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Thunder notebook: James Harden looking for more offense; Shane Battier says OKC crowd classy

James Harden had just five points in the Thunder's Game 1. He says he needs to be more aggressive going forward.
by Ryan Aber and Jason Kersey Published: June 13, 2012

James Harden wasn't too down on his game after going just 2 of 6 from the field for five points in the Thunder's Game 1 win over the Heat.

“Individually, I think I did a pretty good job,” Harden said. “Obviously I didn't score the ball well but just defensively and doing other things to help the team win. W's (wins) are all that matter right now. It's not about individual performances.”

However, Harden said he'd need to contribute more offensively as the series progressed and adjust his approach.

“I need to be more aggressive, watch film and learn what they did on the defensive end and just attack more,” Harden said. “Be more aggressive, not just with myself but collapsing the defense in and opening up plays for my teammates is something I'm very good at. I've just got to drive the lanes and find my shooters and find my bigs for easy dunks.”


After Miami's Chris Bosh called the crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena “regular” after Tuesday's Game 1, Thunder players were regularly asked about it Wednesday.

ABC analyst and hall of famer Magic Johnson called the crowd the loudest he'd ever experienced.

“What do you all think?” Harden asked the media horde. “As loud as I've ever experienced. I'm sure Chris Bosh, it's as loud as he's experienced as well. They're pretty loud in here. It gets very loud. It's the loudest arena I've been in since I've been in the NBA.

“Magic is right.”

Derek Fisher took another route, saying the reason Bosh felt that way is because the crowd in Oklahoma City is always loud when Bosh and the Heat are in town regardless of whether the game is in the NBA Finals or not.


Thunder center Kendrick Perkins was asked on Wednesday to compare and contrast the personalities and coaching styles of Boston's Doc Rivers, whom Perkins won an NBA championship with in 2008, and OKC head man Scott Brooks.

Perkins pointed out Brooks' desire to keep learning and overall humbleness as the coach's unique qualities.  

That even trickles down to Brooks' ride.

“He drives a (Toyota) Corolla,” Perkins said. “I mean, there's nothing wrong with it, but what NBA coach that you know (would) do that? Seriously. He's so down to Earth, it's crazy.

“I think that's just the main thing that sticks out about him, he's wanting to learn and just staying down to Earth and just trying to get better.'

So, is this a tricked-out Corolla, or the base model?

“I think it's the base model,” Perkins said. “I'm serious, man. I seen him pull up in it one day, and I was like ‘That's Coach Brooks.'”

For the record, the Corolla is gray.  


Heat forward Shane Battier was asked Wednesday about the Chesapeake Energy Arena crowd, and he said it was a much nicer one than he encountered in Boston during the Eastern Conference Finals.

“I had a few ‘expletive deleted' comments thrown my way (in Boston),” Battier said. “I have yet to hear that here in Oklahoma. The good people of Oklahoma stay classy.”


Thunder center Kendrick Perkins stressed Wednesday the importance of Thursday's Game 2, given the fact that OKC follows it up with potentially three straight games in Miami.

“(Game 1) was a game that both teams was feeling out each other,” Perkins said. “Game 1 is really out the way. I feel like you have to move on to Game 2. It's the most important game before we go on the road for three games. We just have got to make sure we do a great job of staying focused.”


Bobby Marsee has plenty of experience recreating famous works of art in chalk.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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