Big Or Small, Perk Rolls With Brooks

MIAMI — Kendrick Perkins wasn’t too happy after the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 104-98 loss in Game 4 of The Finals on Tuesday. And Perk was quick to blame a lineup change for the Thunder’s inability to hold onto a 17-point, first-quarter lead.

“I just don’t understand why we start out the first quarter the way we did,” Perkins said, “with the lineup that we had, and all of a sudden we change and adjust to what they had going on.”

Through the first three games of the series, the Thunder starting lineup had been outscored 46-18 in the first quarter (20-12 in Game 1, 16-2 in Game 2, and 10-4 in Game 3).

But in Game 4, the Thunder actually started out strong, outscoring the Heat 15-8 in the first quarter before Scott Brooks went to his bench. Nick Collison came in for Serge Ibaka and then James Harden subbed for Thabo Sefolosha. The Thunder stayed big (with Collison and Perkins together on the floor) and continued to build their lead.

They were up 23-12 when Brooks decided to go small, subbing Derek Fisher in for Perkins. And that seemed to be what Perkins was upset about.

The OKC small lineups were a plus-3 in the final 3:17 of that first quarter, but Brooks played small the entire second quarter, which the Heat won 27-16.

In total, the Thunder played big for just 14 minutes on Tuesday. They were a plus-4 in those 14 minutes, but that includes the hot start. In the third quarter, the Thunder starters were outscored 18-11 in five minutes. And they never played big after that.

“I don’t think the game comes down to who plays and who doesn’t play,” Brooks said Wednesday. “It’s how we play.”

Would his team have blown that big lead if Brooks kept two big men on the floor for most of the game? Probably. For the series, the Thunder have been better, especially offensively, playing small…

Thunder lineup efficiency, 2012 Finals

Lineup type MIN Pace OffRtg DefRtg NetRtg +/-
Small 118 92.1 108.6 106.1 +2.6 +7
Big 74 87.9 101.1 110.3 -9.2 -12

OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

Maybe Brooks showed Perkins the lineup data Wednesday morning, because by the afternoon, the big man had changed his tune.

“We’re going to roll with whatever Coach does,” Perkins said. “If he wants to go with a big lineup, we’re going to support that. If he wants to go with a small lineup with one big, we’re going to support that. At the end of the day, it’s about sacrificing and getting a win. We’re all on the same page, and we’re pulling for each other, and we’ve all just got one goal, to sacrifice and come and play.”



  1. James glue says:

    @ miami 3 6 1
    I didnt say it was this year!!! ROFL congratulation OKC 2013 NBA CHAMPIONS

  2. MIAMI 3 6 1 says:

    @james glue

  3. shaqeee says:

    perkins is right, coach brooks will sit him the next game
    , and they will loose

  4. james glue says:

    okc will win the series, i already saw the future, so to all the gamblers put all your bet on OKC

  5. JayAre says:

    It’s nice to see a great, competitive series betwen two high-powered offenses & motivated defenses. Miami will win it, but it may take 7. Durant & co. aren’t done yet. And yes, they’re young–they’ll have other chances. This year is LeBron’s time. The haters need to get over his leaving Cleveland & the way he (mis)handled it.

  6. Chad... says:

    having a Ring doesn’t mean you can question a ringless coach, Brooks has done everything to get this young guns a shot to the finals. He’s the one seeing what’s happening on the floor while harden, durant and wb is panicking. I think the key to a great success is believing the system first. that’s what miami experienced last season and definitely what okc will experience this series. It’s not just about the stars on your team, but a Coach who knows their full potentials… Good job Brooks but see you next season. Heat will be crowned today.

  7. ohhh says:

    “at the end of the day”

  8. KINGSFAN7 says:

    Does anyone notice he says at the end of the day alot?

