Scott Brooks was available for media questions following this morning's All-Star practice session. Because the Thunder have the best record in the West, we will be coaching the Western Conference All-Star team this Sunday. Video of the entire session is below, along with the transcript of our questions. -Z
Craig A. Brenner: Russell Westbrook should be coming back some time after the All-Star Break. Any fear about how well he'll assimilate back into the team?
Scott Brooks: No. I mean, there'll be an adjustment period. That's our job. To adjust and find ways to have that adjustment go smooth. But I think with Russell, he's going to have to play through some games where he's not in game shape right off the bat. We understand that. We're not gonna judge him after each quarter or each game. We have 27 more game to go and get everything clicking in the right direction. For our guys, it's a great challenge, but we're looking forward to having one of the most dynamic players in the league back on our roster.
Brenner: What improvements have you seen from Jeremy Lamb this season, especially on the defensive end?
Brooks: I think I can see improvement just from his offense level. He's a great worker, he's really put a lot of time into it with our staff. He defense has to continue to improve. We're a defensive-minded team. We value defensive possessions. And when it's not up to par, we let 'em know. And it's not just him, it's all of our guys. I think he's done a good job taking pride in that, and he has to continue improving in that area like he has already.
Brenner: You guys are the best team in the NBA right now. I know as a coach you can find that there's things you need to improve in the second half of the season. What are they?
Brooks: Well, I can give you a lot of things that we need to improve on. It's a long list. I don't wanna give away our weaknesses, but I will say....
Brenner: Just between you and I....
Brooks: Between you and I? You're not gonna let anybody know? None of the thousand media members are gonna hear about this. .... We've got things to improve on. We turn the ball over too many times. As a former point guard, that bothers me. But that's been bothering me for years now. It has gotten better.
Rebounding has been an important part of our team's success. We've improved on that area, but we have to always be cognizant that it can drop from time to time. Just continue to get better. You know we've got guys that we take pride in developing. We're a team that take pride in working with guys every day. We have a philosophy, and our job is to do our job every day. It's not what you wanna do, but it's your job to do it.