Thunder notebook: OKC to catch up on rest this week

Down time will not be used to instruct newcomer Derek Fisher. The 16-year pro has picked up Thunder's system quickly.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: March 26, 2012

Brooks said he would stick with Sefolosha's integrating process no matter who the opponent, and proved it by playing Sefolosha 20 minutes against the Heat on Sunday even though he was successfully containing Dwyane Wade.

“The temptation is always there,” Brooks said of exceeding 20 minutes.

What if Sefolosha's feels energized after playing 20 minutes? Would he be able to convince Brooks into more playing time?

“Um, I think it's 20 minutes,” Sefolosha said with a smile. “You know, I understand the whole process. It's frustrating at times, but I've got to go with it and have my eyes on the main goal of being ready and feeling good for the playoffs.”

Sefolosha's allotted play time might increase this week with game on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

“We'll see how it feels the next couple days, then make adjustments,” Brooks said.

THE REAL DEAL?

Even though the Thunder (37-12) has the best record in the Western Conference, many national pundits question whether the team will be an NBA Finalist this season and claim OKC is still scrambling for respect.

That opinion might have changed somewhat after Sunday's victory over Miami, but it's of no concern to Sefolosha.

“I don't care,” Sefolosha said. “I'm sorry, but really the only thing I care about is how my teammates feel and how we feel as a team. The rest of that is for you guys (media) to figure out.”

TIP-INS

For the third time this season and eighth time in his career, Kevin Durant was named Western Conference Player of the Week. … The Heat had 38 second-half points on 37.5-percent shooting. … Wade's last shot of the game was a swished 60-footer at the third-quarter buzzer. He did not attempt a shot while playing 7½ minutes in the final period. … Kendrick Perkins had a season-high 16 points against Miami. His career-high is 26 in 2009. … The Bulls have the NBA's best record at 40-10 despite not having reigning MVP Derrick Rose for 16 games this season due to various injuries. The Bulls are 28-6 with Rose and 12-4 without him.

QUOTABLE

Miami's LeBron James on Durant's biggest growth as a player since joining the league five seasons ago: “He just continues to grow as a leader. I think his game speaks for itself. What he's able to do with a basketball, we don't need to talk about that. His numbers speak for (themselves). His game speaks for itself. His game continues to grow as a leader, and that's what it's all about.”


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