OKC Thunder notebook: Thunder focusing on transition defense

Coach Scott Brooks said team needs to change disturbing trend.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: October 15, 2012
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photo - Houston Rockets' Kevin Martingets (12) dribbles past Oklahoma City Thunder's DeAndre Liggins during the second quarter of an NBA preseason basketball game in Hidalgo, Texas, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Delcia Lopez) ORG XMIT: TXDL111
Houston Rockets' Kevin Martingets (12) dribbles past Oklahoma City Thunder's DeAndre Liggins during the second quarter of an NBA preseason basketball game in Hidalgo, Texas, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Delcia Lopez) ORG XMIT: TXDL111

In the Thunder's preseason debut, Houston scored 18 fast-break points, with eight coming in the opening quarter.

Two nights later at Utah, the Jazz raced to 29 fast-break points, making a mockery of the Thunder's defense all night.

“We didn't get back well in transition defense,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “Teams normally don't run on us because we can run it back on them. But the last two games they did a good job by really pushing the pace and getting easy layups.”

Brooks said that trend needs to change.

“The fundamental principles are you have to get back on the shot,” Brooks said. “And sometimes what we do is we watch. We watch and see if we're going to get the rebound, see if we're going to get the offensive rebound for a kick-out shot. Or we have perimeter players that attack the basket so it puts our floor balance weighted in the wrong direction. So those are things that we have to address.”

THABEET'S FOUL TROUBLE NO BIG DEAL

In each of the first two games, Hasheem Thabeet fouled out.

And it didn't take him more than 16 minutes in either contest — earning him a staggering rate of 19.2 fouls per 48 minutes.

Brooks, however, isn't concerned.

“Coach told me not to worry about the past two preseason games,” Thabeet said. “I had 12 fouls in two games and he told me not to worry just stay aggressive. Keep doing what I do, which is being physical on the post and control the paint.”

Brooks just said fouls are “part of it.”

“You have to be able to play through it,” Brooks said. “At this point, I just tell him don't worry about it. I'm not concerned about the six fouls. Just go out there and play aggressive but be smart. The fouls that he had last game, you can live with them. Eventually those are going to decrease as time goes by.”

THOMPSON TURNING HEADS

Hollis Thompson, the rookie guard fighting for the 15th and final roster spot, made his debut Friday at Utah and scored six points with three rebounds in 20 minutes.

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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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