OKC Thunder notebook: OKC not taking Cleveland lightly after last year's surprise

by Darnell Mayberry Published: November 10, 2012
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“I just think anytime that you start a season you're going to have some guys that are not shooting the ball well and you're going to have some guys that start off hot,” Brooks said. “Always with Russell, it's how he finishes. And he's a much-improved shooter. After six games, I wouldn't look anything into it other than he hasn't shot the ball (well) in the first six games.”

“THE PERKINATOR”

Most found it strange to see Perkins pressing Detroit Pistons point guard Brandon Knight the length of the court Friday night.

But get used to it.

“We just put that in,” Brooks joked. “‘The Perk.' ‘The Perkinator.' He was all over the place. He had a lot of energy and it was good.”

Brooks then explained the method behind what appeared to be madness, saying Perkins' ball pressure could be utilized largely because Pistons big men Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond were not threats to beat a sagging Perkins by initiating the offense.

“We do that with certain teams, (what) we call shadow the backcourt with certain bigs that we don't feel that are comfortable enough handling the ball, bringing the ball up and making plays,” Brooks said. “There are some bigs that do, like (Joakim) Noah, for instance, in Chiacgo. We didn't want to do that with him because he's a guy that can bring it up the court and make a good play out of it.”

Perkins said he also was trying to use the strategy to fire himself up.

“I got to get myself going, man,” Perkins said. “I feel like sometimes you've got to bring the energy some kind of way and find a way to get it going. I had to get myself going. I didn't like my performance the night before in Chicago. So I just kind of wanted to set the tone and kind of be all over the court and try to bring it every night. So it's something that I'm trying to bring to the table.”

TIP-INS

Hasheem Thabeet did not practice Saturday. He is doubtful against the Cavs…Perkins celebrated his 28th birthday Saturday with a serenade of “Happy Birthday” from rookie Jeremy Lamb…Cleveland ranked 27th in points allowed through Friday's games at 103 per game… OKC has registered at least 20 assists in four straight games…Going into Saturday's games, Irving ranked fourth in the league in scoring at 23.3 points per game…This is the second of eight Sunday home games the Thunder will play 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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