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Thabo Sefolosha or James Harden? Coach still settling on starting shooting guard

Thabo Sefolosha is the better defender, while James Harden is the better scorer. Both say it doesn't matter whether they start or come off the bench.
by Darnell Mayberry Modified: October 11, 2010 at 9:40 pm •  Published: October 11, 2010

James Harden continues to insist it matters little whether he starts or comes off the bench.

Thabo Sefolosha, the Oklahoma City Thunder's current starting shooting guard, says the same.

Coach Scott Brooks, meanwhile, isn't saying much. Brooks hasn't settled on either as the starter for tonight's preseason game against Memphis, much less the regular season.

But both Sefolosha and Harden bring skills that benefit the Thunder on both ends, and that's about all that matters to Brooks at this point.

"I think that's good," Sefolosha said Monday. "We do different things on the court, and I think it gives the coach different options depending on what he sees on the court and what kind of player he wants on the floor. That's definitely a big plus for the team."

Sefolosha is the better defender, and that has afforded him ample leeway in Brooks' book. Sefolosha routinely defended the opposing team's best player last season before earning All-Defensive Second Team honors.

"You can never discount what he brings to our team," Brooks said. "He brings toughness. He brings just a great spirit to our team. And we are a defensive-minded team, and he's one of the best defending wings."

Sefolosha became a liability on the offensive end last season because of his inability to consistently hit shots from the perimeter. Sefolosha attempted a career-high 131 3-pointers in 2009-10 but connected on just 31.3 percent. Brooks, however, said Sefolosha doesn't necessarily have to improve his shooting to keep his job.

"Sure, I'd like him to make his corner jump shots or his 3s," Brooks said. "But he's one of our best cutters and he can finish on the break... But I look at Thabo and what he does for us defensively. He can guard (point guards), (shooting guards) and (small forwards) and guard them very well. Teams have trouble scoring on him."

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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