The biggest Thunder-related question entering Thursday’s showdown with Miami remains unanswered.
Russell Westbrook is a game-time decision.
But the next biggest inquiry – whether Scott Brooks would keep Kendrick Perkins in the starting lineup – was solved.
“Yeah,” Brooks revealed on Tuesday afternoon, when asked if Perkins would start.
But within that, Brooks indicated a mid-game adjustment remained possible, even likely, should the Thunder experience its recurring problems with Miami’s small-ball attack.
“We have some flexibility within our group,” Brooks said. “It’s always about sacrifice in our group.”
In late January against Miami, Brooks started Perkins. But after the Heat jumped out to a 15-2 lead, Brooks took him out for the remainder of the game, starting Perry Jones in the second half. OKC outscored Miami by 30 without Perkins.
“He handled it well,” Brooks said. “He sacrificed. All of our guys sacrifice. Stars aren’t the only ones in this league who sacrifice. Role players sacrifice.”
“Some nights Perk gets big minutes, some nights he doesn’t,” Brooks continued. “But some nights Jeremy (Lamb) plays more, Thabo (Sefolosha) plays less. Some nights (Derek) Fisher plays a little, some nights Perry (Jones) plays more. That’s what makes us a very good team. We have the flexibility.”