Thunder notebook: Scott Brooks fires back at Mark Cuban

Oklahoman Modified: March 5, 2009 at 9:39 am •  Published: March 5, 2009
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Displeased by Monday's loss to the Thunder, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban ripped his team in the Dallas Morning News. Cuban lashed out, stating, “if each player can't take the personal initiative to make every game important, and play like it, I don't see them being here next season.”

Thunder coach Scott Brooks' response: “I understand Dallas is a very talented team, and they might have had an off night. They can say whatever they want to say. But we played aggressive, hard, physical, good basketball with two of our better players out.”

Defensive improvement
Opponents have shot 43.8 percent from the field and averaged 89.3 points in regulation the past four games. Thabo Sefolosha, who did a solid job on Washington star Antawn Jamison the final three possessions, has made a noticeable impact defensively.

Sefolosha had three blocks.

"He plays with a lot of intensity, and that’s what we’re about,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "When we play focused, intense, defensive basketball, we’re good. I’m still getting to know him, and he is still learning what we’re doing, but he has a knack for the ball.”

GREEN, DURANT UPDATE
Kevin Durant (sprained ankle) and Jeff Green (sore lower back) didn’t suit out, but Durant no longer is wearing a protective boot.

Both shot some during pre-game warm-ups. Brooks said each will be put through cutting and stop-and-start drills before they’re allowed to return.

"They’re both so competitive, they want to be out there,” Brooks said. "That’s a good thing, but they’ll have to show us they’re 100 percent.”

It’s doubtful either will play this weekend — Saturday in New Orleans, Sunday at home against the Philadelphia 76ers — but both are improving to where they could return sometime the next week to 10 days.


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