No deal, no problem for BrooksThunder coach Scott Brooks spent the past few days avoiding discussing the team’s trade options or divulging his opinion on whether Oklahoma City should make a move before Thursday’s deadline. And now that the Thunder has moved forward without a shakeup, Brooks won’t be heard complaining. Brooks’ attention has been on getting the most out of the players he has under his guidance rather than opining about opportunities that might have been out there. And with the Thunder at 31-21, it’s become impossible for Brooks not like what his eyes have seen. "The focus and the concentration level is at a high level,” Brooks said. "And when you have that with talented players, you’re going to improve. That’s why we’ve improved from last year and we’re improving throughout the year this year.”
Harden finding his grooveRookie guard James Harden’s performance Tuesday against Dallas was praised by Brooks as one of his best nights this season. Harden scored 17 points on 5-for-7 shooting and made 3 of 4 3-pointers in 31 minutes. It was his rhythm as a spot-up shooter and catching and shooting off curls that stood out most. "That’s a role that he did not do in college, because he always had the ball going to the basket,” Brooks said. "In that type of position, you’re catching the ball away from the basket and you have to catch and shoot. (Tuesday) night was as good as he looked all season doing that.”
Monitoring the movementThunder players on Thursday showed a genuine interest in league-wide movement at the trade deadline, knowing full well that deals could have a direct impact on their own playoff push. "It’s an interesting time for every team,” said Thabo Sefolosha. "You just try to see who’s doing what, because these are teams we’re going to have to play against for the most part. So we definitely try to keep an eye on the other teams and the players they pick up.”
BrieflyGuard Kyle Weaver celebrated his 24th birthday on Thursday. According to Kevin Durant’s official Twitter account, Durant took Weaver and some teammates out for dinner to celebrate. ... The Thunder will not practice today. The team is scheduled to fly to New York this morning, partly because of brutal traffic the team experienced on its last trip to New York to play the Nets. The Thunder’s bus was stuck in traffic for more than three hours. ... Durant is scheduled to make a Nike appearance today at the Foot Locker House of Hoops store in Harlem. Fans will have the chance to win an autographed pair of his signature shoes, autographed basketballs and play him in a game of NBA Live.