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News » Sefolosha is starting to blossom

Sefolosha is starting to blossom

Sefolosha is starting to blossom
When Oklahoma City acquired Thabo Sefolosha from Chicago in a trade-deadline-day deal, the first question that crossed the minds of many Thunder fans was, "Who is this guy?"

Less than three weeks later, fans are now asking whether the lanky 6-foot-7 Sefolosha can be the team's answer at shooting guard.

"He definitely has a chance to be a player that we're going to keep developing," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "And we'll see how well it turns out.

"We like what we've seen so far in the two weeks or so that he's been with us. He has a defensive body and a mindset that he's going to be a good defender in this league and he's always shown that."

Showed it again Sunday night in the Thunder's 89-74 win over Philadelphia. Sefolosha put the clamps on Sixers leading scorer Andre Iguodala, holding him to nine points on 3-for-11 shooting and forcing him into six turnovers. Iguodala averages 18 points.

Sefolosha played 39 minutes Sunday, two games and four days after being diagnosed with a sprained left MCL. He made just 2-of-8 shots for nine points but added three steals and two blocked shots.

Brooks, like anyone evaluating Sefolosha, started with what he does well on defense, praising him for exceptional on-ball defense and for being an even better help defender. But what's slowly taking shape in Sefolosha's game is an improved offensive package.

Sefolosha is averaging 10.4 points in seven games with the Thunder, and that includes a scoreless debut on Feb. 21 at Golden State. He had scored 15 points in each of his previous three games before Sunday's and shot 47.3 percent in those contests.

"I've got to become more consistent with my jump shot," Sefolosha said. "I've got to be able to knock down the open ones and make plays for the guys on the court on a little bit more of a regular basis. I think that's definitely one area that I've got to improve to get to that next level."

But Sefolosha, who doesn't turn 25 until May 2, has yet to reach his prime and could be far from tapping into his full potential. He'll work with a coach in Belgium this summer for the second straight off-season, refining his footwork, balance and the speed of his shooting release.

"I definitely feel like I can improve a lot, especially here with them giving me a chance to be on the court," Sefolosha said. "I think that's really what it takes to improve in this league. To get a feel for being on the floor, seeing what works, what doesn't work and what you can improve on.

"So I definitely feel like this situation is going to help me a lot going into this summer, knowing what I've got to improve on and knowing how I have to work on."

And when his work is done, maybe Sefolosha will return next season ready to answer some pressing questions.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: March 12, 2009


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