It comes as no surprise, but after four days of training camp James Harden continues to practice with the second team despite starter Thabo Sefolosha nursing a leg injury.
Harden, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, is expected to remain in his role this season once the Thunder returns to full strength. Harden, however, took his assignment in stride when told he just can't seem to crack the first unit.
“Can't,” Harden said, laughing. “Can't do it. Them my guys. Me and Nick Collison, that's my guy.”
Harden then said players have just filled in for starters Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins (wrist) and the second unit has remained largely intact.
A “CHIPPY” PRACTICE
Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Friday's practice was the most intense of the week.
“There's no question that today was probably our most chippy — if that's even the way to say it,” Brooks said. “But we scrimmaged a lot. Guys really got after it. Today was really, out of the four (practice) we've had, mainly all scrimmaging.”
Asked which players were the biggest “chips,” Brooks said Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
“Kevin and Russell, they showed great leadership,” Brooks said. “They wanted to win and they didn't win early on. But I thought they did a good job of coming back and competing and fighting through it.”