  9. reg says:

    im so sorry for you okc , you still young , see you next years ok bye bye lollllllllll

  10. Andre says:

    Please Stop with all this refs cheating and stuff. #1 Game 2’s no call was legitiment. The ref from any angle couldnt see it. The camera could see it. #2 Durant made at least two fouls in that 4th quarter after picking up his fifth. So dont blame that one play to be a deciding factor of the series saying they are cheating. The two best Teams are here duking it out for all the marbles. Respect the game. The refs are letting these guy play alil bit. they are calling obvious fouls. Durant makes alot of unnecessary fouls such as reaching. His inability to consistently defend and rebound like a superstar is hurting OKC. Yes, I am a Miami Heat fan, but I’m speaking from playing basketball myself. There are calls that are being missed BOTH WAYS. At the beginning of this series, most people were saying that OKC was going to win hands down. Well, on the floor, its different. OKC thrives in transition and explosiveness with all their athletes. Well, they have played OLDER teams in the playoffs (Mavs, Lakers, and Spurs). Miami can stay with them. But, the keys are the following: to limit transition,to keep Westbrook and Harden out the lane and off the free throw line, to rebound, and be physical with KD. You do this; then, You can beat OKC. Game 5 will be tough. First and last 5 minutes of every quarter will decide this game.

  11. PHYLLIS says:

    First of all the refs INDEED gave the 2nd game to Miami but Miami won the 3rd only because Chalmers came to play! Russell Westbrook IS the reason OKC were even still In the game when he committed the foul in the last few seconds. Running his legs off and his team still even having a chance because of him, It’s no wonder he wasn’t aware that Miami only had 4 or 5 seconds left to shoot. How dare people let that one play overshadow the great game he played. OKC has a shot to kill two birds with one stone by making history AND winning the championship, and I think they are VERY capable. Even though Brooks has won more games playing small, I think Perkins is saying, If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! What is there to adjust when your up by 14????????????????? If OKC can win tonight, I think they have a VERY good chance to win this! GO OKC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Cecilia says:

    Miami Heat over-rated!! Really it’s taken how long for Lebron to get a championship ring, wow if he was that great he would be a champion already and he is NOT! Just doesn’t have what it takes does he!??? This is OKC’s fourth season and they have come this far, beating three of the elite teams in the NBA, Mavericks, Lakers & Spurs. So many people are saying that OKC is done, its not over until the FAT lady in Miami sings!

  13. timberwolves says:

    If Thunder wants to win, feed the post. Feed Ibaka and Perkins and get Bosh into foul trouble. Put Ibaka on LBJ and KD on Battier.

  14. malc says:

    Mia dont need lebron to make game changing plays at the end for them the refs do it for them…rondo foul , durant foul in the closing minutes that were not called. its funny they have a referee on espn now…it makes you know that the game is being called unfair. never seen it in history. every game you here mia getting the calls from the refs by the commentators

  15. littleteapot says:

    Sefolosha and Collison should both be playing more minutes.

  16. el stone says:

    I just hope LaBronna’s menstrual cramps don’t return. Dang, that looked painful (except when he was hitting 3 pointers, then he looked fine).

  17. Father of Russell says:

    Why on Earth are people praising Russell Westbrook? He is not completely horrible, but is very close to it. If he wants to shoot the ball, move in to the 2 guard spot and put a real PG in. Someone who can get the offense involved and give Durant the ball. Westbroook enjoys running the shot clock down to nothing followed by taking bad shots. He scored a lot of points last game because the Heat are letting him as they prefer he take the shots rather than the offense being run through Durant. Westbrook is plaguing OKC. Is there no one else that can see this?!?! Watching him hurts my eyes AH, OVER-RATED!!!!

