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News » Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2008-12-06

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2008-12-06

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2008-12-06
Scott Brooks' decision to go small has yielded big results for the offensively-challenged Thunder. Well, big is relative in this case, but the increased output can't be ignored for a team that's become more competitive lately.

The Thunder is scoring nearly 10 points per game more since Brooks began revamping the lineup. Kevin Durant and Jeff Green each moved "up" a position to small forward and power forward, respectively. Rookie point guard Russell Westbrook now starts, as does Damien Wilkins and Chris Wilcox.

The team is running more and spacing the court better in the half-court, which has allowed for more attacking with smaller, quicker players.

"We're creating a lot of mismatch problems for other teams," Green said.

But the change isn't without its issues. Not having centers Nick Collison and Johan Petro on the floor as much has made defending the basket more difficult.

"The negative is rebounding," Desmond Mason said. "All five guys have to rebound when you go small, even point guards. But I think we have enough wing rebounders to hold our own."

MAGIC 98, THUNDER 89: Oklahoma City was in another game down the stretch, but as has been the case so many times this season, the Thunder didn't have enough to pull it out. The Magic held on behind Dwight Howard's huge double-double (21 points, 23 rebouonds) Friday night in Orlando.

Rookie point guard Russell Westbrook scored 19 to go along with nine assists for the Thunder, which dropped to 2-18. Kevin Durant added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Johan Petro scored 15 off the bench, while Chris Wilcox and Earl Watson each tallied 11 points.

The Thunder was down just four points going into the fourth quarter. Jameer Nelson scored 15 points for the Southeast Division-leading Magic.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 6, 2008


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