NOTHING IS GUARANTEED
Oklahoma City will get its first look at a Northwest divisional opponent when it takes the court in Utah at 8 p.m. Brooks said the Jazz are one of the most improved teams in the league.
“They've made some of the biggest improvements in the league, I think,” Brooks said. “You talk about the Lakers obviously and that improvement is off the charts. But Utah, they just improve internally and coach (Tyrone) Corbin does a good job of getting the team to play better and playing hard every night.”
The Northwest Division arguably will be the toughest in the league this year with Minnesota, Denver and Portland all competing with the Thunder and Jazz. So even though the Thunder has won consecutive division titles and is many people's favorite to return to the NBA Finals, Brooks said a third straight division title is not promised.
“I think it's good because you're not allowed to rest in this league,” Brooks said of the division's competitiveness. “If you rest, teams will put you in your place. We're not guaranteed to win the division. We have to work for that. Minnesota, Denver, everybody has improved, Utah, down the line. It's a very tough division. We have to play well and we have to play hard and do a lot of good things every night.”
PJIII LEARNING ON THE FLY
In his NBA debut, Perry Jones III scored eight points with five rebounds against the Rockets.
It was at times a blur for the 28th overall pick, but Jones said he was happy to get it under his belt.
“I was nervous at the start,” Jones said. “I'm in the NBA, and it's the most exciting thing that's happened to me. But like the guys were telling me, just be patient and wait on my name to be called. And coach called my name quicker than I thought. So I just went out there and tried to play hard the whole time and it was a good feeling.”