Playing nine games in 15 days — seven on the road — presented challenges beyond staying mentally focused. One benefit to the Thunder opening a five-game, two-week-long homestand Friday night is coach Scott Brooks can finally schedule some practices. "This gives us a chance to go back to the drawing board,” said Thunder standout Jeff Green. "We can fix some things we haven’t had a chance to work on because we’ve had so many games.” Over the past two weeks, the Thunder has made two trips to Los Angeles, played a Florida doubleheader (Miami and Orlando) and took trips to Sacramento, San Antonio and Salt Lake City. They played games in all four time zones. They played three back-to-backs. They spent countless hours in hotels and airports. Former Oklahoma basketball coach Kelvin Sampson, an assistant with Milwaukee, the next opponent, said one of his biggest adjustments to coaching in the NBA was dealing with portions of an 82-game season that sometimes feature four games a week. "In college, if you had a bad game you had a chance to correct mistakes before the next game,” Sampson said. "In the NBA, sometimes you don’t have time to practice. You have to spend time one-on-one with guys watching film in hotel rooms or correct things on the fly at shootarounds.” Trying to keep players fresh in the midst of a grueling stretch, Brooks scheduled only one practice each of the last two weeks. Now his staff can review month-long training camp principles and add some new wrinkles. "This is an important time for us,” Brooks said. "We’ve been steady with our message. Regardless of how we’re playing, we have to work on getting better. That’s watching film, putting in work in shootarounds and practice. We need to utilize these days off to get better.” For the next two weeks, the Thunder will play only five games. Players can sleep in their own beds and spend quality time at the team’s practice facility. "That’s when we get better, when we practice,” said Kevin Durant. "For me, I love to practice. I love to compete and make each other better. Down the line, it makes your whole team better.” Fewer games will allow Nick Collison (knee) time to heal after missing the past two games. The Thunder’s next road game is Dec. 11 in Memphis. "It’s going to be good for our bodies, give us rest we really need,” Green said. "We can recuperate and get everyone back to being healthy.” But for the longest homestand of the season to be successful the Thunder, 3-3 at home, needs to post some wins in the Ford Center. "As players, we’d rather play games, but it’s always good to get some good practices in,” Collison said. "This will be good to tighten up a few things. Hopefully, this homestand will help us build some momentum.” Text "OKTHUNDER” to 65360 for your chance to win an Adidas OKC Thunder No. 35 Kevin Durant Basketball Jersey. NewsOK Thunder alerts from NewsOK sponsored by Totally Tickets.