"We're not having to rely on our guys to make incredible plays, difficult plays. We're getting a lot more easy shots. I think Kevin and Russell deserve a lot of credit for that," Collison said. "They've embraced it and they're trusting everybody else. The decisions are easier when the spacing's better. I think that's part of it, too. But when we're not playing in a crowd, we get better shots."
Some early-season growing pains after NBA Sixth Man of the Year James Harden was traded away — his role taken over by Kevin Martin — has faded away. Durant, who has won the scoring title the past three seasons, got some immediate criticism for being too passive and forcing the ball to others while Westbrook opened the season in an awful shooting slump.
Oklahoma City has dispelled any doubts with the franchise's longest winning streak since 1996 — the last time it was coming off of an appearance in the NBA Finals (then as the Seattle SuperSonics).
"We're happy with it but we're not satisfied," Brooks said. "We're going to keep doing what we do, and that's play every game the best we can and live with the results. We know we're not going to win every game in this league."
Westbrook, particularly, doesn't seem ready to accept that.
Even after Oklahoma City won its 10th straight game, Westbrook was displeased and started to duck around a group of reporters who had gathered at his locker and skip his postgame interview. When he was tracked down at the exit to the locker room, he had no interest in patting himself on the back for his seventh double-digit assist game of the season — more than he had in 86 games last season, including the playoffs.
"I can do better," he said.
His coach wasn't surprised.
"He never cheats the game," Brooks said. "He's not a perfect player, like nobody in this league is. But his effort is always good. He plays with a lot of desire and a lot of heart and determination."