“I didn't play much so I didn't get a chance to experience what it does to the body,” Mohammed said. “For some guys, it's going to be extremely tough. If you're a high-minute guy and you play back-to-back-to-back — the emotional high you get to prepare for games and then for three straight nights — it's tough to stay at that height. Physically, it just beats up your body, too. We'll see what happens. We've got some young guys."
Asked which aspect was more demanding, the physical or emotional, without hesitation Mohammed said: "Oh, the emotional. That's the most draining. Everybody has a mindset they get for the game. You just do what you need to do to get your head right and then to stay at that level for three straight nights when your body is telling you, 'You really can't do it.' To stay at that mental level is tough."
Actually, the Thunder has one of the easier BTBTBs in the league. Playing the Rockets on consecutive night leaves one less team to prepare against. Playing two games at home is a bonus. Your lone road game is a 58-minute flight in the same time zone, which is far better than flying back home from the west and losing precious hours of sleep. Plus, it's still early in the season.
"There's really not much you can do. Just come out and be ready to play," Thunder veteran forward Nick Collison said. "It's going to be difficult, but every team's going through it. Just get as much rest as you can when we're not playing, but once we get out there we just have to play basketball. It's still early enough in the season that there's no reason we can't get all three. They're tough opponents, but that's not going to be an excuse for us."
Brooks breaks down having to play three straight nights the same way he breaks down darn-near everything – one game at a time.
"You just have to worry about the first game, and then move to the second game, and then finish up with the third," Brooks said. "We have a good team, and players are going to have to step up and fill the minutes when they get them. We expect that. They know that as a coaching staff we believe in what they do. The three games are going to be a fun challenge for all of us."