Oklahoma City Thunder: What the Thunder learned from the Finals
OKC vs. MIAMI — For the first time since Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the Oklahoma City Thunder faces the Miami Heat. The Christmas Day game is an opportunity for Kevin Durant and Co. to demonstrate what they learned from the experience.
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Thunder at Heat
When: 4:30 p.m.
Where: American Airlines Arena
TV: ABC (Cox 8/HD 705).
Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM
Three things to know
* This is the first of two games the Thunder and Heat will play this season.
* Miami defeated the Thunder 4-1 in the NBA Finals last year.
* The Thunder and Heat split last year's two-game regular season series, with each team winning on its home floor.
Things the Thunder couldn't do consistently.
“They won four straight so there were a lot of possessions where we didn't do a good enough job,” Collison admitted. “Both sides of the ball, we didn't stop them enough so we have to get better at both ends of the floor.”
Collison continued, going on to further dissect the team's offense and defense and stressing how the time to shore up last season's shortcomings is now.
“We have to continue to build toward that time late in the year,” he said.
And be consistent with that effort, said Perkins
“With the talent that we have, we can score points,” Perkins said. “But I think we got to make sure we have a consistent effort and be consistent on the defensive end. I think our defense can overshadow a lot of things. That also develops a trust for everybody. If anybody knows they're about to get screened, they know I'm going to be there. If my man rolls to the basket, I know somebody's got him. So if you develop that trust it's almost like you don't even have to talk it out no more. You almost know that the guy's going to be there.”
There hasn't been a better chance to date for the Thunder to showcase in the regular season how it has grown from its postseason disappointment than this Christmas Day showdown.
“We learned a lot after making the Finals,” said Serge Ibaka. “We know how hard you have to work to be there. Now we know how to do it, and I think if we get there we'll do better.”
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