Thunder notebook: Scott Brooks contemplating change in starting lineup
OKC's coach might start Royal Ivey at shooting guard and returning Daequan Cook to the second unit.
Earlier this week, Thunder coach Scott Brooks admitted giving some thought to starting Royal Ivey at shooting guard and returning Daequan Cook to the second unit.
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“I've definitely thought about it, (but) never to the point where I've wanted to pull the trigger,” Brooks said before Monday night's home victory against Dallas. “I like his (Ivey's) energy off the bench. I like DC's ability to stretch the floor, and he's been guarding much better. Definitely thought about it, but not enough to make the switch.”
It is not known if Brooks has reconsidered starting Ivey for Friday's 7 p.m. home game against Cleveland. The Thunder had Thursday off, and Brooks was not available for comment.
Though Ivey failed to score in Wednesday night's game against the Phoenix Suns, he played a key role in the Thunder's 115-104 victory at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Ivey played the final 17:03 of the contest and sparked a defensive surge by OKC, which overcame a 16-point deficit in a span of eight minutes.
On the season, Ivey is averaging 11.4 minutes and 2.6 points in 14 appearances. Cook is averaging 19.8 minutes, 5.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 19 starts and 38 appearances.
If Brooks decided to start Ivey, it would allow Cook to return to his more familiar role with the second unit rather than trying to blend his long-range game with the powerful scoring punch of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. When sixth man James Harden started two games in place of Thabo Sefolosha earlier this season, Brooks quickly returned Harden to his reserve role because it offered a greater comfort level.
“That was the reason I thought about it (starting Ivey) because DC definitely has a nice role with that second group, but he's had some good games for us as a starter,” Brooks said. “We have to do a better job of finding one of the league's best 3-point shooters (Cook) some shots, but that hasn't swayed me enough to change the lineup.”
The starting position opened 20 games ago when Sefolosha suffered an injury to his right foot. Sefolosha officially is listed as day-to-day, but is not expected back for another 1-2 weeks.
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