Coach Scott Brooks divided players into two teams Saturday night, conducting game-like scrimmages with in-house officials. The morning session was a review of plays and schemes put in during the week. Four quarter-long scrimmages Saturday night represented a pop quiz. "We put in plays on the fly so they don’t have time to really think and let it register,” Brooks said. "They’ve done a good job. Some guys pick it up quicker than others. We just want to make sure everybody picks it up. I’m not concerned how long it takes to pick it up as long as they pick it up.” Rookie James Harden scrimmaged. Nick Collison, still day-to-day with a sprained ankle, was the only player out. Two-a-days are over, but not camp. "We’re using the entire month as our training camp,” Brooks said.
Work ethicVeteran center Etan Thomas said he’s impressed with how hard the Thunder’s young players work, not just this past week but throughout the summer. "Guys came in (two or three weeks) early to get in extra shots, lift weights, run and work on extra drills with the coaches, work on different ways they need to improve,” Thomas said. "You don’t see that many teams where they’re all back together that early.”
Off dayBrooks is giving players today off even though it’s the final day two-a-days are allowed by league rules. "We had a great week,” Brooks said. "You have to be smart. I understand (Sunday) would be the last two-a-day, but our guys have done a great job. I felt they needed a day away.”
AAU team?Shaun Livingston said the Thunder’s roster is young but has tons of potential. "These guys are talented, gifted, athletic enough that we can win games, games we’re not supposed to win,” Livingston said. "It almost feels like an AAU team. The youth on this team is good. ”
Unselfish playThe main goal has been improving defensively, but Brooks’ other point of emphasis has been unselfish offensive play. "We’re moving the ball very well offensively, making it tough on our defense because we’re passing very well. That’s what we’ll continue to stress, being unselfish on both ends of the court.”
Hit the roadPlayers received navy travel bags on rollers they can use on road trips. The Thunder’s preseason opener is Wednesday in Memphis.