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Thunder: A team in transition?

BY MIKE BALDWIN Modified: November 4, 2008 at 12:59 am •  Published: November 4, 2008
The Thunder’s best chance at knocking off the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night in the Ford Center could be determined by whether Oklahoma City can run, run, run.

It’s apparent, at least early in the season, the Thunder offense is much more effective in transition.

Rookie guard Russell Westbrook has been at his best when leading a fast break. Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Desmond Mason have had dunks in transition. Point guard Earl Watson can take it coast to coast to set up a teammate. Even big men like Chris Wilcox and Johan Petro run the floor well.

"We’d always like to run,” said coach P.J. Carlesimo. "We just want to run intelligently. We don’t necessarily want to come down and put up a jump shot the first three seconds of a clock.

"That’s not an easy line to walk. If you’re running and pushing it, and guys are open, they’re saying, ‘If you want to run, you want to shoot.’ But you can shoot yourself in and out of games. Do we want to run? Absolutely. But we need to make good decisions.”

The Thunder hung with the Houston Rockets on Saturday night in large part because OKC scored several baskets in transition against a veteran team that prefers to play half-court basketball.

"We feel we’re better defensively,” said forward Nick Collison.


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