Friday Bolts – 1.6.12

Scott Brooks on OKC’s back-to-back-to-back: “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.”

Really smart stuff from Darnell Mayberry on Serge Ibaka’s blocks: “A 50-percent success rate in the shot-blocking department isn’t the worst thing ever. In fact, you probably could consider it pretty good. Seven of Ibaka’s swats have been recovered by the Thunder and four of those ultimately resulted in baskets for Oklahoma City at the other end. In other words, Ibaka’s shot-blocking has directly led to a 16-point swing for the Thunder this season. Although slightly less significant, Ibaka’s impact is felt even in some of the blocks that remain with the opposing team. When teams came up empty on four of those seven second chances, Ibaka helped take points off the board even if teams got another crack at scoring.”

Michael Wilbon talks Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.

5-on-5 on biggest surprised this season.

Darnell Mayberry on OKC’s upcoming stretch of games: “Although technically an off day, Wednesday was used as a light day by players and coaches to return to the gym and shore up problem areas. Thursday’s session will be much of the same. Collison said the team needs to have a good practice Thursday and break down film to focus on the areas that have been problematic.”

The Mavs got blasted again last night. Their two best games have come against the Thunder. What’s the deal?

Interesting piece from J.A. Adande: “The Lakers are the only NBA team currently capable of putting an all-white-American lineup on the floor. Only three other teams — the Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks — have as many as three white American players. Coach Mike Brown admits he’s heard calls from the fans for him to play all five, but so far he has resisted. That’s left World Peace as the odd man out on the court, as if Ron Artest’s name change didn’t make him stand out enough.”

Charles Barkley said last night during the Hawks-Heat broadcast that he doesn’t really like the Thunder because they “aren’t tough enough.” He said they shoot too many jumpers and don’t get enough easy baskets.

KD’s handle has improved a whole lot.

Steve Hunt of Fox Sports Southwest on Westbrook: “Westbrook has worn No. 0 for the last few years but at one time, he wore a digit as a show of respect toward his family, who has played such an integral role in him reaching such heights in the Association. “My favorite number’s four. I couldn’t get four when I got to college or when I got here,” he said. “Four is my favorite number, four people in my family. My family is everything. They do a lot for me, so that’s where that comes from.” So considering how much family means to this talented young point man, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that he is part of a Thunder roster that is among the youngest in the NBA. And it’s definitely a team that has a family vibe, including among its legion of fans in the Sooner State.”