Forward Marcus Dove was a shutdown defender at Oklahoma State (2003-08) and is now being asked to make things difficult against players who reached the NBA Western Conference Finals last season.
Dove is in his second tour of duty with the Thunder. He played for OKC during the 2009 Summer League in Las Vegas. The Thunder front office liked Dove so much, they asked him back.
“I'm playing different positions, so I'm guarding a lot of different of people,” said the 6-foot-8, 225-pound native of Bellflower, Calif. “I got a lot of experience (in 2009), had a chance to learn their system, what their defensive principle was and things like that, so it's kind of helped me coming into this camp.”
Dove said his instructions are to “play hard, try to make the guys better, give everything I have and that's what I'm doing.”
Playfully asked if the Thunder was legit, Dove smiled and said: “Oh, very much so. They have everybody coming back. They're not young anymore. They have experience now. They've been deep in the playoffs, so I'm expecting a lot out of them this year. It would be nice (to make the roster), but I'm just going to keep working hard and see what happens.”
Center Nazr Mohammed (sore lower back), guard James Harden (groin) and rookie guard Reggie Jackson (groin) sat out of Sunday's two-hour workout session.
“They're just day-to-day, nothing of major concerns, just soreness,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “They'll be back soon.”
Brooks said Sunday's practice concentrated on condition and execution and positioning on offense and defense.
Former Air Force and University of San Diego coach Hank Egan, who also has been an NBA assistant with the Cavaliers, Warriors and Spurs, has observed the first three days of Thunder training camp.
On Saturday and Sunday, he has been joined by Kurt Rambis, the former Los Angeles Lakers player and Minnesota Timberwolves coach. Rambis won eight world championships with the Lakers – four as a player, three as an assistant coach and one as a team executive.
“Just picking their brains,” Brooks said. “They're great guys, they love basketball and they love sharing.”
“It's great. It's going to get us better, and I'm proof. I've been working out three months here, and there's not too many 46-year-olds who can beat me right now.” – Brooks on the Thunder's new practice facility
Former Thunder reserve guard Nate Robinson (@nate_robinson) is back home in Seattle trying to work out a deal with an NBA team and tweeted this on Saturday: “GM y'all hope u guys have a wonderful day”