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Thunder notebook: Kendrick Perkins says 'I'm struggling'

Oklahoma City's big man admits that he hasn't played up to expectations. In 23 games going into Monday's date at Portland, Perkins had pulled down fewer than five rebounds eight times.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: February 6, 2012
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“I just think he's developing as a player,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “He's still a young player. He still should get better. We take a lot of pride in making our players better like the rest of the league does. But Daequan has really embraced being a defender and not just a jump shooter…He wants to be thought of as a good basketball player, not just a good shooter.”

DURANT LIKES TRIPS TO THE NORTHWEST

Kevin Durant said he enjoys trips to Portland to face the Blazers inside the Rose Garden. The raucous atmosphere is one reason, but Durant also became familiar with the team back when he was going through the draft process in 2007.

“Just knowing that I could have been here, for one; coming here during the draft process and meeting everybody over there in that organization and working out here, I have a small bit of history with this team,” Durant said. “So it feels good to come in here and play because they're fans of basketball and they always come out and show support to their team, especially when we come since we were the Sonics before.”

Durant reiterated that he doesn't hold it against the Blazers for selecting Greg Oden with the No. 1 pick, one spot ahead of him, in the 2007 NBA Draft.

“They made the best decision for their team,” Durant said.

Durant, who will forever be linked to Oden, said he hasn't spoken to the injury-plagued center but has prayed he gets well soon.

TIP-INS

Brooks said before the game that there is no timetable on Sefolosha's return. “We'll have Thabo soon,” Brooks said. “I don't know when, but we'll have him soon.”…The Thunder recalled forward Ryan Reid from the Tulsa 66ers. Reid was sent down on Jan. 16 and averaged 11.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 blocks in 30.6 minutes over eight games. …Blazers starting point guard Raymond Felton did not play Monday because of a sprained left foot. Jamal Crawford started in his place. …As has been the case since the Thunder came to Oklahoma City in 2008, many fans attended the Blazers game wearing Sonics paraphernalia. A small group sat directly behind the team's bench decked out in Sonics gear with signs and banners.

QUOTABLE

Brooks on Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge — “LaMarcus is an All-Star. I think this is the year he gets it. I thought the last couple of years he's been All-Star like. I did vote for him. I think he's earned it. The team's playing well, and he's leading them every night.”

UP NEXT

The Thunder will face Golden State on Tuesday night. It will be the second time the two teams have squared off, with the Thunder winning 120-109 in the first meeting. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:30 Oklahoma time.

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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