Oklahoma City Thunder: For the record — the Thunder has lost six straight games

Thunder coach Scott Brooks is not too worried about Oklahoma City's skid that dates back to last season's NBA Finals.
By John Rohde Published: October 15, 2012
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photo - Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook, left, and Kevin Durant wait before the start of an NBA preseason basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, in Hidalgo, Texas. (AP Photo/Delcia Lopez) ORG XMIT: TXDL105
Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook, left, and Kevin Durant wait before the start of an NBA preseason basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, in Hidalgo, Texas. (AP Photo/Delcia Lopez) ORG XMIT: TXDL105

“Not all,” Brooks said.

Some starters?

“Some,” Brooks said.

Brooks has limited options because two starters and the NBA's reigning Sixth Man of the Year will be wearing street clothes Tuesday. Center Kendrick Perkins (wrist) and guard Thabo Sefolosha (thigh bruise) are on the mend and have yet to play this preseason, while top reserve James Harden (groin) will miss his second straight game.

You certainly won't find anyone in the Thunder organization snickering at what Charlotte went through last season. Brooks, Durant, Russell Westbrook and veteran forward Nick Collison experienced the same themselves during the Thunder's inaugural season in 2008-09.

The OKC franchise started out 3-29 (. 094) and was getting peppered with questions about possibly ending the 76ers' historic reign of inferiority.

The Thunder won a home game on New Year's Eve against Golden State, which ignited a 20-30 “spurt” to finish the season at 23-59 (. 280).

“You know what, you think about it. There's no question,” said Brooks, who lost 12 of his first 13 games after replacing P.J. Carlesimo as head coach on Nov. 22, 2008. “It's where we started from. It wasn't that we were trying to just develop our team and did not care about winning games. We still had our philosophy to keep improving, keep working on our game, make every game a fourth-quarter game and eventually we're going to learn how to win those games. And you know, we did.”

From 2007-09, Durant and Collison went a combined 43-121 (. 262) with the Seattle SuperSonics/Thunder.

“I've been in those shoes before. I've been on bad teams where you struggle to win,” Collison said when asked what the Bobcats endured last season. “It's tough, but you try to keep perspective of what you get to do for a living. You've got a pretty good job. You get to play basketball every day. You have to come in and work hard for 2-3 hours to try and get better every day. If you can keep that perspective, it helps you get through it.”

Brooks shook his head hearkening back to the first season in OKC.

“You don't wish it upon anybody to go through a season like that,” said Brooks, who paused and cracked a smile before joking, “Um, I guess maybe a few teams you wish it upon.”



Thunder vs. Charlotte Bobcats

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena

TV: none

Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM

Three things to know

* Thunder guard James Harden will not play because of a groin injury. The injury is not believed to be serious.

* Thabo Sefolosha is doubtful with a quad injury. He has missed the first two games, and Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he might sit out one more contest before joining the lineup.

* Rookie forward Perry Jones III, the 28th overall pick, is averaging 11 points and 3.5 rebounds in two preseason games.

Projected starters

Thunder (0-2)

Pos.;Player;Ht.;Pts.;Reb.;Ast.

G;Russell Westbrook;6-3;19.0;2.0;3.0

G;Daequan Cook;6-5;5.0;0.0;0.0

F;Kevin Durant;6-9;11.0;2.5;2.0

F;Serge Ibaka;6-10;12.0;7.0;0.0

C;Cole Aldrich;6-11;10.5;10.5;0.0

Bobcats (1-2)

Pos.;Player;Ht.;Pts.;Reb.;Ast.

G;Kemba Walker;6-1;8.3;2.0;2.7

G;Ben Gordon;6-3;15.3;2.3;0.7

F;Michael Kidd-Gilchrist;6-7;7.7;4.3;1.7

F;Byron Mullens;7-0;15.7;6.3;1.0

C;Bredan Haywood;7-0;4.0;4.0;0.5

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