‘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.
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.
“But 48 is probably a tad too much, 47.”
Durant sat for more than two minutes in the first half, taking a quick breather to start the second quarter.
The only player who played longer than Durant in the first half was Miami's LeBron James, who sat for 1:41 before half.
CBA HELD UP BY THUNDER'S APPEARANCE
NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said before the game that having the National Basketball Players Association president, the Thunder's Derek Fisher, still alive in the finals has slowed up in ironing out the so called “B list” issues in the new collective bargaining agreement.
“He's still actively engaged in the season, that's part of the hold up as well, but we hope to turn to something once the season ends,” Silver said.
Silver said he recently spoke with NBPA executive director Bill Hunter about the issues.
“We agreed once the season was over, we would reconvene and continue discussing those issues,” Silver said.
Silver said of the issues left to settle, the age issue would not be implemented for next season. Other issues could be immediately implemented as they are settled, though.
COMPETITION COMMITTEE TO MEET JUNE 18
NBA commissioner David Stern said the block-charge/flop issue would be on the agenda when the league's competition committee meets June 18.
“Flopping almost doesn't do it justice,” Stern said. “Trickery. Deceit. Designed to cause the game to be decided other than on its merits. We will be looking at that. We'll be looking at a number of things that make it easier for us to say to our fans what we all know to be true — our referees want to get everything right.”
Stern said expanded replay could be one remedy.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti is on the committee.