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.