Newly acquired Thunder guard/forward Ronnie Brewer arrived late Friday and did not go through his physical examination process until Saturday.
As a result, he did not practice with his new teammates Saturday and will not play in Sunday's 8:30 p.m. contest against the Chicago Bulls at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Brewer is expected to join the team's morning shootaround on Sunday, but OKC coach Scott Brooks said he will not activate Brewer until Wednesday's home game against the New Orleans Hornets. That way the newcomer can at least get in some practice time, however little.
“I think it helps just to get practice time, not only for the (new) player but the team,” Brooks said after Saturday morning's light practice. “The situation we're in, he might only have one or two practices. He will definitely watch film with our coaches and myself and walk through some plays and some sets with the guys, not live, just to get the feel for what we do defensively and offensively.”
With the Thunder struggling defensively and searching for consistency, is now a good time or a poor time for Brewer to try and blend in?
“He's a blend-in type of guy,” Brooks said. “He's not a guy who's going to demand the ball. He's not a guy that has a strong personality. He's an easy going guy that loves to compete. From what I gather, he's always been one of the guys that you can count on being a great teammate, the guy that's always committed to doing the team thing and the right thing. … But if the guy wasn't like that, he wouldn't be here.”
OKC center Kendrick Perkins also was involved in a trade deadline deal two years ago Sunday.
“It's hard to just come out on the court, not knowing what the team system is,” Perkins said. “Then all the sudden he messes up and he's got KD (Kevin Durant) or Russ (Westbrook) or even myself yelling at him, so he might want to get a few practices in before he starts playing.”
Chicago enters Sunday's game coming off a 105-75 blowout victory on the road against Charlotte.
“They've got a good coach (Tom Thibodeau) and they play with a maximum effort just about every possession,” Brooks said of the Bulls (32-23). “They have guys that are committed to the defensive end. They put themselves in the game with their effort and defense. Very rarely will you see them get beat with no effort.”
If point guard Kirk Hinrich is unable to start because of an infected right elbow, he will be replaced by former Thunder reserve Nate Robinson, who quickly became a fan favorite in OKC after being acquired from Boston alongside Perkins. The Bulls are 5-9 without Hinrich.
“You have to keep him under control,” Brooks said of Robinson, who played sparsely after joining the Thunder with 26 games left in the 2010-11 regular season. “He's been their sparkplug. He's had a lot of great games for them. He's won a lot of games for them. He's somebody that we have to make sure that we don't let have an opportunity to get loose and have a big game.”
‘I AIN'T RUNNING'
The Bulls had two All-Stars in Luol Deng and Joakim Noah earlier this month, but veteran forward Carlos Boozer also has excelled this season, averaging 15.5 points and 9.4 rebounds.
Perkins and Serge Ibaka likely will alternate defending Boozer and Noah.
Perkins shrugged when asked if he would start out defending Boozer.
“I mean, I ain't running from him,” Perkins said with a smile.
Brooks when asked what would have to happen to prove that his team was back defensively: “To hold a team under 100 points would be nice, or 110.”