3 min read

Practice Report: Getting physical

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Brooks on Westbrook: “First, he’s just playing hard. He’s playing with a lot of effort. His focus is there every quarter. His shot is falling. His mid-range game is good and he’s making that shot consistently … Defensively, he’s doing his job and he’s doing it consistently every time down the court. It’s not a position that’s easy because you either have the ball in your hands or you’re guarding the ball. And you can’t relax. You can’t take a play off because the point guard usually has the ball. He’s done a good job.”

Brooks on the escalating physicality: “When you play against a team in a series, it’s going to be a physical series. That’s how playoff teams are. That’s how they react to one another. We’re just focused on how we play and we just have to control our emotions because you play your best when you’re composed and you’re focused on what’s at hand and what’s at stake. I think our guys have done a good job. Last night there was a stretch where it kind of got away from both teams but those things happen.”

Brooks on if the team used to be soft and is tough now: “It’s nice having Perk around. I can act much tougher now. I wouldn’t say we were soft. We were young. When you’re young you’re still trying to learn about yourself. You’re trying to learn about the league. You don’t have time to focus on the little things because you’re just trying to survive. You’re in survive mode. I don’t think we were ever soft. I don’t look at Kevin [Durant] as soft, I look back then as Kevin was a young 19-year-old … With maturity you get stronger and you get tougher.”


Westbrook on if he’s learned anything going against Jason Kidd or the Mavs: “Not really.”

Westbrook on if winning ugly matters: “I don’t really care what it looks like. In the playoffs it really doesn’t matter. We up 2-0, that’s all that really matters. It’s 0-0 now, so we got to try and go over there and get a win.”

Westbrook on if the team was soft and now is not: “I never thought we were soft. I don’t know where that came from. I never heard that, honestly. This is my first time hearing it so I don’t have an answer for you, to tell you the truth.”


Collison on if the team has played well: “We want to play better for sure. We don’t feel like we’ve played great basketball. But Dallas has a lot to do with that. They’re a really good team. A smart team. A lot of the adjustments we have to make are watching film and just trying to change how we play … We’d love to be able to figure out how to play better and execute better.”

Collison on the chippyness: “It’s stuff that happens, but I don’t think anybody really takes it too seriously. It’s just kind of on the outside in. We’ve all seen NBA games. It seems like it happens once a game, even in the regular season. So it’s not really a big deal. So we don’t give it much thought. I think it is important that you try to control emotions so something doesn’t happen like what happened with Rondo where you miss a game. Those things happen, guys are emotional, so it is important to try and avoid something like that that’s really going to affect a series. But overall I think most of that stuff is under control and isn’t too much of an issue.”

Collison on the team maturing: “The encouraging thing about Games 1 and 2 is that we’ve avoided a meltdown, or breaking down. Things haven’t really gone well for us either, but we’ve continued to play and made enough plays down the stretch. Last year we had stretches where we’d get in situations like that and we’d lose it for three or four minutes and lose the game because of it. We’ve been better with that this year … I think it’s just experience. You realize that what happened in the past doesn’t affect the next play. But you have to go through that to fully realize that.”

Audio via Randy Renner