Thunder notebook: Thabo Sefolosha's return remains a mystery
OKC star has missed eight straight starts and last played in the first half of a Jan. 27 game at Golden State. Conditioning has become a concern because Sefolosha has only been able to shoot free throws and set shots.
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Because the Thunder (21-6) is guaranteed the Western Conference's best record by Wednesday's league-imposed cutoff date, Brooks will coach the West at the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 26 in Orlando, Fla.
Brooks will get to coach Durant, who is starting, and Westbrook, who was selected as a reserve.
Fan balloting determined the starting lineup, but Brooks playfully was asked who he would start.
“I can't start Russell and Kevin? Do they frown upon that?” Brooks deadpanned. “No, we haven't even talked about that. We have seven games before that.”
DURANT JOINS SPECIAL OLYMPIANS
Durant will participate in the first-ever NBA Cares Special Olympics Unity Sports Basketball Game, which will take place as part of the All-Star weekend festivities.
The game will be held on Center Court at the NBA All-Star Jam Session and will feature 12 Special Olympics athletes along with NBA Legends Clyde Drexler, Chris Mullin, Dikembe Mutombo and Sam Perkins, current WNBA players and celebrities. Rookies Kemba Walker and Derrick Williams will join Durant.
Special Olympian Steve Lynn of Oklahoma is on the West squad.
In the previous seven-game stretch, OKC played the first game on the road, one at home, then five straight on the road. In the current seven-game stretch, the Thunder will play one game at home, one on the road, then five straight at home.
The exact opposite.
After playing at home against Utah on Tuesday at 7, OKC will fly to Houston for a Wednesday game. Then come consecutive home games against Golden State, Denver, New Orleans, Boston and the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Sometimes it's nice to get out on the road and build our chemistry and bond with one another, but we've done that enough lately,” Brooks said with a smile. “We needed to get back home. I needed to see, for selfish reason, my wife and kids. It's just good to be home in our own house, in our own city. We're going to be home for a while, but it doesn't guarantee victories.”
Brooks, on being able to give his team the entire weekend off: “It's almost like a high school team. Play Friday night and then, ‘See you guys Monday.'”
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