Harden admitted that the mounting misses started to negatively affect his confidence. But he said he will use his first Finals as a learning lesson.
“I can do other things on the court, not just shoot the ball but find other ways to impact the game,” Harden said. “I think that's one of the things I'll have to come in with next season. If I'm not making shots in one game in particular, find another way to impact the game. That's something I have to think about this summer.”
PERKINS PLAYED THROUGH PARTIAL GROIN TEAR
Brooks acknowledged Saturday that center Kendrick Perkins was playing with a partially torn groin in the later parts of the playoffs.
Perkins was excused from Saturday's exit interviews because of illness, but Brooks said his center showed toughness by battling through the injury.
“Most players might have shut it down and called it a season, but he fought,” Brooks said. “We wouldn't put our players in a position that would endanger their career, but he was able to play through a lot of pain.”
MOHAMMED MIGHT NOT BE BACK
Reserve center Nazr Mohammed, who will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, expressed his desire to return to the Thunder next season, saying he “would love to be back” and is “hoping to be back.”
But with rising third-year center Cole Aldrich waiting in the wings, there doesn't appear to be room on the roster any longer for Mohammed, who will turn 35 in September and, under league rules, must be paid at least the veteran's minimum of $1.35 million.
“If I was in his position, I'd want to get on the court,” Mohammed said of Aldrich. “I feel that that's the next progression. You've got to give him a chance and see what you've got. That's the way the game is. If you've got the choice of investing in a guy 14 years in the game or a guy in his third year, you've got to go with the guy in his third year and see what he's got.”
Nick Collison on the offseason: “It's a lot shorter. It's almost July, which is crazy. We used to be done in mid-April. I mean, it's like a really different feel.”