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News » Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-02-28

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-02-28

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-02-28
Communication is at the heart of the Thunder's defensive problems, especially in February. Oklahoma City went into Friday allowing 113 points per game during the month.

"One thing we need to get better at is communicating," forward Kevin Durant said. "That goes a long way on the defensive end, just talking, let guys know they have help. In this league, you can't guard any player one-on-one. Everybody can score at this level."

The season-ending injury to guard Desmond Mason has hurt the team's perimeter defense. That's one of the reasons coach Scott Brooks has moved newly-acquired Thabo Sefolosha into the starting lineup. The Bulls-ex brings more size and athleticism into the backcourt, along with more of a defensive mentality.

But improving on the defensive end takes more than just one player.

"We have to be able to see the problem, communicate the problem, then react to the problem," Brooks said. "We're getting better but it's still not where it needs to be. If you can have better communication then you can help each other out on the floor much better. That definitely needs to improve."

MAVERICKS 110, THUNDER 108 (OT): Oklahoma City was in position to pull out one of its biggest upsets of the season, but Dirk Nowitzki proved too tough down the stretch for Dallas. The Thunder (13-45) squandered a 12-point fourth-quarter lead and fell in overtime Friday night.

Oklahoma City was in control for most of the night despite playing most of the game without Kevin Durant, who sprained his right ankle in the first quarter. Rookie point guard Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 33 points, while forward Jeff Green scored 28.

Nowitzki scored 41, including 17 points in fourth quarter and overtime. His surge sent Oklahoma City to its seventh straight loss and eighth in a row on the road. The Thunder close out the month Saturday at Memphis.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: February 28, 2009


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