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Jenni Carlson: Consistency is what Scott Brooks learned and now teaches

by Jenni Carlson Published: April 24, 2011

Oh, the horror.

The thing is, despite his disposition toward the repetitive, Brooks isn't such a stick in the mud that he refuses to change. If he did, the Thunder wouldn't be where it is.

His decision to switch James Harden to guard J.R. Smith late in Game 3, for example, paid huge dividends when the Thunder reserve made a straight-up, no-foul play on the Nuggets' sharpshooter at the buzzer.

Winning in the playoffs requires flexibility from the head coach.

“In a series when there's so much scouting that goes on ...,” Collison said, “he's been able to do some stuff to get us some offense.”

Thunder big man Kendrick Perkins said, “Coach Brooks' thing is not to let us get comfortable, not to get bored with the process.”

Then this playoff veteran from his Boston days said something that really makes you sit up and take notice.

“One thing ... I found with Doc Rivers and now with Coach Brooks is they let their assistant coaches coach,” he said. “They're not afraid to get knowledge from other places. They put their ego aside.”

Yep, he compared Scotty Brooks to Doc Rivers.

It seems like such a crazy thing, a guy who has yet to win a playoff series as a head coach being likened to a guy who's taken his team to the NBA Finals two of the past three years. But what if Brooks is growing into one of the best young coaches in the NBA? What if he's the next Doc Rivers?

Heck, what if he's the next Gregg Popovich?

That might seem far-fetched. Then again, who thought Pop, then the Spurs' general manager, would be still be in San Antonio 15 years after naming himself head coach?

Look at what Brooks has done in just a little over two years. He has turned a 23-win team into a team on the verge of sweeping its way into the second round of the playoffs.

Sure, the Thunder has upgraded its talent during that time, but Brooks has been the right coach for this team.

Brooks admits he still has a lot to learn as a coach.

“I don't have all the answers,” he said. “My philosophy has always been, ‘Let's try to find the best answers for our team.'”

Brooks has found a bunch of them during these playoffs.

Karl? He's come up with about as many answers as victories in this series.