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OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook want to keep coach quiet

As long as Oklahoma City stars limit turnovers, then they will not hear much from coach Scott Brooks.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: May 24, 2012

Kevin Durant has some advice for Thunder coach Scott Brooks.

“One thing Scotty needs to do is just shut up,” Durant said.

About the team's turnovers, that is.

So far this postseason, Brooks' silence has been golden.

According to guard Russell Westbrook, the Thunder was terrible at taking care of the ball when its coach harped on it during the regular season. But when Brooks piped down in the playoffs, Oklahoma City immediately enjoyed better ball security.

Which explains why Durant playfully suggested for his coach to put a sock in it.

“We'll probably be a better team,” Durant joked.

Brooks is on board with his two All-Stars.

“Usually, I don't agree with either of those guys much, but they're telling the truth. I haven't mentioned the turnovers at all,” Brooks said. “But I haven't mentioned it because we haven't turned it over. Trust me, if we're turning it over 25 times I'm on 'em and showing every clip and why we're turning it over because of bad spacing and so forth.”

No need.

Brooks hasn't had to play bad cop because the Thunder has had a turnover turnaround.

After leading the league with 16.3 turnovers during the regular season, the Thunder now heads into the Western Conference Finals against San Antonio averaging a postseason-low 10.7 turnovers.

“We're doing a great job of keeping it simple,” Brooks said. “The spacing is good, we're making shots so the defense has to honor our players, and the bigs are doing a great job of setting screens. With all that being said, we have to continue to do that because I thought that was a big part of the reason why we've won the last two series because we've controlled the basketball throughout each game.”

The Thunder averaged 12.8 turnovers in four games against Dallas and was even better in five games against the Lakers, giving it up just nine times on average.

Cynics could attempt to discredit the Thunder's improvement by pointing to the Lakers ranking last in the league in forcing turnovers in the regular season. But the Thunder was so effective at not turning it over that even that detail is made moot.

In four of the Thunder's nine playoff games, the team turned it over less than 10 times, including a franchise-low four turnovers in Game 1 against L.A. In the other instances, the Thunder had just seven, eight and nine turnovers, respectively.

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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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