This summer, Brooks challenged his assistants to examine last season with a critical eye. That included everything from drills in practice to dissecting plays from playoff games. It gave the coaches a chance to not only brush up on the things they do and how they do them, but it also allowed them to see what the team did well and what other teams did well against the Thunder. Under normal circumstances, the staff has little time for such detailed critical analysis.
Brooks also allowed each coach to design one 60-minute practice plan, a no-nonsense session designed to sharpen the entire staff's skills and implement new ideas.
“It was good for me because I wanted to see other drills and other techniques,” Brooks said. “I learned a lot of great drills and a lot of different ways to teach. And I give all of our coaches and video guys a lot of credit because they did a good job of studying other coaches throughout the summer and they came back with some great stuff.”
An extensive video playbook of the team's offensive and defensive schemes also has been created. It will be waiting for the players whenever they return.
“We found a lot of good answers,” said Brooks, who declined to elaborate on areas that have stood out so that he didn't overstep the line of the league's rules.
Though not ideal, Brooks said the layoff has had its advantages. But Brooks has had to be careful to not allow his mind to get carried away during the break.
“Sometimes, when you have a lot of time you want to change things up,” Brooks said. “But I have to show restraint and not change things up; just try to tweak a few things here and there. But I do know that we can get better.”