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Chat Recap: Sports editor Mike Sherman on Thunder-Nuggets Game 4

NewsOK.com Sports Staff Modified: April 12, 2013 at 6:09 pm •  Published: April 26, 2011

The Oklahoman sports editor Mike Sherman participated in Tuesday’s Power Lunch chat at NewsOK.com/Sports and was asked a few questions about the Thunder-Nuggets series. Read the full chat recap here.

Here are a few excerpts:

On whether Russell Westbrook killed the Thunder last night with 30 shots:

Sherman: I’ve got some pretty strong opinions on this. Westbrook played poorly but anyone who overreacts and calls for more Maynor or for Westbrook to change the way his plays is missing the point. Young talented players learn from their mistakes. Westbrook is young and talented. He’s still developing and last night will be a marker for him.

My advice to Westbrook, “Don’t go changing.” He’s one of the five most gifted players in the NBA. He plays with a chip on his shoulder for good reason. His high school coach barely gave him a suit. His college coach played him behind Darren Collison. His first NBA coach thought he wasn’t a point guard. History has proven them all wrong. So you can see how the guy might have a me against the world mentality. It’s served him very well to this point. Now it’s time for him to moderate it. As I said earlier, talented young players and people usually improve.

On whether Kendrick Perkins has looked mediocre in the series:

Sherman: Danny Ainge said a couple weeks ago that Kendrick Perkins wouldn’t be 100 percent until next season. That may be true. Berry Tramel said something this morning that I think is true: Perkins is about to play his way out of this series. His meaning: Perkins’ post defense has prompted Denver to abandon dumping the ball in the post. The Nuggets are using Nene in pick-and-roll more, and Perkins is a little less effective defending that. Collison a little more. I thought he should have played more last night.

On who will control Russell Westbrook when he starts going into “hero mode:”

Sherman: I think Scott Brooks will have Westbrook’s attention after Game 4. I think he’ll be more teachable. You could tell from his body language walking off the court. He has to know that’s not the way he needs to play. But for all the criticism of him does anyone realize that he made three outstanding plays (offensive rebounds mostly) that made those other plays possible.