More Power Lunch Chat Questions & Answers
Every week I do a 30-minute chat at NewsOK.com. Most times, I can't get to all the questions and comments in that slotted time. Sometimes I go over just to get to more questions. Today, I had to scoot. So here are the leftover questions and comments from this morning's chat. If you would like to join the conversation, I generally chat every Monday at 11 a.m. central. From Josh: Will the Thunder alter their game plan from the last time out vs the Heat to limit turnovers? A lot came from Durant handling the pick and roll. Do they switch that up any? A: I don't see the Thunder altering its game plan. What's worked in the past will be what the Thunder sticks to in the Finals. I just think KD just needs to be stronger with the ball. If he struggles to do that, then you'll see him moved off the ball and be run off screens. From Jacob: What is the Thunder's biggest advantage? A: The biggest? I'll say depth. Depth and more guys who can do different types of damage. OKC is deeper and more versatile. From Brett: Cook needs more burn in the Finals, he can help loosen up the Heat defense. A: I would agree. But he's got to make shots. His presence alone on the floor could keep Miami's defense spread out. But he can't be hitting the side of the backboard and not capitalizing from the corners when the ball is swung his way. From anonymous: Is the Seattle thing never going away? Will it go away if they get a team? A: No. Never. Not even if Seattle gets a team. That's just the way these things go. Just look at the Cleveland Browns. They got their team back with all its history after only a three-year hiatus and it's still a sore subject. Heck, my boss, Mike Sherman, is a Maryland native and 28 years later he still goes on and on about how the Colts ducked out of Baltimore in the middle of the night. And the NFL not only has returned to Baltimore, but the Ravens have won a Super Bowl. So, no, don't expect the Seattle "thing" to die down. Ever. From Christian: Who do you think will have the biggest impact for the Thunder off the bench during the series...other than Harden? A: It's got to be between Collison and Fisher. Although, as stated earlier, if Cook gets the minutes he has a chance to make a real impact if he's knocking down his shots. From Dave: How many technical fouls does Perk have going into Game 1 of the Finals? A: He's only got three, four shy of receiving an automatic one-game suspension. He's in good shape. From anonymous: Why did the Thunder have to move their practice to the arena from the practice facility? A: NBA mandate for the Finals. All practices must be at the arena. The Thunder can and will still hold its shoot-arounds at its practice facility.From JKThundering: Your thoughts on Shane battier and if you think he will make a sizable imprint in the finals? A: I think his defense can be dominant, especially on Harden. Battier could really disrupt Harden's ability to be a playmaker in the pick-and-roll. And if Battier's hitting his 3s, which he has been doing lately, look out. From anonymous: Have you heard any more on Pleiss? Will he definitely be here for summer league? A: Multiple outlets overseas are reporting that Pleiss will not return to his German club team. The general feeling seems to be he's ready to give the NBA a shot. His contract is up overseas, but the Thunder can't officially do anything until July 1. And there's a lot of things that are in play with Pleiss, particularly what his contract would be. Remember, he was a second-round pick, so there are no restrictions on what the Thunder can pay him. That can be a good thing or a bad thing for OKC. So a lot still could happen, including Pleiss remaining overseas and playing with another team. But as of today, I'd suspect he'll play on the summer league team. From Dave: Who would be more effective against LeBron James? A: Kevin Durant. His length could really throw off James' shot. From anonymous: There seems to be some legitimate dislike between these two teams. How chippy do you think this series will be? A: I don't think there is any dislike between these two teams. In fact, I think there is a ton of respect on both sides. Any chippy stuff will be a result of both teams just playing hard and battling for the game's ultimate prize. From Kevin: I think Spoelstra might start with Bosh-Battier-James-Wade-Chalmers, which would mean Ibaka on Battier, a problem for the protection of the paint? A: That's what I thought against San Antonio, too, but Boris Diaw and Matt Bonner couldn't and didn't keep Ibaka on the perimeter and make the Thunder pay. Battier's a different beast, though. He'll definitely be spotting up in that lineup and forcing the Thunder's hand. The simple solution is putting KD at the 4. From anonymous: Is there any chance that Perk will get a crack or two at LeBron? To at least lay some lumber on him? A: More than a crack or two. LeBron will want to drive the basketball. That will give Perk plenty of chances to send a message. It might not come in a cross-match on the perimeter. But keep an eye on the paint. From Brett: How does Miami stop Harden? I think he will be able to do whatever he wants when he is on the court. A: Clearly you didn't see Battier on him in the first game between these two in the regular season. From Tom: The 1,000 yard stare KD gets when he is locked in the 4th, it's almost creepy. No question, sorry. But I am living out of state and don't have anyone to talk with about the Thunder. A: It's all good, Tom. Join us anytime. From Blake: What do you see as the weakest part of the Heat defense? A: Post defense. They don't have the size to stop interior scoring. Of course, the Thunder doesn't have a low-post scorer so it all balances out. From Kevin: I think my formula for success is this.... If the thunder bench can out score LBJ, we win every time. A: I would hope the Thunder's bench can outscore LeBron. Harden alone is averaging 17.6 in this postseason. From Dave: I just heard that the Miami Heat are going to hold viewing parties for the first two games of the Finals at American Airlines Arena for $2. Are the Thunder going to consider holding viewing parties inside Chesapeake Energy Arena while the Thunder are in Miami? A: Nope. The Thunder will not do any viewing parties. The team is encouraging fans to have their own small, neighborhood parties. From Josh: Can people let go of the, "The Media didn't say this about us!!" mentality. Wake up thinking about the games, enjoy thinking about the strategy, go to the games, watch the games, enjoy the ride. The Thunder are in the finals, with a legit chance to win. Just enjoy the ride of being a fan! A: Absolutely not. Why should fans let it go. The Thunder has done a great job of getting to this point. Why shouldn't OKC get its just due? If I was a fan, I'd be ticked to at the potential for a lack of respect. From Steven: Brooks vs. Spolestra... who wins? A: Brooks. Miami's players seem capable of melting down at any moment, including blow-ups at their coach. You've never seen that out of the Thunder. Brooks has his team's full support and knows how to push the right buttons. From JKThundering: Is Shane Battier going to be a thorn in our side this series?. he seems to always be taking his game to another level against us. A: He's got to play well on both ends to be a thorn. We'll see if he can do it. From Kevin (Belgium): If you're Brooks, do you give more minutes to Sefolosha or Fisher? Personally I'd say Thabo to keep Wade honest. A: I'd stick with Sefolosha for as long as he's rolling defensively. If Sefolosha doesn't have his 'A' game, only then would I go with Fisher over him. In general, I'd go with whichever guy is hot, offensively or defensively. From Blake: What are the chances of seeing a Cole dunk in game 1? A: For those of you who are new to the program, Cole would be third string center Cole Aldrich. He's the Thunder's human victory cigar. What Blake is asking is what are the chances the Thunder blows out the Thunder in Game 1. I'm going to go with 7.4 percent, Blake. I just don't see it happening. From Rod: After the Thunder win, how many years will they be the favored to be in the top 2-3 teams? A: After the Thunder wins, huh? Wow. Let's get through Game 1 first. As long as the Thunder maintains its core of Westbrook, Harden, Durant and Ibaka, it will be considered a favorite from here out. If OKC can retain those four guys, we're looking at another five years at least. -DM-
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