Thunder coach Scott Brooks: James Harden 'available' for tonight's game
By Mike Baldwin •
Modified: March 24, 2010 at 12:48 pm •
Published: March 24, 2010
/articleid/3448852/1/pictures/891079"> Sidelined the past five games by a strained right hamstring, rookie James Harden participated in the team’s shootaround Wednesday morning and appears set to play tonight. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
“I coached him for a year in Sacramento. He’s a scorer. He can score so many different ways. We’ve got to stop a couple of different guys (Martin) and Aaron Brooks. And (Luis) Scola is a talented, skilled big man.
“We have to make sure their shots are contested and they don’t get any easy shots in transition. They’re a fast team. They do a good job of spacing the floor and moving the ball. They’re one of the better offensive teams.”
The Rockets have won 13 consecutive games against the Thunder/Sonics dating back to 2006. In the past Houston has had Yao Ming and Ron Artest and a healthy Tracy McGrady.
“They’re a good team that defends well,” Collison said. “They’re a tough team to beat. They play hard and they execute. It’s somewhat of a coincidence maybe the streak is that long. But they’ve consistently played good basketball (in recent years).”
One reason the Rockets won the three early-season games was a decisive edge in offensive rebounds in two of the games.
“Landry obviously was a big thorn in our side and when we played Sacramento we still had that issue,” Brooks said. “But (Chuck) Hayes and Scola are offensive rebounders.
“We have to make sure we put a body on them and not give them a clear path to the basket and give them extra possessions. We’re a decent to good rebounding team but need to be a good rebounding team tonight.”