Through the Thunder's first two games, rookie Cole Aldrich still has not logged his first minute as an NBA player. But coach Scott Brooks said Friday that the No. 11 overall selection's time is coming.
"I like what he's doing," Brooks said. "He's getting a little bit better during practice... But he's like all rookies, he has to learn what we do and how we do it and what the league is about. It's part of the development that he has. It's not that he isn't doing things right. It's just that the circumstances haven't really presented themselves for him to get in the game."
Brooks said Chicago and Detroit's frontlines weren't ideal for a banger like Aldrich, the 6-foot-11 center out of Kansas. Brooks also said his second unit calls for only one big man, which through two games has been Serge Ibaka. It's possible that Aldrich could begin to see minutes when the Thunder faces bigger frontlines.
DOMINATING THE EAST
Despite much of last year's success stemming from going 22-8 against Eastern Conference teams, the Thunder hasn't made it a point to replicate that same recipe in 2010-11.
"One of the things that I'm impressed with about our group is that they take the game and try to play as hard as they can no matter if it's the West, East, in our division or not in our division," Brooks said. "We don't look at who we play. We look at it as one of 82 games we got to play well and execute in order for us to win."
COOK LOOKING TO CONTRIBUTE
In his Thunder debut Wednesday against Chicago, sharp-shooting guard Daequan Cook went 0-for-4 from behind the 3-point line. But Cook said before Friday's game at Detroit that he didn't spend much time thinking about his off night.
"I felt good," Cooks said. "All of them looked good. I'm not going to change nothing."
Cook said he was pleased with his defensive effort (four rebounds, two steals) and wants to focus on producing similar all-around efforts going forward.
"It's going to be days that I miss a lot of shots like I did the other night," Cook said.
Before the start of Friday's game, Kevin Durant was asked whether he grew up looking up to Tracy McGrady, who is now with Detroit. Durant replied, "Most definitely."
"T-Mac was a guy that influenced me," Durant said. "I watched him a lot. Him and Vince Carter together were one of the best duos I've ever seen. The way he approached the game was unbelievable and it was just fun to watch him. So I looked up to T-Mac a lot. It's pretty cool to play against him."
Pistons reserve point guard Will Bynum missed Friday's game with a hamstring injury.... Rock star and Detroit native Kid Rock was honored by the Palace of Auburn Hills following the first quarter with a banner in the rafters commemorating his 21 sold out concerts in the building.... Former Nebraska football star Ndamukong Suh, the No. 2 overall pick by the Detroit Lions, attended Friday's game, sitting courtside three seats from coach Brooks.