In the Thunder's 110-95 win at New Orleans on Friday, we got our first glimpse of a new substitution pattern Scott Brooks is trying out. Kevin Durant, who had played the entire first quarter in seven of the first nine games, was subbed out with 3:30 remaining in the opening period. He then returned to start the second quarter alongside the customary bench unit. Over the 5 minutes, 40 seconds in which Durant played the second quarter prior to Russell Westbrook's return, the Thunder's extended its lead by five. Early this season, that's generally been a stretch of struggle for the Thunder's second unit. With Durant captaining the bench unit Friday, it became a strength. "I liked it," Brooks said. "I liked the fact that he gave us a great eight minutes in that first quarter, real high-energy minutes. … And that second quarter was good. It gives us another scorer on the floor, and we're going to mess around with that and see how it works out the next couple of weeks and, who knows, we might stay with it."
Kevin Durant plays with the second teamers
The Oklahoman | Nov 18