Thunder notes: Fresh faces like Sacramento, Phoenix on schedule

BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Modified: December 16, 2010 at 11:13 pm •  Published: December 16, 2010
Advertisement
;

The Thunder just played Houston for the third time in a span of four weeks, and the teams will meet for the fourth and final time on Jan. 12. However, the Thunder has yet to play its next five opponents — Sacramento (Friday), Phoenix (Sunday), at Charlotte (Tuesday), at New York (Wednesday) and Denver on Christmas night.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said it adds to the scouting responsibilities of the staff and players, "but guys know each other's tendencies pretty well. The first time you play a team, you (scout) to know their pet plays, their personality, their go-to plays, their fourth-quarter plays."

LOSING STRENGTH

The Thunder's strength of schedule has dipped lately and will continue to do so with upcoming games against the Kings (5-18), Suns (12-12) and Bobcats (9-16).

The degree of difficulty then increases with contests against the Knicks (16-10), Nuggets (15-9) and Dallas (20-5).

The Thunder's strength of schedule ranks 17th in the league (.505) this season, but ranks 27th in the last 10 games (.425).

EASY DOES IT

Wednesday's 117-105 victory over Houston featured perhaps the Thunder's most balanced offensive attack of the season. Thabo Sefolosha (a season-high 15 points and nine rebounds) and reserve James Harden (16 points, four assists, four rebounds) excelled, but Brooks said he was impressed with the play of point guard Russell Westbrook, even though his 17 points, five assists and three rebounds were all below his season averages.

"We all look at Russell and the stats he produces game in and game out, and sometimes we just take it for granted," Brooks said. "Statistically, it wasn't one of his better games, but I thought he played good. He really played solid defensively and made some great decisions on the offensive end. I liked what I saw."

Continue reading this story on the...


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    China: Christians scramble to save churches, crosses
  2. 2
    These Are 32 Of The Most Stunning Submissions In This Year's World Photography Awards
  3. 3
    Vikings Legend Reacts To Adrian Peterson Return: 'Surprise Surprise'
  4. 4
    Ray Rice appeal will include request that Goodell recuse himself from case
  5. 5
    Robin Thicke Admits Drug Abuse, Lying to Media in Wild 'Blurred Lines' Deposition
+ show more