Rose, Sefolosha join Thunder in Golden StateAfter taking their physicals — and passing them — Friday in Oklahoma City, Thabo Sefolosha and Malik Rose joined the Thunder for Saturday’s game at Golden State. Both players made it to the team’s hotel in San Francisco in time to attend the team’s meeting Saturday morning. Rose, who will wear No. 9, said he doesn’t know much about Oklahoma City but is hearing good things about fan support. "What I’m hearing right now is that the city is really in love with the team and they get pumped up for the games,” Rose said. Rose isn’t likely to see many minutes with Jeff Green starting at power forward, Nenad Krstic starting at center and forwards Nick Collison and Joe Smith coming off the bench. Sefolosha, who wears No. 2, will immediately compete for playing time with rookie guard Kyle Weaver. "I talked to Thabo and he pretty much knows seven or eight of our sets,” Brooks said. "He picks things up pretty quick. I just want him to play hard. I know it’s going to be a little tough at first not knowing everything, but if they play with great effort that’s all we can ask for.”
Mr. VersatilityWhen Brooks inserted Krstic into the starting lineup at center and moved Collison to the bench for Friday’s game against Phoenix he said the change had nothing to do with Collison’s performance. Instead, Brooks credited Collison’s consistent effort and how it has allowed him to tweak his lineup. "Nick, we know what he does,” Brooks said. "He’s an energy guy that gives us good effort no matter if he starts or comes off the bench. And that’s a good luxury to have as a coach, knowing that Nick can do just about anything you ask.”
Surprise, surpriseJust when Smith thought he had seen and done it all in this league, Tuesday’s pseudo trade for New Orleans center Tyson Chandler caught him by surprise. "I’ve never been a part of that type,” said Smith, who has been traded six times in his 14-year career and has played in nine cities.
Finishing strongKevin Durant said before Saturday’s game that he and his teammates are trying to should use this home stretch to develop winning habits in an attempt to carry over some positives into next season. "Just learning how to finish strong as a team even though we’re not in the playoff race,” Durant said. BY DARNELL MAYBERRY