Share “OKC Thunder: Kendrick Perkins knows what...”

OKC Thunder: Kendrick Perkins knows what it takes to win the NBA Championship

Oklahoma City's big man won a title at age 23 with the Boston Celtics. Perkins says the Thunder needs to practice patience.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, Published: April 19, 2012

The Thunder is in a four-way fist fight for the NBA's best record, but trails the San Antonio Spurs (45-16) by two games for the top playoff seed in the West — one game in the loss column and one more game because the Spurs own the tiebreaker thanks to winning the regular-season series 2-1.

Why the slide since being 29-7? Brooks points directly at his team's schedule and its degree of difficulty.

Eighteen of the Thunder's last 26 games have been against teams still alive for the playoffs. OKC has gone 9-9 against playoff teams and 7-1 against non-playoff teams.

"We've played some very tough teams," Brooks said. "We've had some games where we've struggled, but you have to give the opponent some credit also."

Has the Thunder gone against the Perkins mantra and gotten bored with the process? Has the comfort of having one of the league's best records since getting off to a 5-0 start led to boredom and complacency?

"No," Harden said without hesitation on Wednesday morning, the same day he erupted for a career-high 40 point that night at Phoenix. "We just had a bad half (in a 92-77 loss at the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night) and had a few bad games that you go through, especially in this league. I don't think we're bored.

"Everyone in this organization loves winning and loves doing the right thing. As long as we keep working hard and we're bettering ourselves every single day, we'll be OK."

Brooks pondered the same question considerably longer than Harden.

"I don't know if we're bored with the process," Brooks said. "I know that in any season there's a time in it where you're looking forward to the next season (the playoffs), and we have an opportunity to play in the next season."