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Back-to-back(s)


Back-to-back(s) Oklahoma City becomes the last team in the league to play a back-to-back tonight, but the Thunder will have three consecutive back-to-backs over the next 10 days. Five of the six games are on the road.

After the current West Coast trip ends, the Thunder plays Nov. 14-15 (at San Antonio/Clippers at home) followed by a Nov. 17-18 road trip to Miami and Orlando.

"We have a team that their bodies can handle back-to-backs," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "It's all in your mind to fight through the so-called fatigue. You have to be mentally tough and focus on the game you're playing."

MASON LOOKING FOR WORK

Former Thunder /Hornets/OSU forward Desmond Mason started the season opener for the Kings but was waived last week to make room for Ime Udoka. Sacramento coach Paul Westphal wants to give second-year power forward Donte Greene more minutes.

TELL-TALE SIGN?

As Russell Westbrook goes, so goes the Thunder ? That's an overstatement. But statistically that was the case through six games.

In Oklahoma City's first three wins, Westbrook compiled 33 assists and 12 turnovers, a solid 2.75 assist-to-turnover ratio.

In the three losses, Westbrook had more turnovers (19) than assists (16).

Two weeks into the season, Westbrook leads the league in turnovers (5.2 a game) but is among the league leaders in assists (8.2) for a 1.58 assist-to-turnover ratio.

SCOUTING THE Clippers

Led by Chris Kaman and Marcus Camby, two centers averaging close to a double-double, the Clippers are sixth in the league in field goal percentage (47.9) and are second in blocked shots (7.6).

"I was with Marcus for three years in Denver," Brooks said. "He impacts the game on the defensive end. He gobbles up rebounds and blocks shots. The shots he doesn't block he probably alters six or seven more. We'll have to have great spacing and attack the basket with some intelligence."

Thunder NO. 4 IN RANKINGS

Oklahoma City is ranked fourth in the ESPN.com's "Future" power rankings, based on how a team will fare the three seasons after this season.

Quoting ESPN: "The Thunder may not make the playoffs this year. But for the three years that follow the Thunder's hopes seem as bright as any team's. It starts with a rapidly improving roster that includes star forward Kevin Durant and rising talents like Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Jeff Green, as well as several intriguing prospects - Thabo Sefolosha, B.J. Mullens, Serge Ibaka and D.J. White."

OKC ranked sixth in players (talent) and money available, ninth in management and 10th in the draft but was 23rd in market.

The Futures report said: "Oklahoma City is the smallest NBA market and is plagued by some wild weather, two factors that combine to put it well off the radar for most prospective free agents. But there's hope. The Thunder has an excited fan base. Oklahoma City might look like a pretty good destination if the Thunder starts winning big."

HOMECOMING

Every time the Thunder plays the Kings on the road, Brooks, who grew up an hour south of Sacramento, must satisfy ticket requests for his mother, friends and family members. This time he needed around 20.

"It's great to have a chance to see all of them. Mom will be here," Brooks said. "I just hope she doesn't heckle me."


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 13, 2009

 

 
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