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Thunder notebook: Making adjustments

BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: May 10, 2011
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GRIZZLIES SUCCESS VS. THUNDER IN SEVENTH MONTH

Including their 116-96 preseason victory at the BOK Center in Tulsa on Oct. 12, the Memphis Grizzlies had beaten the Oklahoma City Thunder six of eight times this season heading into Game 4.

Did Memphis coach Lionel Hollins see the game in Tulsa as a foreshadowing to a potential playoff matchup between the two teams. "No, not at all," said Hollins, who seems to live in the moment with every aspect of his team. "And every game we played during the regular season could have gone either way."

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said the Grizzlies' potential had caught his attention the previous season.

"Our games always seem to be close," Brooks said before Oklahoma City's 133-123 triple-overtime win Tuesday night. "We knew they had good size, a good point guard, they had some good defenders. Even when Rudy Gay got injured (in mid-February), we knew they had some perimeter players who could step up and play well. They're a good team. It doesn't surprise us. It's great for Lionel to get the opportunity and take advantage of it, also."

MAKING ADJUSTMENTS

Kevin Durant was taken out of Game 3 down the stretch while being defended by Tony Allen with some help from teammates.

Much of Allen's success against Durant was by playing physically, crowding him and preventing clean catches while forcing Durant away from his desired spots.

Part of Durant's adjustment is learning how much he can get away with when it comes to returning the physical play.

"That's tough to kind of figure out," Durant said before Game 4. "Having a guy that's physical like that and knowing when to push back is tough to figure out. But as the game goes on, I think that I'll get that down, especially in the fourth quarter I guess they'll let me push a little bit more.

"But he's a physical defender. I've faced many physical defenders before. It's just a matter of me adjusting. I've always done that."

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