Thunder notebook: Scott Brooks warns team that Denver Nuggets can flat-out fly

Scott Brooks reminded his team at shootaround of the skill and speed of Denver's perimeter playoffs.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: February 19, 2012
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Denver coach George Karl used his 13th different starting lineup on Sunday thanks to injuries to Danilo Gallinari (ankle) and Nene' Hilario (calf).

By comparison, the Thunder has used four lineups this season. Center Kendrick Perkins (knee contusion) was a game-time decision to join the starting lineup.

BACK IN OKC

The New Orleans Hornets, who temporarily called Oklahoma City home for two seasons (2005-07) after Hurricane Katrina, spent three days in the city leading up to Monday's 7 p.m. game against the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The Hornets arrived early Saturday morning, flying in after their victory at New York which snapped the Knicks' seven-game winning streak.

They had Saturday off and used the Thunder's old practice facility on Sunday.

OKC REVISITED

Karl revisited his thoughts on the Thunder before playing OKC for the first time since last year's first-round playoff series, which the Thunder won 4-1.

"I think the whole Oklahoma City thing is a good story," Karl said. "Their cohesiveness and toughness from last year to this year was definitely increased by a camaraderie that not many teams in the league have. Scotty continues to do a great job of bringing (James) Harden along and bringing younger players along, and their development from good players to stars to superstars is pretty impressive. Someone's had control of that and Scotty Brooks should get a lot of credit for it."

Karl wasn't so congenial after the game, however. Coaches routinely exchange a wave after the game on the sideline. After Sunday's gut-wrenching loss, Karl slowly turned and walked directly to the tunnel without acknowledging Brooks, who waved twice.

QUOTABLE

Karl on Sunday's 124-118 overtime loss to the Thunder: ""They're one of the best teams in basketball and we took them into overtime. In a lot of ways we won the game, but the scoreboard says we lost it. Somehow, someway, I've got to get my team to realize we won a lot of things."



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