“We just have to ask in a different way,” Brooks deadpanned with a smile. “You can't be as direct.”
Asked how he planned to ask his players, Brooks playfully responded, “Um, ‘please?' ”
Brooks well knows his team will not shoot 60.3 percent from the field as it did in the final three quarters of Game 1. Nor will Houston — the No. 2 team in scoring at 106.0 in the regular season — misfire at 36.3 percent from the field and 22.2 percent from 3-point range as it did Sunday. Nor will the entire Rockets' starting lineup finish with two fewer assists than Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook.
Nevertheless, Brooks won't back down on his demands. “No, you have to always push the group,” Brooks said.
Veteran reserve guard Derek Fisher has now played 230 postseason games and Sunday was his 24th playoff victory by 20 or more points.
What reasonable expectations should follow such lopsided victories?
“Reasonable expectations are to ask more of yourself, ask more of the team in the sense of not believing you can just call that up again and duplicate that type of game,” the 38-year-old Fisher said after Monday's practice. “You really have to take the good and the bad of what happened and learn from it. Play Game 2 as though Game 1 never existed.”