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John Rohde: Thunder off to a better start

By John Rohde Modified: October 29, 2009 at 4:39 am •  Published: October 29, 2009

know we have a little bit of butterflies. Hopefully, they won’t show too much.”

No butterflies were evident as the Thunder hit seven of its first eight shots and led by double-digits from the 6:19 mark of the first quarter.

Against the Bucks, the Thunder scored 14 points the entire first quarter and trailed by as many as 24 in the third quarter.

Against the Kings, the Thunder had 14 points less than seven minutes into the game and led by as many as 23 in the third quarter.

"What should have been just a little run for them turned into an avalanche — 39 points in the first quarter,” Kings coach Paul Westphal said. "We were just trying to dig our way out the rest of the game.”

Against the Bucks, Scott Brooks was an assistant under Carlesimo.

Against the Kings, Brooks was in his first game as Thunder head coach with no interim tag.

"In the back of my mind, I was trying to stay above water,” Brooks said of last year’s 23-59 season (22-47 under his watch). "Last season, I felt I had a great opportunity and I wasn’t going to let the overwhelming season get me down or frustrate me. I was really focused on making sure our team was getting better. Now I know this team is really focused on me being the leader of this group.”

There seemed to be a feeling-out process the entire 2008-09 season for the Thunder — new teammates, a new home, a new coach and new fans.

"It was just all so new,” said guard Kyle Weaver, who was a rookie last season. "Now we have some time under our belts. We’ve been able to jell a little bit more, and the fans are ready, too.

"Now we’ve got to go out there and perform.”

And the Thunder did on opening night.

More comparisons await between Year One and Year Two.

Here’s hoping in the end, there’s no comparison.

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