  18. markminator says:

    either team is getting a no call situation… only, the thunder complaints a lot so miami is in the darker part of the picture… If you watch the game in both perspective (heat fan or okc fan). you will see that both teams are having the same situation. Also the no call is sighted for okc since they lost, but if heat lost i think the no call will be sighted for miami. Understand that this game is physical, if you dont foul hard, you will not be called. as for some fans saying physical game is more like NFL, i say start watching chess, rather start playing chess so that no one get hurts physical and no calls from the ampires(refs) : )

  19. batusai says:

    to support my statement like perkins emotionaly & psychologicaly he’s affected. thats way he blamed his coach and thats no a good sign….

  20. batusai says:

    guys, according to the nba announcer, no team in nba finals was able to win a championship after having 3-1 standing…. and to think Miami gain the home court advantage…. unlike in first and second round its a different story, a team can still win all the way if the standing is 3-1 not unless its 3-0 right? because another proven statemented no one was able to win after going down to 3-0… and in my opinion why no team survive in nba finals after going down 3-1 because of the scheduling pattern… in first and 2nd round 2-2-1-1-1 in NBA finals its 2-3-2 right? so in that case like the Miami they were able to win game 2, its very difficult for a team to win on road in addition maybe players fatique and psychological & emotional matters…

  21. DopeBoy says:

    The most overrated center in the NBA. His upper lips looks like Betty Boop’s. LOL

  22. Charles Barkley says:

    “I don’t think the game comes down to who plays and who doesn’t play,” Brooks said Wednesday. “It’s how we play.”

    What is going on here? What an idiotic statement. Brooks coached well enough up until playing Miami.

    I think he is scared of Miami, and doesn’t have confidence in his team to beat them. Brooks should be fired.

    OKC should be winning this series. Making a little prayer that Phil Jackson considers coaching OKC. That would be another dynasty.

    • James says:

      I agree. Brooks just seems lost in this series. Why doesn’t he sit Durant and play someone else and see if he can win? What an idiot? It’s all about matchups. Whoever maximize their strength and take advantage of the opponent’s weaknesses will win that game. If they play smalls, pound the ball inside, control the boards, go to the foul line, frustrate them. Miami has no sizes inside.

  23. Deborah says:

    He’s softer than Pau. Brainless too!

  24. kinggotti85 says:

    kinda of funny how all this people are saying that the heat won on ref calls , thats getting old , the matter is that OKC has never seen defends like that before where players taking charges, hard fouls , you dont play like that out in the west , common now the heat have #1 defends in the nba . in game 3 ya took the lead late in the 3 quater by 10 , miami came back and won , game 4 russell had a rondo game , 40 plus point , ya was up by 17 what did miami do came back by the 2nd quater we was tide up , OKC fans are not getting the picture here ya can’t win the season is over for yall, dont get me wrong i like durant i think OKC can come out of the west to play again in the final with the heat again , but this yr is our’s . all ya gotta do is learn from mistake and get better for next yr .

  25. Rumble says:

    1st off the OKC is a great team but the refs bad calls aren’t why they loss.Bad late game decisions is why they are losing.

  26. pablo says:

    Me, are you seriously saying that ibaka can shoot treys and he should shoot them in this series….what planet are u from?

  27. Wtf says:

    I can’t stand it. No matter how or why Miami wins there is still people that will try and take it away from them. The game is rigged? Ridiculous. The refs are biased? Ridiculous. You try a calling a game in front of a home crowd? It’s called home court advantage. The 2 best teams are in the finals and the better team is winning. Brooks is a good coach and perkins is talking rubbish. Yes they were hot but you can’t play the hot line up a game because they will eventually loose it. Keep em fresh for the 4th. Shoosh perkins.

  28. John says:

    I will say once again the reason OKC is having problem winning is that they can not play defense for 48 straight minutes. KD can not even guard Chalmers and he has height and everything on him. Westbrook was awesome but he is a streak shooter much like Harden. I remember Byron Scott and Michael Cooper of the Lakers back in the day. They were great scorers to but in the finals they had to guard MJ and spending so much energy on that side casued them to not be able to score. That is waht is happening to Harden, he is so worried about LJ that his offensive game is off. OKC is not ready yet to win a title. I love that hen OKC beat San Antonio that everyone was saying OKC in 4 no one from the East can beat the West. My theory is simple you have to be able to play defense to a high level and the West dont play defense like that anymore. The east do Bulls, Heat, Celtics they grind it out. OKC is used to outscoring there opponents not having to fight for every possesion and playing tough defense at the end. OKC is a great team and will be tough for years to come, but I dont think they can win this year.

