Defense the big focus in Thunder practice
No big surprise the Oklahoma City Thunder spent most of Monday's practice working on defense. The team spent about 45 minutes to an hour working on the court then went to watch film the rest of the practice that lasted well over two hours.
The Thunder's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday continued a trend of giving up points in bunches. Lakers guard Jodie Meeks scored a career high 42 points to lead the Lakers with 20 of those points coming in the third quarter. This comes on the heals of Thursday night's loss at Phoenix where Suns guard Gerald Green scored a career high 41 points with 25 coming in the third quarter.
In those two games alone the Thunder averaged scoring 116 points per game and lost both. Head coach Scott Brooks said after Monday's workout the team is putting in the work to get better.
"We're not a lazy group of guys. We come to work everyday but we have to have the proper mindset or being aware and getting into our defensive thoughts."
In their two latest losses the Thunder have had leads of at least 16 points in both games only to see the opposition come back and win the game. Poor play on offense as well as defense have led to the results but Brooks added part of it is just the level of play you face in the NBA.
"The thing about the NBA is you have to be able to compete and play aggressive on both ends of the court for 48 minutes. You can't let up. There are some good players in this league.. some good teams in this league," said Brooks.
The Thunder's defense will be put to the test Tuesday night when Houston comes to Oklahoma City. Former Thunder guard James Harden put up 41 points in the Rockets win over Portland Sunday.