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Thunder notebook: Rotation in limbo

Oklahoman Modified: December 19, 2008 at 5:24 am •  Published: December 19, 2008
Thunder coach Scott Brooks said it will be an in-game decision how he rotates his "bigs.” Veteran Joe Smith did not play in Tuesday’s loss because Nick Collison and Chris Wilcox played well off the bench. Jeff Green starts at power forward. Center Johan Petro has started the past three games.

"It’s hard to play five guys at two positions,” Brooks said. "We’ll adjust during the game. They all have to be ready. Whether it’s five minutes or 30 minutes, they have to play (those minutes) hard.”

The Raptors are 2-8 their last 10 games after an 8-7 start. Toronto, though, has the same nucleus that’s made the playoffs the last two seasons. Forward Chris Bosh was on the Olympic team. Jermaine O’Neal is a veteran 6-foot-11 center who is a load inside. Jose Calderon is third in the league in assists (9.0) and is a deadly 3-point shooter.

"The challenge is to stop (Bosh and O’Neal) from getting easy buckets,” Brooks said. "Their point guard is really good. And they have some shooters. They haven’t played particularly well as of late, but that’s a very talented team. We’ll have to step up and play an entire game because that’s a team that can really score. And they get stops.”

Tonight’s game and Sunday’s game with Cleveland are sellouts.

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