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Darnell Mayberry: Team with the better bench will decide tonight's Thunder-Mavericks game
The Oklahoman's Oklahoma City Thunder beat writer Darnell Mayberry answered questions from readers in today's Power Lunch chat. Read the entire chat recap here. Participate in our Power Lunch chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. at NewsOK.com/sports
On the importance of each team's bench in the Thunder-Mavericks series:
The team with the better bench has decided each game. Dallas' bench outscored the Thunder's in Games 1 and 3. The Thunder's reserves won the battle of the benches in Game 2. The problem now is Brooks is shortening his bench, so there's almost no way for the Thunder's reserves to make as much of an impact as they did in Game 2. Eric Maynor didn't play in the second half. So that leaves Harden, Collison and Cook to do all the heavy lifting. And that means most of the bench scoring has to come from Harden, while Cook and Collison contribute between six and 10 points each. That's putting a lot of pressure on the starters to play extremely well. They have to be up for the challenge.
On why Kevin Durant isn't posting up more against Dallas:
Two reasons. Durant is getting doubled on his catches. So it's not conducive for him scoring anyway. You could say he then should be passing out and making easy plays for teammates, but the Mavs are swarming to the ball and cutting off kick outs. It would help if the Thunder had Harden and Cook on the floor with KD so when he posted up and got doubled there would be some shooters to make the Mavs pay.
Oklahoma City's Eric Maynor, left, Daequan Cook, Nazr Mohammed, and Nick Collison sit on the bench during game 1 of the Western Conference Finals in the NBA basketball playoffs between the Dallas Mavericks and the Oklahoma City Thunder at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Tuesday, May 17, 2011. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
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