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NBA Finals notebook: Thunder coach Scott Brooks tries to keep team routine normal

Brooks said: “It's not an exhibition game. It's not any other game. We know that. We understanding where we are.”
by Ryan Aber Published: June 12, 2012
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‘NOT ANY OTHER GAME'

Thunder coach Scott Brooks tried to keep his team's preparation the same as it had been all season.


“What we do every day is we do the same routine, we focus on improving, we focus on studying what they do,” Brooks said. “And we put it on the shoot around and then pregame and then going into the game, nothing changes.

“It's basketball.”

At the same time, Brooks acknowledged the difference Tuesday from any other game he'd ever coached.

“It's not an exhibition game,” Brooks said. “It's not any other game.

“We know that. We understand where we are.”

WESTBROOK RELAXED BEFORE THE GAME

While most of the Thunder players quietly got dressed before the game, Russell Westbrook didn't look like the pressure of the NBA Finals was getting to him at all.

When the locker room opened, Westbrook was kicked back with his feet up on James Harden's chair, smiling.

“I'm just chilling,” Westbrook said.

Brooks said before the game that Westbrook needed to score for Oklahoma City to be successful against Miami.

“He has to score for us. We want him to score for us,” Brooks said. “He also has to control the game and play defense on their best or one of their best players, if that's the point guard or the two guard. He can guard multiple positions, but we need him to score.”

DURANT DOESN'T GO ALL THE WAY

Kevin Durant doesn't like taking breaks.

In Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, Durant played all 48 minutes.

“Every time I take Kevin out, I usually take him out four or five minutes per half, and sometimes he takes it as a benching,” Brooks said. “And he doesn't understand he needs to rest so he can be ready to play the last eight minutes. But we'll play him as long as he can play at a high level with good energy and defensive energy.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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