OKLAHOMA CITY – After watching the Memphis Grizzlies batter his Oklahoma City Thunder in the opener of the teams’ second-round series, Kendrick Perkins(notes) knew something needed to change. So he encouraged Kevin Durant(notes) to gather the team together â€¦ and watch the game again.
Durant took Perkins’ suggestion and arranged for a players-only dinner at his house on Monday night. The team dined on a Thanksgiving-worthy spread prepared by Durant’s personal chef and watched every minute of OKC’s disheartening loss to the Grizzlies. The players stopped the video at times to discuss specific breakdowns. By the end of the evening, they were in agreement on what needed to be done to improve.
They must have been right, too. Twenty-four hours later, the Thunder walked off the court at Oklahoma City Arena with a series-evening 111-102 victory. At least a few of the Thunder thought the seeds for the victory were planted at their clear-the-air, players-only meeting, the team’s first of the season.