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Scott Brooks’ quicker lineup has improved Thunder's offense

By Mike Baldwin Modified: December 3, 2008 at 6:22 am •  Published: December 3, 2008
9 points. Under Brooks, OKC is averaging 98.2, which increases to 101.4 if you throw out the Cleveland clunker.

"The positives are you can spread the floor, attack the basket and get out in transition a little more,” said Desmond Mason. "The negative is rebounding. All five guys have to rebound when you go small, even point guards. But I think we have enough wing rebounders to hold our own.”

That’s the flip side. The Thunder is more vulnerable inside on the defensive end. In last week’s loss to the Timberwolves, Minnesota reserve forward Craig Smith scored 23 points and shot 15 free throws. The Timberwolves out-rebounded Oklahoma City 43-33.

"Your top teams in the league, your Bostons and Lakers, have the prefect solution,” Wilkins said. "They can go big, go small or go in between. There are advantages and disadvantages to going small. We’re just playing to our strengths.”

The Bobcats don’t have a 7-foot, dominant center, although 6-foot-10 Emeka Okafor is among the league leaders in rebounds (10.8) and blocked shots (1.6). Charlotte sometimes plays both its point guards (Raymond Felton and rookie D.J. Augustin) at the same time.

"That type of lineup might give us an opportunity to play Earl and Russell together,” Brooks said. "I can’t imagine playing a small lineup like we did against Memphis where we go with all 3’s (small forwards), 2’s (shooting guards) and (point guards). It will be a flow-of-the-game decision.”

Thunder at Bobcats
→When: 6 p.m.

→Where: Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, N.C.

→TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma (Cox 37)

→Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM.

→Live blog:

Probable starters

Thunder (2-16)
Pos. Player Ht. Pts. Reb Ast
G Russell Westbrook 6-3 12.3 3.3 4.1
G Damien Wilkins 6-6 5.4 1.6 1.1
F Kevin Durant 6-9 22.2 4.1 1.7
F Jeff Green 6-9 14.6 5.4 2.2
C Chris Wilcox 6-10 9.2 5.7 0.9
Bobcats (6-11)
Pos. Player Ht. Pts. Reb Ast
G Raymond Felton 6-1 13.2 3.1 5.8
G D.J. Augustin 6-0 12.6 2.1 4.3
F Jason Richardson 6-6 19.1 4.2 2.7
F Gerald Wallace 6-7 16.3 8.2 1.0
C Emeka Okafor 6-10 10.9 10.8 0.4


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