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News » Practice time

Practice time

Practice time During a hectic, road-heavy, two-week stretch last month, coach Scott Brooks was able to schedule only one practice a week. He faces a similar situation next week when the Thunder plays five games in seven days.

The Thunder will practice today and Thursday before leaving for Friday's game in Memphis. Another practice is scheduled Saturday before Sunday's game in the Ford Center against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"It's important to get some good practice in," Brooks said. "(Today) will be a good, tough practice. Thursday will be a little lighter. When you have a lot of games, you have a few things to work on and you don't have time, you have to brush up half-speed at walk-throughs and shootarounds."

Sefolosha's versatility

Thabo Sefolosha is developing into a solid defender. Sefolosha, 6-foot-7, can guard small forwards like Boston's Paul Pierce or LeBron James or elite perimeter scorers like Kobe Bryant or Carmelo Anthony. Warriors' point guard Monta Ellis was a unique matchup.

Ellis, 6-2, relies on a quick first step. Ellis finished with 31 points but took 28 shots and had nine turnovers.

"It was challenging," Sefolosha said. "I was just trying to contain him. He had a great night going to the basket mostly. But we did a pretty good job as a team. They didn't shoot well (43.4 percent)."

Tracking deflections

You won't see it on a stat sheet, but one area the Thunder has improved is deflections, a stat Brooks and his staff tracks in practices and games. Deflections lead to steals or can milk seconds off the shot clock. OKC recorded 10 steals and several deflections in Monday's win over Golden State.

"We're doing a good job getting our hands on balls," Brooks said. "That's what we want, to use our length."

66ers update

Center Byron Mullens, averaging 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in six D-League games with the Tulsa 66ers, attended Monday's game. Mullens is averaging more than 35 minutes a game in Tulsa.

"It's helped me get my confidence up," Mullens said. "It's been a while since I've played in game(s), summer time really, with the exception of preseason games. It's also getting my wind up, just getting me better."

On Tuesday, the 66ers re-signed center Steven Hill. The former Arkansas standout played seven games for the 66ers during the 2008-09 season, averaging 7.6 points and 5.7 rebounds.

To make room on the roster, the 66ers waived former OU player Keith Clark due to injury.

Thomas' turkey giveaway

Etan Thomas, vice president of the NBA Players Association, gave away turkeys to approximately 500 families Tuesday night at the Boys and Girls Club. League-wide NBA players will distribute around 15,000 turkeys.

"NBA players recognize - and often can relate to - the hardship and tough times that a large number of people are facing right now," said Lakers guard Derek Fisher, NBPA president. "It's remarkable to watch as our players truly brighten the holiday season for so many."

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Added: December 11, 2009


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