When a team has Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (and Serge Ibaka), one believes that team thrives because of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (and Serge Ibaka). But coach Scott Brooks, a former George Karl assistant in Denver, also has elevated his game, if you will, becoming a masterful coach and player developer of the team that has Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (and Serge Ibaka).
"Scott has moved into being a top-10 coach, (and) some people would put him higher than that," Karl said Friday before the game against the Thunder. "I love coaching against him. There are a lot of similarities and we know one another. ... (Remember that) he took over the team when Durant and Westbrook weren't two of the top-five players in basketball and they've become that because of Scott's direction, guidance and system.
"I think something that's lost in coaching is (that) coaching developing players is a huge part of being an NBA basketball coach," Karl said. He added that the prevalent NBA philosophy "is to develop teams through young players. James Harden, Serge Ibaka, the only player they added and didn't develop is Kendrick Perkins."
I asked Perkins about Brooks, and the former champion center for Boston, trying to nab another ring with Brooks, explained the growth of the coach.
"One thing about him is that when you play for a coach who actually played the game, he can understand the guys and how we feel," Perkins said. "He gives us a lot of freedom on the offensive end to really do what we do, and that's one thing that makes him special. And in the past year, his out-of-timeout plays he's drawn up have been just off-the-charts. We're all growing together, so you can see improvement in Scottie too — he's still a young coach in this league."

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