OKC Thunder: Scott Brooks experimenting with a dynamic fourth quarter lineup

Against both the Kings and Blazers, for stretches of the fourth quarter, the Thunder coach has surrounded his three franchise centerpieces — Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka — with his two emerging young guns — Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb.
by Anthony Slater Published: December 5, 2013


photo - Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (9) talks with Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks during the NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Washington Wizards at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (9) talks with Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks during the NBA game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Washington Wizards at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

And if they can hash out those issues, or find the proper times and matchups to employ the lineup, the offensive results could be explosive.

It'll cause a matchup nightmare for opponents, with the Thunder's five most dynamic weapons on the floor at the same time. Combined, the group averages 84.5 points per game.

“When we move the ball and we play pass-first basketball, using our athleticism, we can get out and score with the best of them,” Durant said. “We just have to get more reps together.”

 So far, in their brief time, the group is averaging 1.04 points per possession, a solid number that you'd only expect to increase as their comfort level does.

“Guys are going to have to have (different) roles when we're on the floor (together),” Durant said. “If I'm just a spacer, a spot-up guy, Serge is just a screener, Reggie is just a guy running the offense and Lamb is a shooter, we just have to figure out what our role is with that unit.”

 And as of late, it seems, Brooks is attempting to do just that.

 Despite some early struggles, he seems set on getting the lineup some quality run together, allowing for some late-game on-the-job training.

And if it works out, we could be looking at the Thunder's present and future closing five.


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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