OKC Thunder notebook: How did Thunder learn from last year's series with Mavericks?

The Dallas Mavericks ended the Thunder's season last year, winning the Western Conference Finals 4-1. How much did OKC study that series in preparing for this season and making sure it didn't happen again?
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: May 2, 2012
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SPACING OUT

When teams know each other as well as the Thunder and Mavericks do (eight games so far this season and counting, including the preseason), there tends to be less space to roam for both teams.

"We have to do a better job," Brooks said of correcting that problem. "That last game, we weren't running. We were playing around the basketball. We had three or four guys (near the ball) at any given play. We have to get into our sets quickly and run our sets with energy and force and it's not just with the ball.

"Sometimes you think the guy with the ball has to be the forceful guy. The four guys who are without the ball have to come off cuts and screens with good energy. Our spacing has to get better as the series goes on."

NOTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY

With five world championships and having played in 211 postseason games, is there anything out of the ordinary Thunder point guard Derek Fisher has seen in terms of how physical the first two games?

"No, not in my opinion," Fisher said Wednesday. "I haven't seen anything that's overly physical type of game going on. I don't see any dirty plays happening on the court. I just see two teams trying to win a game every time they meet and because of familiarity of the two teams, it's not a lot of fun to see the same certain guys out there every day."

UP NEXT

Game 3 — Thursday at 8:30 p.m., Dallas

Game 4 — Saturday at 6:30 p.m., Dallas

Game 5, if necessary — 7 p.m. Monday, Chesapeake Energy Arena

Game 6, if necessary — May 10 at TBA, Dallas

Game 7, if necessary — May 12 at TBA, Chesapeake Energy Arena

QUOTABLE

Brooks on how the Thunder no longer is considered soft since trading for center Kendrick Perkins last season: "Does that help me? Did they think of me as a soft coach back then, too? I'm a tough guy now. It's nice having Perk around. I can act much tougher now. I've got some swag(ger)."

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