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Oklahoma City Thunder: Rebounding basketball an issue for Thunder

Five regular season games remain to fix an obvious problem.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 7, 2013

After out-rebounding the Pacers, the league's best rebounding team, by 22, Sunday's showing was the equivalent of five steps back after one step forward.

In its past 10 games, the Thunder has allowed 14 offensive rebounds. By comparison, the league's high mark is Milwaukee's 12.3.

“We just have to go back to the basics,” Brooks said. “We're going to talk about it and we have been talking about it. The basics of rebounding is blocking out. It's not rebounding. The rebound comes after a block out. If you focus on rebounding there's too many athletes in this league that it's a 50-50 ball. You block out first and then you go get the rebound.”

So are the players not blocking out enough?

“It's a combination,” Brooks said. “Everybody has to think rebound. We're such a high, explosive offensive transition team that we can't think about that until we secure the ball. That's just something that we will brush up on and try to get better at that the last five games.”

New York committed an opponent season-low six turnovers Sunday and also made 15 of 34 3-pointers, completing a comprehensive day of defensive frustration, one that continued the troubling trend of the Thunder struggling against the league's best.

Now, only five games are left to figure it out, to find that defensive toughness, tenacity and consistency which has eluded the Thunder for much of the year.

Today, it was just a disappointing regular season loss.

Soon, the same issues could be much more costly.

“We just have to learn from this and move on as quickly as we can,” Brooks said.