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Thunder notebook: OKC shifting focus to scoring in transition

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, Modified: January 5, 2010 at 10:49 am •  Published: January 5, 2010
After watching one too many fast-break possessions against Milwaukee result in turnovers, botched breaks or missed shots, Thunder coach Scott Brooks dedicated much of Sunday’s practice to shoring up the team’s transition offense.

Brooks said he ran 2-on-1 drills repeatedly throughout the session, ensuring that players get in a habit of finding an open teammate, getting a good shot or making the right play.

"It’s something we worked on going into the season,” Brooks said. "Those are opportunities you can’t let go by. Those are the reasons why you defend the way we defend, to get opportunities in the open court. If we get a 3-on-2 we have to get a great shot. If we have a 2-on-1 we have to get a shot at the basket.”

The Thunder scored its first basket Monday night against Chicago on a 3-on-2 fast break with Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Thabo Sefolosha that ended with a Durant dunk.

Durant on Monday was named Western Conference Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 28 to Jan. 3. Durant, in games against New Jersey, Washington, Utah and Milwaukee, led all players in scoring with 34.3 points and contributed 7.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.8 blocks while leading the Thunder to a 3-1 record.

Chicago guard Derrick Rose, meanwhile, was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Rose led the Bulls in scoring each game, averaging 26.7 points, 5.7 assists and five rebounds as Chicago went 3-0 during the week.

Brooks said he will continue to monitor Sefolosha’s right foot (plantar fasciits) but will not alter his rotation to protect his starting shooting guard unless the medical staff suggests he needs to. Box score from Monday's game