“It really hasn't been that challenging because I like practice, and our guys like to practice,” Brooks said. “You can throw anything competitive out there and they really embrace it.”
Brooks said he will add “a few new wrinkles” to his team's existing plays and add “a couple new looks” to some drills during practice. “Instead of running 3-on-2 or 2-on-1, we might say, ‘On the 3-on-2, you have to make four passes,'” Brooks said.
There was no required practice Thursday, which was the team's second optional off day since Monday.
PLAYING THE NUMBERS
Brooks said his team's intrasquad scrimmages are often 4-on-4 rather than 5-on-5, but it's not because Perkins is hurt.
“We play two wings and two bigs usually,” Brooks said. “Crazy as it may sound, the position that gets eliminated is Kevin's, the small forward. We separate three point guards and three 5s (centers) and put them on separate teams. After that, it really doesn't matter who plays where. That means Kevin guards a big and Kevin is guarded by a big.”OKC HAS HOME COURT Philadelphia eliminating Chicago on Thursday night guaranteed home-court advantage for the Thunder if it reaches the NBA Finals. OKC and the Miami Heat finished with the same regular-season record (47-19) and split the season series 1-1, but the Thunder wins the tiebreaker by virtue of a better record against the opposing conference (13-5 vs.11-7). PRESEASON GAMES The Thunder announced two preseason games scheduled for October. It will host the Phoenix Suns at the BOK Center in Tulsa on Oct. 19. On Oct. 24, OKC will play the Dallas Mavericks at INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, Kan. Tickets for both games go on sale May 23 and start as low as $12. Fans can visit bokcenter.com to purchase tickets to the Oct. 19 game and intrustbankarena.com for tickets to the Oct. 24 game. The Thunder will announce its entire 2012 preseason scheduled at a later date.
Brooks on whether or not he likes Harden's beard: “I do like it, other than having lunch with him. Because when you have lunch with him, he does not clean it up until after the meal is over. So whatever (he's) eating, you're seeing it. That actually happened yesterday. I even said, ‘James, come on.' He said, ‘No, I'm still eating, coach.'”