After the Thunder’s disappointing 115-110 loss to the Cavaliers that featured Oklahoma City allowing 39 fourth quarter points, Scott Brooks extended shootaround Monday a little longer than usual.
He locked the team in for an extra lengthy film session, breaking down what exactly went wrong, especially on the defensive end. Obviously, the team responded to it, roughing the Mavs up 112-91 last night behind a very solid defensive performance.
“It was just way past due, I think the film session, we just needed that,” Kendrick Perkins said of the film work. “It was more Scotty doing the talking. It wasn’t talking in there though, it was more fussing, telling us where we gotta go, where we was supposed to be at. That’s more what it was.
“At the end of the day, sometimes it takes you having — I don’t really want to call it a bad loss — but a loss where maybe you should’ve won the game,” Perk said. “Sometimes it takes that to come out and bring you back down to Earth and get you back to doing the little things and playing close attention to detail.”
Kevin Durant said after the game the top thing they took away from the film session was that they needed to play harder. That’s often the Thunder’s answer to anything when they play poorly, but rewatching the fourth quarter against the Cavs, that really was kind of part of it. Rotations were lazy and there wasn’t much urgency.
“Actually seen Serge up pressuring the ball a little bit [last night], trying to get up,” Perk said. “That was my first time really seeing Serge tired in the first quarter so I knew he was going all out.”
Looking ahead though, the Thunder will have that defense put back to the test against a very explosive and talented Golden State squad. The Warriors and Thunder have split two games so far this season, with each team taking care of its home floor.
The Thunder’s last nine games have been rather choppy as they’ve gone 5-4, trading wins and losses. It’s an unfortunate pattern, at least when you’re a team competing for a top playoff spot like the Thunder. The difference this time around though is that the Thunder are actually playing a second consecutive game at home for the first time in more than a full month. It can be kind of hard to string together wins on the road.
As Kevin Martin said last night, it is the middle of winter and with the All-Star break coming, it’s kind of an easy time of the season to switch off a little mentally. Sensing that, Brooks tried to regain his team’s attention a bit with the extra film work and while it definitely paid off against Dallas, we’ll have to wait and see if it has any staying power.
“We just don’t want to get bored with the process,” Perk said. “Sometimes I think we have a tendency to relax and just rely on our offense. We just got to make sure that we know we’re a defensive team first and we have to come out and play hard and play with energy no matter who we play.”
On plus/minus: “I like pluses … I do look at it but it’s so hard to really use it, because when it’s the plus and the minus, the game is over and you know it. I look at it after games, I look at it with groups but if Kevin has a bad minus game I’m still going to play him the next night.”
On why no one can block Martin’s shot: “I don’t know. Sometimes it’s like they’re right there. I think his shot is so awkward that they’re thinking he’s not going to shoot it. He brings it down low, then across his body and it winds up over it and it ends up with good form but it takes a while to get there. He’s right there and I don’t think the guys think he’s going to shoot it. And his range is unlimited. He can shoot 24, 25-footers with ease.”
On if DeAndre Liggins had his playing time slashed because of technicals: “No, not at all. There’s no question he can’t, and our team can’t, continue to get technicals. We have to play with a lot of emotion, but keep our emotions to ourselves. But that was nothing, it’s something I don’t want him to get technicals, but last night I wanted to go with a shorter rotation.”
On what difference having Andrew Bogut means for the Warriors: “Obviously gives them size inside. Probably dump it down to him a little bit more. Definitely bring some shotblocking and interior defense, so definitely changes their team a little bit.”
On how long its been since he’s played Bogut: “It’s been a while. I haven’t played against him in probably two and half years maybe.”
On the Thunder’s bench: “Very helpful. I think one of those guys will win a playoff game for us. So we need every guy on this team and we just have to continue to make sure we build good habits.”
On if Martin’s defensive improvement is noticeable: “Nah it’s noticeable. I just seen yesterday how he was denying and kept pursuing over pick and rolls.”