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OKC Thunder notebook: Scott Brooks plans to use 'Hack-a-Jordan'

In the middle of third quarter, during a desperate time, Brooks went to the “Hack-A-Jordan,” fouling Clippers center DeAndre Jordan intentionally on four straight possessions. Jordan, a 42 percent foul shooter this season, went 1-of-8 at the line.
by Anthony Slater Published: May 6, 2014
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photo - Los Angeles' DeAndre Jordan (6) celebrates in front of Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins (5) during Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Monday, May 5, 2014. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Los Angeles' DeAndre Jordan (6) celebrates in front of Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins (5) during Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Monday, May 5, 2014. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

On a night when the Thunder looked allergic to defensive stops, Oklahoma City had a brief stretch of reprieve.

And it came in a unique way.

In the middle of third quarter, during a desperate time, coach Scott Brooks went to the “Hack-A-Jordan,” fouling Clippers center DeAndre Jordan intentionally on four straight possessions. Jordan, a 42 percent foul shooter this season, went 1-of-8 at the line.

“It can always help when needed,” Brooks said after a 122-105 loss to the Clippers on Monday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. “We were down 20-something points. Any time you have that opportunity, you can use that against them. He shot 42 percent for the season.”

But despite Jordan's struggles, Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers said he will lean toward leaving Jordan on the court during those times.

“He’s our guy,” Rivers said. “Listen, even when he misses, he gets stops on the other end. I don’t know how much of an advantage it gives teams. There’ll be nights where you may have to take him out. There’ll be nights where you keep him in. They’ve done it all year. Teams are gonna keep doing it.”

IBAKA GETS TECHNICAL

In the middle of the third quarter, as he fell to the ground, the Clippers’ Blake Griffin seemed to wrap his legs around the ankle of a nearby Serge Ibaka.

Moments later, a frustrated Ibaka kicked Griffin's leg away from his, leading to a technical on Ibaka.

BROOKS ON WHY THABO RETURNED TO STARTING LINEUP

One of the key reasons the Thunder escaped a competitive series with Memphis was coach Scott Brooks’ surprising starting lineup change – replacing mainstay Thabo Sefolosha with recently acquired Caron Butler.

“After Game 5, it was disappointing we lost that game and I thought we needed a switch,” Brooks said. “We needed to generate some more points against Memphis’ style of play.”

But facing a more offensively potent and up-tempo Clippers team this round, Brooks went back to Sefolosha in the starting lineup. As Brooks explained, it was a matchup decision, with Sefolosha’s defense on J.J. Redick a key factor.

“The Clippers, obviously, they can score 120 quickly,” Brooks said. “So we need Thabo. His strength is defense, and J.J. Redick’s strength is first quarter scoring. He comes off pin downs like the energizer bunny, never stops moving. Thabo has done a good job in the past against those kind of players. He gives us the best chance to contain.”

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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