With the debut of center Kendrick Perkins on Monday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder finally unveiled its rotation at the power forward and center spots.
Perkins started alongside power forward Serge Ibaka. Nick Collison was the first big man off the bench, replacing Perkins with 5:07 remaining in the first quarter. Nazr Mohammed then replaced Ibaka two minutes later. Perkins didn't return until the 6:28 mark of the second quarter. Ibaka checked back in with 5:14 left in the first half.
“They'll all have a lot of opportunities to play together,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “They're interchangeable parts. I haven't figured out, until I see them play, who plays better with each other. But I have a feeling that they all complement each other fairly well.”
Brooks said center Cole Aldrich will now serve as an emergency player who will be available in the event of injury or foul trouble.
“Cole's actually done well when he's had his time,” Brooks said. “We're happy with his progress, but right now he's probably going to have to take the back seat.”
Russell Westbrook notched his 31st double-double of the season with an 18-point, 12-rebound effort in the Thunder's 116-89 win over the Wizards.
Westbrook turned the ball over five times but added four steals and four rebounds. His counterpart, Wizards guard John Wall, scored 15 points with seven rebounds and five assists and four steals against six turnovers.
“They are as quick as any two players in this league guarding each other,” Brooks said. “Neither one is an easy matchup for the other or the other team … Russell, I thought, was good. He took one or two bad shots early. But he settled down and let the game come to him.”