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Practice Report: Notes and Quotes

by Darnell Mayberry Published: October 17, 2012

Nuggets from my notebook from Wednesday’s practice.

  • Perry Jones III scored 17 points with four rebounds, five assists, one steal and one blocked shot last night against Charlotte, which illustrates how he did a little bit of everything. He made 8-of-10 shots and didn’t have a single turnover in 30 minutes.
  • I asked Scott Brooks today what he liked most about PJIII’s performance. “I think the biggest thing I liked was that I threw him a lot of different things and multiple positions, and he was able to pick things up fairly quick,” Brooks said. “We played him at the 3, we played him at the 4, he had to guard perimeter guys, he had to guard big guys, he had to bring the ball up the floor, they were pressing and he made good decisions. And he finished around the basket. His ball-handling was good. I thought he was really good all game long.”
  • But then there was this. “(Regardless of) how good he played he still backs up Kevin (Durant) so there’s not a lot of minutes,” Brooks said. “We’re all excited. He did so many things well last game, but still he’s a rookie and Kevin’s pretty good.”
  • Brooks also was asked about the lineup that includes KD and PJIII, specifically which one is the 3 and which is the 4. The short answer is it’s still being determined. “I like that lineup,” Brooks said. “I haven’t really figured that out. With Perry and Kevin, they’re the same size, same athleticism, they can guard each other in practice and I think that helps them. But during the games, whoever has the mismatch they can go at him into the post. I think they’ve worked that out fairly well.”
  • Someone from my chat this morning asked if Daniel Orton’s solid showing last night put him over Hasheem Thabeet. My answer was that this team doesn’t make snap decisions like maybe you or I would. Good teams take their time to evaluate players and let the situation play out. Brooks then said as much today when someone asked what will be the determining factor on which players to keep. “As coaches, you don’t want to get overly excited about one game, or the other way, overly not happy with a player,” Brooks said.
  • Brooks did say that seeing the camp invitees have strong games made him feel great. “Because I see all the work that they put in, the energy, the effort and the determination that they display every day in practice,” Brooks said. “It’s good for those guys to be rewarded. I’m happy that they played well. It makes our decision as an organization very difficult. But those are the difficult decisions you want to be in. You don’t want the easy, ‘This guy has no chance.’ All the guys that we brought in has a chance, and the guys that were given the opportunity last night I thought they played well.”
  • Brooks wouldn’t say if Thabo Sefolosha would play Friday night against Phoenix.”Thabo did most of practice today. It’s getting close. I’d hate to say he’s playing Friday if he doesn’t play. He’s getting close. I don’t know exactly what day, but he’s done a lot the last three or four practices now and today I think he (went) through the whole thing.”
  • Brooks said Sefolosha is trying to take the rust off his game and work his way back into a rhythm after taking the past five or six weeks off from full-court basketball. Thabo didn’t look so great defending Walker Russell Jr. one-on-one at the end of practice. Thabo didn’t look bad. He just looked like he was slowed by something, maybe rust.
  • The Tulsa World is reporting that the Thunder-Suns preseason game on Friday in Tulsa is sold out and, with an expected 18,500 fans, will be the most attended event in the BOK Center’s four-year history.
  • Brooks on Thursday’s Blue-White Scrimmage and the statewide support that the team receives: “We represent the whole state. There’s fans throughout the whole state that follow us, support us, watch us on television and now they’re going to get a chance to see us in Tulsa with the scrimmage and the exhibition game. So it’s just a great way, and we’ve done it every year, to get different parts of the state and high school programs involved.”
  • Brooks said the team will take the Blue-White scrimmage seriously and treat it like a real work day, not an All-Star game filled with crowd-pleasing alley-oops. Assistants Rex Kalamian and Maz Trakh will coach the teams in the scrimmage tomorrow.
  • Is the Thunder better at taking care of the ball? “You hate to say that we’ve overcome some of our turnover demons. But we’ve done a better job,” Brooks said. “And I’ve always looked at turnovers as there’s a selfish turnover (and) there’s unselfish turnovers. I thought last year we had a lot of unselfish turnovers where guys were trying to make plays for their teammates. They just didn’t happen to execute it the right way. Those are the ones you live with.”

-DM-

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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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