Found May 30, 2014 on
Reggie Jackson has been given a starting role for the struggling Thabo Sefolosha. When Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks started Caron Butler for the struggling Thabo Sefolosha in the second round of the playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers, it was a first for him. That move was the first time that he changed his starting lineup for reasons other than injury since he started Russell Westbrook at point guard for the first time during his rookie year. These playoffs have been somewhat of a revelation for Brooks, who has long been criticized for his inability to change lineups to take advantage of matchups and his stubborn insistence in using the same rotations every game. These playoffs, for the first time, have been different. Brooks has finally embraced the unique skill sets that each player brings to the team and adjusted when things aren’t going well. It started with Butler, who contributed far more than what the defensive-minded Sefolosha had given so far in the shoot-out series against the Clippers. With all of the games being so high scoring, Butler’s three point shooting was more useful than the defense that Sefolosha was playing. In fact, Brooks seems to have replaced Sefolosha in the rotation completely now, with Reggie Jackson getting the last two starts at the two guard while Thabo sits at the end of the bench. Follow isportsweb on twitter Don’t get me wrong, Thabo Sefolosha is an excellent defender, but his play has greatly regressed this season, and he may have seen his last minutes in a Thunder uniform. Should the Thunder advance to the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers, Sefolosha may find himself right back in the rotation, tasked with slowing down either LeBron James or Paul George. But for now, against the San Antonio Spurs, he is a liability, and Brooks has finally made a change before it was too late. Jackson provides just the type of compliment that the Thunder offense needs alongside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. He provides more floor spacing that gives the other two more room to drive to the basket and can hit a three when called upon. He also can create shots for himself, provides another ball handler and is an excellent passer. Some of Sefolosha’s minutes have also been given to Jeremy Lamb, one of the prizes of the James Harden trade. Lamb has scored 32 points in 79 minutes in the first five games against the Spurs, as opposed to eight points in 15 minutes in the series against the Memphis Grizzlies and Clippers. While he sometimes goes into shooting slumps, some of that can be attributed to the fact that Brooks did not play Lamb much during the regular season to let him develop his shot. He should continue to see his minutes rise and eventually take over a starting spot in the future. For all things Thunder, follow Dan McLoone on Twitter @CoachMcLoone The biggest change that Brooks has made in these playoffs, though, is in the frontcourt. Finally, after years when it seemed painfully obvious to everyone but him, Scott Brooks has accepted Kendrick Perkins for what he is: an aging veteran who should get no more than 20 minutes of playing time a game. Personally, I would like to see Perkins limited to between 10-15 minutes, but the baby steps are a great start. For years, Brooks has maintained that Perkins is his starting center, even though he has clearly lost a step and is no longer the defensive presence that he once was. With the emergence of rookie Steven Adams, Brooks now has a viable option at center to give him a reason to replace Perkins.   Steven Adams is getting more minutes than Kendrick Perkins in the Western Conference Finals Adams has seen more minutes in all but one game in the Western Conference Finals and is playing much more efficient basketball. He has been blocking shots at an amazing clip, pulling down 10+ rebounds almost nightly and also providing a solid scoring option in the low post. He is clearly the future at center, and Brooks and Thunder fans everywhere seem to be embracing him. The combination of Adams and Serge Ibaka down low has been electrifying, making it hard on Tim Duncan and any other Spur who ventures into the paint. Down 3-2 in the best of seven series, the Thunder now go home for Game 6 needing a win to force a decisive Game 7 in San Antonio. They know that they can do it, as they won two straight against the Grizzlies in the first round to move on. The Spurs also cannot seem to figure out how to win at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, which the Thunder hope to take advantage of. If the Thunder want to go back to the NBA Finals, they will need the full effort of their new youthful lineup to do something that neither team has managed to do so far: win on the road. Read more Thunder rumors, news and opinion on our Oklahoma City Thunder page The post Oklahoma City Thunder: Scott Brooks is finally embracing his entire roster appeared first on isportsweb.

Thunder fan waits at airport to get amazing painting of Westbrook signed

It wasn't all bad for an Oklahoma City Thunder fan after their Game 5 blowout loss in San Antonio. Brittany Gonce waited for the team to arrive at the airport early Friday morning to get Russell Westbrook's signature. But it wasn't  just on any ordinary photo of the OKC superstar. Gonce worked on an amazing portrait of Westbrook for an entire year as her high school...

How OKC wins a championship in 2015

Lets make this very clear; the Spurs outplayed the Thunder down the stretch in the Western Conference Finals and deserve another trip to the NBA Finals. I hope OKC was taking notes on the Spurs this past series because the Thunder were not playing the brand of basketball that wins championships. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook do not create enough high percentage scoring opportunities...

