OKC Thunder notebook: Is Cole Aldrich creeping toward the backup center job?

Aldrich said coach Scott Brooks hasn't told him anything regarding his role. Aldrich said his job is just to stay ready.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: March 4, 2012
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After going 2-1 on an East Coast three-game road trip that swung through Philadelphia, Orlando and Atlanta, the Thunder will now gear up for a five-game homestand inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.

It ties the longest home stretch the Thunder has had this season. The Thunder swept its first five-game home stretch.

“It's going to be nice,” said Aldrich. “With the All-Star break and then hitting the road right away for three games, it's going to be nice to be back and sleep in our own beds. I'm sure for Kevin, it's probably been two weeks since he's been back. We're all going to enjoy it.”

HAYWARD RECALLED FROM TULSA

The Thunder has recalled forward Lazar Hayward from the Tulsa 66ers.

Hayward played in two games with the 66ers after being assigned to Tulsa last Friday. He averaged 28 points, seven rebounds and 36 minutes in those contests.

The team originally assigned Hayward to Tulsa so that he could stay sharp. Hayward was not receiving much playing time with the Thunder, and he also had been sidelined after sustaining an orbital floor fracture. A quick trip to Tulsa was a convenient way to allow Hayward to improve his conditioning.

In 12 games with the Thunder, Hayward is averaging 1.5 points, 0.9 rebounds and 5.9 minutes. He will be back on the bench and available for Monday's game against Dallas.

QUOTABLE

Brooks on Russell Westbrook playing through an ankle sprain Saturday: “Russell's a no-excuse player. He does his job, and he does it consistently every night. He plays with everything he has. I think it's a nonissue. The guy just competes, and he does whatever it takes for his team to be successful. I'm happy that he went out and battled. I know he was sore. But he went out and played a good basketball game.”

UP NEXT

The Thunder returns to Chesapeake Energy Arena where it will open a five-game homestand on Monday against Dallas. It will be the fourth and final meeting between the two teams. The Thunder is 2-1 against the Mavs this season.


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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