Finally, the truth can be revealed, Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Thursday before Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
"Now I can be honest with you guys: We all were a little nervous," before the come-from-behind 105-94 victory in Game 1 against the Miami Heat.
Neither the Thunder, nor Brooks, had reached the Finals before this season.
"It's a great opportunity for our team, organization, city to shine," Brooks said after Thursday morning's shoot-around.
Also revealed: All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook, who had his left thumb wrapped, has been dealing with an injury since the Western Conference finals. He did not wear any sort of covering during the Game 1 victory.
"Obviously, there's a little pain, but nothing to prevent him from playing the way he can play," Brooks said.
The Thunder started the Finals sluggishly, missing defensive assignments and makeable shots and trailing by as many as 13 points in the second quarter before entering halftime down 54-47. They didn't take their first lead until just before the end of the third quarter.
"Every kid dreams about playing in the NBA Finals. You dream about winning a championship. It was our first time," Brooks said. "There were obviously some butterflies. But like I told the guys, those are good things to have. If you don't have 'em, you're not concerned about the outcome of the game."
Even ninth-year Thunder center Kendrick Perkins, who has played in three Finals in the last five seasons, admitted to a case of the jitters.
"A lot of guys, including myself, were a little nervous," he said. "Now we know what to expect. We should have our minds right. We can't get down like that in the first quarter."
Brooks, asked about his level of butterflies, smiled and placed his arm horizontally across the top of his chest.
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