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Oklahoma City Thunder: Q&A with Rockets coach Kevin McHale

by Berry Tramel Published: April 22, 2013

A day later, any new thoughts on why Game 1 got away so quickly?

McHale: “We didn't play very well. We didn't have very good ball movement. They had a ton of straight line drives. Russell (Westbrook) went wherever he wanted with the ball. (Serge) Ibaka had a good solid game defensively, made shots. Give them credit. We were a little nervy starting off the game. Got it back to 38-38, 44-44, then Ibaka made a great block on a Delfino runout, then they made a big run.”

You've got some matchup problems in this series. What can a team do to counter when they're overmatched at certain positions?

“You try to figure out the best way to get the ball out of their hands, who you want to live with shooting. I'm sure we'll try to get extra help from different positions on the floor, adjustments you have to make. That's the beauty of the playoffs. Everybody makes adjustments. We've got to figure out the best way we can to contain Westbrook, try to contain Durant, try not to let the others go off.”

You had some foul trouble — Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik — in Game 1. How much did that hurt you?

“It didn't help us. But again, I don't think foul trouble had anything to do with some of the decisions we made, some of the turnovers we had. That was us not making the simple play, trying to make the home run play. We were just trying to go one-on-one, and they ended up getting us to take some contested shots. We didn't have near enough ball movement.”

You had some success against the Thunder's second unit? Is that something you can build on?

“We gotta find success against their first unit. They're going to play the majority of the game. They're going to play their main guys. We've gotta figure out how to play against those guys. For us, we've got to be able to go against their big lineup, which gave us problems with Ibaka and (Kendrick) Perkins, or Ibaka and (Nick) Collison. And their small lineup. They switch a lot of stuff. Defensively, switched almost everything on the perimeter. Their bigs were able to contain us.”

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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