  29. LetsGoHeat says:

    @Abraham, the HEAT just won 3 straight in these finals. It aint over till LeBron hoists!!!

  30. ray says:

    HE did right at the end when you lose you are frustrated as you fought for a win but then when his mind was clearer he new he was wrong, brooks is trying to stop the unstoppable. each game realy comes down to wade, bosch, james, durant, westbrook, harden, bosch off the bench okc wins, bosch starting and a stroke of battier shooting well, okc cant dig out of the whole this time, game 3 lebron 29 and 14 rebounds and wade played like the wade of old not much from harden lebron will not lose in the fourth finally shows he can close, game 4 harden still not producing, 25 by chalmers lebron one rebound away from a triple double westbrook gets 43 but not enough help from others not brooks fault not perkind fault they r gaining experience they did not have.

  31. I think winning 2 at home will be not too much of a challenge for OKC, although Miami will not go down without a fight. Beat the Heat!!!!

  32. I think OKC could catch Miami by surprise and win game 5 cause Miami is going to lay off, expecting the win already but hey who knows, it could go either way. However, Go OKC!!!!! I want Miami to lose for beating Boston. Whoo!!!! Extend the finals!!!

  33. @AbrahamDunks_ says:

    Heat Won!! Im An OKC Fan, But There Is No Way You Will Win 3 STRAIGHT Games, SPECIALLY Not In An NBA Finals…

    • Seifer says:

      Then you too are conceding that OKC have no chance in winning this championship, because you know that its difficult to win 3 straight games in the NBA finals. ^_^ oh by the way heat already won three straight games (games 2, 3 & 4)

    • QuestionMark says:

      I wouldn’t be quick to say that, OKC has a shot if they win Game 5, plus Dallas won 3 straight last year after being down 2-1, and 2 of those 3 wins were in Miami, and in 2006, the Heat won 4 straight against Dallas, coincidentally, so I wouldn’t say they don’t have a chance, but its slim.

    • Kel says:

      They won four in a row vs. San Antonio. If the win Game 5, they have a good chance because the last two are in OKC and they’ll have the momentum and that crowd… Winning in Miami will be tough, though. At this point, I would put more faith in the Celtics to win this sort of game than the untested, inexperienced Thunder.

  34. Hugo Diaz says:

    Perkins is right. Brooks broke the momento and OKC from that moment on, never look that they could win that game. If they want to delay or make a comeback, they should start strong, but keep the players that in that moment were on fire in the court, eaven in fault problem. OKC should make a statement with a strong win in game 5 (like Lebron/Miami did in game 6 against Celtics), if they have any hope left.

    • Garlandboy says:

      Stole the moment? are u crazy? OKC up 94-92 with 2 mins to go. They would have won the game if not for Westbrook making that stupid foul on chalmers and turn to ball over on the last position…

      • bobby says:

        if not for westbrook game would have been 70-120 smat guy. they lost cause only two or three guys came out to play each game

  35. Mr.305 says:

    No, it’s not an exhibition. It’s still a sport, and a competetive one at that. The finals still means something first of all. Second, OKC is a much younger team than Miami, and Miami is determined from last year’s playoff lost including the fact they have the league MVP and two of the best players in their position with Wade at SG, and Bosh at PF. OKC is good, but they are not ready yet as this series has proven. They shoot the ball well, defend well, and play hard. That’s how they beat those other, aging veteran teams. Now they ran in to a brick wall.. The Heat, are what The Thunder want to be in the future. Aside from all the glamour and criticsm that comes along with it ofcourse.

