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PostSubject: Thunder-Hornets Preview   Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:16 pm

By MATT BECKER, STATS Senior Writer




Posted Nov 22 2008 2:10AM

The adjustment of playing in a new city has
not come easy for the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are an NBA-worst 1-12.
The Thunder hope for better things Saturday when interim coach Scott
Brooks makes his debut as they complete a home-and-home series with the
New Orleans Hornets.The Thunder fired P.J. Carlesimo on Saturday
morning following their 105-80 home loss to the Hornets on Friday
night. Oklahoma City was continuing a rebuilding project that had
started last season before moving from Seattle, but the team's sixth
straight defeat by a double-digit margin - part of a current 10-game
losing streak - sealed the veteran coach's fate.
"This was a very
difficult decision to make," Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in
a statement. "It is one that I felt was necessary at this time. I am
very appreciative of the hard work and effort that P.J. gave to this
team and we wish him the best in his future endeavors."
Brooks
began his coaching career as an assistant with the Nuggets in 2003, and
also made a stop in Sacramento before joining Carlesimo's staff in
Seattle last season. He also played point guard for 11 seasons, winning
an NBA title with the Houston Rockets in 1994 and playing for seven
different teams.
While not much is expected of the Thunder, the
hope is Brooks will inject a more positive attitude after Carlesimo's
questioning of his team's effort only seemed to make the Thunder spiral
further downward. Oklahoma City trailed by as many as 32 in Friday's
loss, committed a season-high 26 turnovers and shot a season-low 36.6
percent.
Oklahoma City's Nick Collison had 16 points and 13
rebounds, and suggested the team should stay positive by taking a step
back and realizing they can't complain when other people are losing
their jobs in a fading economy.
"No one should feel sorry for
us," Collison said. "We're in a good situation. We've just got to try
to play the best we can. That's all we can really do. We can't control
much else."The franchise last lost 11 consecutive games March
4-22, and the franchise record of 14 also was set last season from Dec.
31-Jan. 27.
The Hornets (6-5), who were relocated to Oklahoma
City for two seasons due to Hurricane Katrina's devastation of New
Orleans in 2005, nearly had the home-court advantage on Friday. Chris
Paul had 17 points, six assists and six rebounds, while David West
finished with 19 points and eight rebounds."We know we still
have fans here and we still love this city and the way that they
treated us while we were here," New Orleans coach Byron Scott said.
Friday's
victory also got the Hornets back above .500, and they'll now try to
win back-to-back games for the first time since starting the season 3-0.
"One game doesn't solve all our problems, but we're trying to get on a roll here," Scott said.
New
Orleans has lofty goals this season after winning the franchise's first
division title, and advancing to the Western Conference semifinals in
2007-08.
"I think we have a really good team, a really special
team. A few of the guys from when we were here, but we're a
championship-caliber team when we put our mind to it," said Paul, who
won the Rookie of the Year award in his first season in Oklahoma City
in 2005-06.
New Orleans has won six straight games over the Oklahoma City franchise, and its last six home games against them.
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