Two off days couldn't have come at a worse time for the Thunder.
The team walked out of Washington on Wednesday night with an embarrassing 105-102 loss to the league-worst Wizards, and then had Thursday and Friday to continue to steam over how a listless performance resulted in the stunning end to a season-long seven-game winning streak.
Or was the two-day hiatus a good thing?
The Thunder used Thursday as a travel day and did not practice but returned to the practice floor Friday in preparation for Saturday's game at New Jersey. It's possible that a 48-hour retreat is just what the Thunder needed to refocus.
Following the humbling loss to Washington, it again became evident to Thunder players that they can't just show up expecting to win. And the past two days perhaps helped that reality sink in as the Thunder gets set to square off with the 4-11 Nets.
“We're going to get everybody's best effort,” said forward Kevin Durant. “We got to keep working. We can lose any given night. We got to put this past us and be ready for New Jersey.”
DURANT TALKS TEAM USA
Durant and teammate Russell Westbrook recently were selected as two of 20 finalists for the 2012 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team. Two summers ago, both helped lead the USA to its first gold medal in the FIBA World Championship since 1994, and both have a good chance to make the final 12-man roster when it is announced later this year.
Durant already is looking forward to it.
“I'm excited, man,” Durant said. “It's a great feeling. It's a privilege to have the opportunity to represent my country. Hopefully, I get picked for the team. That's something I always thought about as a youngster is representing my country in the Olympics. So hopefully my name is called.”
Durant was then asked what it would be like to face teammate Serge Ibaka, who is expected to compete for Spain in London after being granted Spanish citizenship.
“Serge talks a lot of trash about Spain,” Durant said. “So hopefully we get to play those guys. It'll be fun playing against my teammate, though. He's worked so hard to be a part of that great national team over there and hopefully I get a chance to do the same.”