WATCH: Refs miss critical goaltending late in Game 6

Referees missed a critical goaltending call on Serge Ibaka with the game tied at 97 late in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals between the Spurs and Thunder Saturday night. As Manu Ginobili went up for an easy layup with 46 seconds remaining in the game, Serge Ibaka attempted to block the shot but was only able to make contact after it had hit the backboard, however, no goaltending...

WATCH: Westbrook kicks Tim Duncan in nuts, Duncan tells ref

Tim Duncan is still going strong at 38 years old, but he may not be able to have children anymore after Russell Westbrook kicked him in the family jewels during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. There was no foul called on the play, but he proceeded to tell the referee standing closest to […] The post Tim Duncan Tells Ref that Russell Westbrook Kicked Him in the Nuts appeared...

Oklahoma City Thunder fan crosses fingers during Russell Westbrook free throw

As the Oklahoma City Thunder-San Antonio Spurs game six had a fantastic finish to regulation, Russell Westbrook needed to hit two clutch free throws to tie the score. Before the second of Westbrook’s two shots, TNT cameras found a courtside fan deciding to cross his fingers for luck during the free throw: The finger crossing did all the magic! *** Thunder fan crosses fingers during...

Caption the Photo: Ginobli Palms Caron Butler’s Head

When he wasn’t slapping their best player in the face last night, Manu Ginobli was pulling off the Vulcan mind meld on Caron Butler while driving the basket during their Game 5 rout of the Thunder. Palming. @spurs Manu Ginobili vs @okcthunder Caron Butler #OKCvsSpurs #NBAPlayoffs (via @AP) — Sports Photos (@sportsphotos) May 30...

Russell Westbrook was juuuust a bit off on this desperation 3-pointer (Video)

Russell Westbrook played a pretty darn good game for the Oklahoma City Thunder in their Game 6 series-ending loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday, but many will focus on one of his worst moments from the game. With the Thunder down 111-107 in the final 10 seconds of overtime, Westbrook decided to heave […]

Scott Brooks Says He’s Not Worried About Being Fired

I like his outlook on this. I am not sure if he is the right coach for the Thunder, but when asked if he was worried about being fired I loved his reply. “It’s something I don’t even consider,” he said. “I just do my job every day.” “I have many stories I could tell you about my mom, and that’s one of them. Don’t worry about them. Those are the people that told...

Kawhi Leonard Starts Game 6 By Posterizes Serge Ibaka

In the opening minute of Game 6, San Antonio sent a strong message to OKC courtesy of this Kawhi Leonard poster dunk on Serge Ibaka made specifically for your bedroom wall. The post Kawhi Leonard Starts Game 6 By Posterizes Serge Ibaka appeared first on Hooped Up.

Kevin Durant gets slapped in the face by Manu Ginobili during Spurs-Thunder game 5

Let’s face facts folks, getting slapped in the face is never a fun experience and during last night’s Thunder-Spurs game 5, Kevin Durant actually took one to the face from Manu Ginobili. The slap occurred in the third quarter of play while Durant was trying to dribble out of traffic. Keep an eye as Manu attempts to go for the ball and hits KD right in the mug: *** Manu Ginobili...

Russell Westbrook Throws Down Nasty Tomahawk Dunk Vs Spurs

Oklahoma City Thunder star point guard Russell Westbrook threw down a ridiculous, violent dunk in game five of the team’s Western Conference Finals series against the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night. I mean, this dunk is nasty, especially when you consider it’s game five of the WCF: [CBSSports] Article found on: Next Impulse Sports

Kawhi Leonard drops monster dunk on Serge Ibaka (Video)

Kawhi Leonard started off Game 6 of the Western Conference finals on Saturday with an emphatic statement. After spinning past Kevin Durant in the first quarter, Leonard went straight to the rack and powered over Serge Ibaka for a huge dunk. This is nothing new for “Sugar K,” who also had a big dunk in […]

OKC Gone Fishing (Photos)

It was a good run for OKC, but couldn’t overcome the Based God. Oklahoma City Thunder? Gone Fishing (by @unclehemp) — 3030 (@jose3030) June 1, 2014

Kawhi Leonard Throws Down Monster Dunk On Serge Ibaka (Video)

Kawhi Leonard throws down a monster poster dunk on Serge Ibaka during the first quarter of Game 6 Saturday night: The post Kawhi Leonard Throws Down Monster Dunk On Serge Ibaka (Video) appeared first on Beyond The Buzzer.

5 things to watch: Spurs vs. Thunder (Game 5)

The San Antonio Spurs (2-2) will return to the Alamo City to host the Oklahoma City Thunder (2-2) for Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. The Spurs suffered a humiliating loss to the Thunder in Game 4 losing 92-105 in OKC. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 71 points in the win. The […]
Thunder News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.