OKC Thunder coach Scott Brooks getting serious about defense

by Darnell Mayberry Modified: February 16, 2009 at 5:00 am •  Published: February 16, 2009
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In the final minute of the Thunder’s 116-113 win over Sacramento on Feb. 8, Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks demanded one last defensive stop from his team.

But rather than directing the young Thunder players during a late timeout, he demonstrated.

Brooks walked over to Kevin Durant, stuck both hands under the lanky forward’s armpits and forcefully raised both his arms as to drive home his point.

Play straight up.

Use your length.

Don’t foul.

It’s those principles that Durant and Co. will get an ear full of as the team returns from All-Star Weekend today and resumes practice with a rare late session tonight.

Brooks said the team’s No. 1 goal coming out of the break is continued improvement on the defensive end of the floor.

"I’d like to see our defense show more consistency,” Brooks said. "We’ve had times where our defense is really, really good. And there are times where our defense needs some work and you’d think that we haven’t worked on it. It’s important in these last 29 games to be committed with our consistency.”

The Thunder entered the All-Star break allowing an average of 103.3 points, the sixth most in the league.

Twelve teams allow 100 points or more, but the Thunder averages only 97.4 points, making it the fifth worst team in scoring differential at minus-5.


by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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OUT WITH THE OLD...IN WITH THE NEW
A look at the winning percentages of this year’s coaches who took over in midseason.

Coach Team Record Winning %
Tony DiLeo Philadelphia 18-10 0.64%
The Sixers were just 9-14 under Maurice Cheeks.
Lionel Hollins Memphis 4-5 0.44%
Memphis was on a nine-game skid when Hollins took over, but the Grizzlies have won four of their last six.
Kevin McHale Minnesota 13-19 0.40%
His 10-4 mark in January seems a distant memory now that they’ve lost five of six and Al Jefferson for the season.
Jay Triano Toronto 13-25 0.34%
Firing Sam Mitchell looked foolish when he got of to a 2-10 start but 11-15 since is not bad.
Scott Brooks OKC 12-28 0.30 %
Even during a 2-17 start he brought some competitiveness to the Thunder.
Ed Tapscott Washington 10-32 0.23%
At this pace, the Wizards could have kept Eddie Jordan.
Kenny Natt Sacramento 5-25 0.16%
Proof that it’s not always the coach’s fault.

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