  36. maynard pinto says:

    heat win due of referees wrong calls.

  37. z3rOoOo says:

    keep crying perk.. BTW he look ridiculously hideous specially when sweating and always have this serious look.. the like of face u have in ur nightmares

  38. Franco says:

    Ya i thing coach Brook made some mistake and not making consisting shot of Miami offense and too late reaction n defense especially in transitions,,also Durant not making attacking the rim n 4th quarter,only westbrook making decision in offense

  39. Hugo Dias says:

    It seems to me, if the referees did´nt stoll the game 2 in the Conference Finals againts Celtics, the Heat don´t make to the finals. Eaven they win, don´t make them a thru champions.

    • Sick says:

      cry and cry hater.. lol

    • Garlandboy says:

      It seems to me if the ref didn’t stole the game 6 from Spurs the OKC wouldn’t even be here…Spurs got called foul for breathing at the wrong direction on that game..

      • Corey says:

        It’s just how fans are lol, biased and don’t let go of things. All teams get bad calls, deal with it. OKC coulda shot 40 free throws in game 6 and rondo tripped on himself a couple times in game 2 and got foul calls.

  40. Carltz says:

    @ g.lane so what do you mean?

  41. g.lane says:

    I said after game 2 the series was over.the outcome was predeterrmined.the playoffs arent any different than pro wrestling the out come has never been in doubt.i had been an nba fan since the lakers were still in minneapolis the warriors were still in philly the kings were still the cincinnati royals etc.the nba has become big money.its an exhibition not a sport since the mid 80s.

  42. me says:

    I’ma tell you how OKC is gonna win this. If AND ONLY if the “bigs’ start playin “small” I mean Ibaka can shoot trey’s! so why ain’t he shooting em in this series? I can’t think of anyone who can guard Ibaka greatly in the Heat team and Kendrick could do stuff like getting Lebron or wayne away from westbrook and KD like when they tyna crossover and just be like a total nuisance 4 their offense. Meanwhile always get a strong shooter e.g. Harden, open! and restrict ball cribbling and handling to westbrook (Yes I know he scored 40= points in Game 4 but this team needs an energetic, strong PG like westbrook to constantly feed em the ball! plus Westbrook scoring 40+ points every night is hardly gauaranteed). Plus, COMMUNICATION, it is the one thing I have seen pretty much nonexistent in this team, tehy’ve got to make connections with their eyes, hands, and not make it so damn obvious. Heat is looking mighty good now cos they are outsmarting em n really communicating with each other. Skillwise, OKC got it locked. If Brooks can improve on their system of play, this team will make a comeback but then again it’s Brooks

    • Douglas says:

      They can and they can’t. I am not really sure they can shoot the lights out for 3 straight games now? CB stated they aint gonna live on that jump shot. Get rid of Perkulator!

    • Schemer21 says:

      Sorry ‘coach’ but i found it hard to listen after you said ‘Ibaka can shoot treys’. Do you even know what you’re talking about? Ibaka has shot 6 3’s in his entire NBA career and made 2. Are you seriously telling me that, with the entire NBA season and Championship on the line, one more loss and you can kiss the championship goodbye, that any coach in his right mind is gonna ask Ibaka to start shooting 3’s?? Seroiusly man

  43. kobe24 says:

    trade this guy… OKC should realize by now that he is useless…

  44. L0L at the Thunder bandwagon fans, WHAT is your NEXT excuse? says:

    Thunder management has to realize in the offseason that Perkins is a liability in this starting lineup, or even in the bench. They need to put Ibaka at center and then acquire a true power-forward.

  45. Douglas says:

    Not good news for the Thunder. When they start questioning each other its tough to get your head around that aspect. If they can win tomorrow. Who knows? I think they could win two at home as well. Thunder in 7

  46. HEATFAN says: