OKLAHOMA CITY -- Tom Thibodeau is a creature of habit. He does things the same way day after day. That's why it was so surprising to see Ronnie Brewer out of the starting lineup Sunday afternoon. Brewer, who has started 40 games this year, wasn't replaced by Richard Hamilton, he was replaced by Kyle Korver. It was a decision Korver said Thibodeau talked to him about on Saturday.
"He told me [Saturday] that he was thinking about it," Korver said. "And then told me this morning that I was going to."
Why did he make the switch?
"He didn't really say," Korver said. "He just said he was kicking around some different ideas and I'm sure he put a lot of thought into it for different reasons."
Thibodeau was not tipping his hand after the game.
"I just felt that was what was best for the team tonight," he said.
Brooks and Thibs have mutual respect for each other: Oklahoma City head coach Scott Brooks used to play for Thibodeau when the Bulls coach was an assistant with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the early 90s, and again with the New York Knicks later in the decade, so he knows just so hard-nosed his former coach can be.
"His work ethic is at a high level," Brooks said. "His basketball knowledge is good and his passion for the game is really good. He works, he puts [in] a lot of time, he cares about what he does ... I'm glad that he got a chance because it took him 20 years to get this opportunity, but it's well deserved. He's going to be doing this for a lot more years. He works."
Then Brooks fed fuel to the notion that Thibodeau is all basketball, all the time.
"He has no life," Brooks continued. "The guy has no life. Even when he was young as an assistant, he never wanted to go out to dinner with me. He had things to do. He's boring, he has no life, he just wants to coach basketball."
It should be noted that Brooks had a small smile on his face as he said all this -- he and Thibodeau have remained close through the years.
Thibodeau cracked this zinger a few moments later, after being told Brooks said he had no life.
"He's right about that," Thibodeau said. "From coaching him."