knee soreness. I doubt he’ll play tomorrow, but we’ll see.
* The Thunder shot an MLK day promo today that will be shown in the Ford Center later this month. Jeff Green and Desmond Mason are two of the players who will be on the video.
* Nick Collison said today that the key to beating Detroit on Friday is moving the ball, defending well and limiting turnovers. “They’re a very good team, they have a lot of guys that can score and they execute really well,” Collison said. “They don’t beat themselves, so you can’t turn the ball over against them or you won’t have a chance. So those are the types of things we need to focus on, just basic basketball things.”
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