Thabo Sefolosha isn’t scoring much for the Oklahoma City Thunder. But he is helping big-time with his play at the other end of the court.
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Martin and Serge Ibaka have all the big scoring averages at 23.0, 21.1, 17.1 and 14.1. Then we dip all the way down to the No. 5 scorer, Sefolosha, at 5.6 points per game.
But Sefolosha is pleasing coach Scott Brooksand his teammates with stellar defensive play. He’s the third leading defensive rebounder on the NBA team.
Brooks said Sefolosha and his defense played no small role in the come-from-behind 92-90 win over the Detroit Pistons earlier this week.
“We went small and just switched everything. I thought the guys did a great job of showing some activity, getting their hands on loose balls and rebounding the basketball,” Brooks said. “Then we spread the court offensively and we were doing a good job of attacking and getting to the free-throw line.
“I thought Thabo’s game won the game. He didn’t score until he hit those two free throws which were big. That put us up one but his defense, his toughness, his game-winning plays, his eight rebounds.”
Forward Nick Collison agreed that Sefolosha’s defense and coaching adjustment saved the day for the Thunder.
“We had to find some energy. We were down for three quarters and we found some energy. Coach (Brooks) made an adjustment and we started switching everything and we competed finally,” Collison said. “Like I said we started switching and made it tough for them to execute. They really execute well, but they have struggled as well, but their offense (Pistons) was pretty good. We switched everything and they stopped getting advantages off the offense.”