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Sunday, April 17th, 2011 at 9:54 am  |  23 responses

OKC Thunder Ignore George Karl’s Shots

by Adam Figman | @afigman

Last year, when the Lakers faced off against the Thunder in the first round, Lakers coach Phil Jackson attempted to toy with the opponent, not-so subtly implying that OKC star Kevin Durant had been receiving special treatment from the refs. LA ended up wining the series, so it could be assumed that said tactics were successful. (Though most of us with working eyesight were capable of seeing that the Lakers’ win was the result of one basketball team being plenty better than the other, and not any off-the-court nonsense. But, you know.)

Now Nuggets head coach George Karl, currently prepping his team for battle against Oklahoma City, is using the same tactics Jackson used. He recently referred to the Thunder as “too cocky” after his team was beaten by Durant and friends, perhaps in an attempt to fire up his own guys, or to get under the enemy’s skin. No word yet on how the first of those two has worked out, but the second appears to have been a failure.

Via Yahoo! Sports:

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s practice ended Saturday with an entertaining, brick-filled 3-point competition between Kendrick Perkins and fellow center B.J. Mullens. Thunder coach Scottie Brooks was asked why he didn’t join in.

“I’m too cocky,” Brooks said.

He then drove home in his Prius.

Other than that quip, Brooks didn’t have much of a response to his former boss, Denver Nuggets coach George Karl, calling him “pretty cocky” and accusing the Thunder of having an inflated opinion of themselves.

The Thunder play host to Karl and the Nuggets on Sunday for Game 1 of their first-round Western Conference series. The Thunder are 3-1 against Denver this season. Not surprisingly, they consider Karl’s comments gamesmanship.

“Denver can do the things that they do,” said Brooks, who coached under Karl in Denver from 2003-06. “That’s on them, that’s on George, that’s on their staff. I focus on our team, our guys and I believe in what we do.”

That’s not to say the Thunder didn’t notice Karl’s comments.

“That’s just crazy,” Perkins said. “Coach Brooks is one of the most humble guys I’ve been around, seriously. We can’t get caught up in that.”

“There is a fine line between confidence and cocky,” Durant said. “One thing we can’t be is cocky. We won a few games. We beat some good teams. But come playoffs, that’s out the door. You can’t expect for us to say, ‘Oh, we are going to win games.’

“People say we are going to win, but we have to come out there and really do it. We have that mindset. We’re not worried about what other people say. If we have that mindset, we’ll be straight.”

As far as we can tell, the only way to get anyone on Oklahoma City—OK, outside of Kendrick Perkins—too riled up is is to tell them they won’t be converting any dunks. Though getting the Thunder angry probably isn’t the best game plan, anyway; this squad is a hell of a lot better than the group that fell in the first round last season.

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  • http://ZOGS.COM ZOGS

    Gunna be a hellava series, denver is a HUGE wild card and OKC can also be put in the wild card catagory.
    denver will be a boom or bust this year in the playoffs, BOOK IT
    (LAKERS STILL WIN THO)

  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    ^^ Book what? You hedged all your bets! LOL

  • mickfanning

    ”Kevin Durant had been receiving special treatment from the refs” Are you kidding me? if laker games were called fairly they would NOT be a team with 5 titles PERIOD, cant wait till the kobe phil era is over and david stern stops rigging laker games for revenue

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    The Diva in Denver is a poor man’s Ringless Phil Jackson. Don’t know why I just thought of this, but it rhymes with Shoeless Joe Jackson. smh

  • fruizm

    @M Cho HAHAHA

  • Stan the Boy Taylor

    @mickfanning – Wow. Please tell me that isn’t a real opinion.

  • thadoogal23

    okc are an interesting team to watch this playoffs will be interesting to see how they do…..i think they are only limited by how far they think they can go

  • james

    thunder = overrated. theyre good but overrateeeeed

  • http://jojo.com Max

    Pow pow pow!

  • mj23

    love it you can fell that it gona be a good sieries

  • mj23

    love it you can fell that it gona be a good sieries
    :D

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    Is that a recent pic of Karl??? If so, he looks good, kinda plump again.. He was looking too skinny and sickly.. Continue you’re health improvments..

  • flipnoyce

    The Thunder will be blasting electricity in the west.

  • dreeezy

    sonics!

  • r2j

    Well George we’ll find out after this series who’s the better team.

  • fruizm

    ahh i really dont know who to root for….i like both teams a lot.

  • Bigblue

    Lets go nuggets!!!!!!!!!!

  • sam

    NUGGETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Groves

    Surge iBlocker had a huge rejection on Wilson chandler. it’s fitting that a guy who plays for the thunder and plays with power is called serge

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Co-sign fruizm. But I think I’ll go with the underdog in this case. Denver’s team-play is just so fun to watch.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Nuggets were f*cking robbed of this game by the refs. THREE GAMES now where the refs have pretty much decided the outcome of the game. No, I’m not joking lol… First Felton gets T’ed up for the dumbest thing ever–he basically looked at the refs funny and shrugged his shoulders and he gets a tech. And then Serge Ibaka goaltended in TWO POSSIBLE F*CKING WAYS: He had his hand in the f*cking net, AND he tipped the ball while it was still on the rim. There is absolutely NO WAY the refs could not have seen it. Three refs on the court and no one sees the goaltend? Bullsh!t, they must have been the only ones to not see it.
    GREAT game though, both teams are a joy to watch.

  • Ali

    Two words! DURANT WESTBROOK… 70 plus pts between the two of them. OKC ain’t gotta feed into Karl, just go out and play, and WIN baby!

  • Joosh

    NUGGETS!

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