OKC Thunder: Back to practice, Andre Roberson update and shooting more 3-pointers?
The Thunder had an off day Thursday.
It was the team's first since starting practice in the bubble. Since clearing quarantine in Orlando last Friday, the Thunder had practice on six consecutive days, a run not normally seen during the regular season.
Then again, this isn't a normal time.
"For us, the whole big part is, four months off, how do we collaborate with medical (staff members) to build these guys up in a fashion that's helpful, safe and getting them the work that they need?" Thunder coach Billy Donovan said Friday after the team returned to practice. "We really felt like to build up some endurance, we were going to try to do at least those first six days, practice six days in a row."
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Donovan acknowledged that even during training camp, the team didn't practice that many consecutive days.
"We would go a few days, and then we'd take a day whether it be a very, very light day or just the total off day, then we'd kind of get back at it," he said. "But I think with four months off and having these two and a half, three weeks to get prepared to play, we've got to really ramp these guys up to get them to the place that they were at in March."
Lu Dort said most of the players used the off day to rest. A few went fishing, but much of Thursday was a feet-up day.
But the Thunder guard also said he didn't think an off day was a necessity.
"We get a lot of recovery time with the trainers and all that," he said, "so, it doesn't really matter to us. We're just out here to play hard."
Thunder guard Andre Roberson continues to be a full go in practice.
He is attempting to return to play more than 30 months after rupturing the patella tendon in his knee, and a week into practicing with the team, all signs look good.
"It was a pretty high intensity day for us," Donovan said of Friday's practice. "Did a lot of scrimmaging. We did a lot of defensive work, half-court execution stuff, situations.
"He's doing great. I think he's gaining confidence. I think he's got confidence in where he's at physically. I think he's trying to gain confidence right now in terms of being out from playing competitive basketball for two years."
Even though the 3-point shot has become significant to success in the NBA, this Thunder team hasn't taken a ton of shots from behind the arc this season.
It averaged a little over 28 threes per game, and only three teams -- the Knicks, Spurs and Pacers -- have shot less than the Thunder.
So, could we see more threes going up when the season restarts and playoff seeding is on the line?
Doesn't sound like it.
"There's different kinds of threes you can get," Thunder wing Mike Muscala said Friday. "Are we getting into a good action right away in our offense, even if it's in transition? Then, are we penetrating and kicking it out to maybe a corner three? Or are we maybe getting a pump-fake drive to a better shot?
"The question is important, but it's kind of like, how are we getting it? Is it gonna be just one pass and a shot? If you're hot, that's cool, but I think we try to focus on getting good shots."