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Berry Tramel: Thunder must rebound better to win Memphis series

Columnist Berry Tramel took questions from readers at 11 a.m. on Wednesday. Here's a transcript of the Power Lunch Chat.
Oklahoman Modified: May 8, 2013 at 9:35 am •  Published: May 8, 2013

There was plenty of talk about Kendrick Perkins' offensive struggles on Tuesday night. And there was plenty of chatter about it in the chat today. But Berry Tramel says the biggest reason OKC lost Game 2 was its inability to rebound on the defensive end.

Berry Tramel 10:52 a.m. Hey, everyone. I'm up and running. So send in your questions and we'll get started soon.
OKCRick 11:00 a.m. Do you plan to hit up Rendezvous for some barbeque ribs in Memphis this weekend? Any Beale Street festivities??
Berry Tramel 11:02 a.m. I'm no party animal. But I like Beale Street. I like BB King's, which is a rib joint that also has live blues. I don't mind Memphis too much.
The Joker 11:02 a.m. Off topic: you want a name for the college football playoff? Four Play...cue rim shot :)
Berry Tramel 11:02 a.m. I don't think it has legs. Football Four is what I'm going with.
Jay 11:02 a.m. Do the Thunder bigs need to do the old tip in drill the rest of this week? Aside from KMart/CircleK disappearing, I thought the misses by the bigs and the lack of rebounding was an absolute killer
Berry Tramel 11:04 a.m. I don't think the misses were any big deal. But the lack of defensive rebounding was awful. You can't let Memphis have 21 second chances. 21! I thought those two possessions late in the second quarter were the biggest in the game, until the final two minutes. Memphis trails 49-45, OKC is shooting well, but in a four-possession span, the Grizzlies get a basket off a fourth chance and a basket off a third chance. That's seven misses for Memphis in two possessions -- but it came with four points and a 54-51 halftime lead.
Justin 11:04 a.m. Berry Trammel vs Kendrick Perkins 1 on 1. I take Berry.
Berry Tramel 11:04 a.m. He would crush me like a gnat. I wouldn't score. Now, he would miss a few, but I wouldn't score.
Gill 11:05 a.m. Let's all celebrate Kendrick Perkins day. We get paid alot of money and do nothing at work. Oh wait we could set a screen around the coffee pot.
Berry Tramel 11:06 a.m. I don't call holding Marc Gasol down doing nothing. Gasol had eight points while Perk was on the court. He had 16 points while Perk was on the bench. Even the rebounding wasn't Gasol -- he had two offensive rebounds and three defensive rebounds. Perk is doing his job on defense. But that offense is a stinker.
Thomas 11:06 a.m. Berry, Turnovers,Martin, Perkins, doomed the Thunder last night, Your thoughts, Thanks
Berry Tramel 11:07 a.m. You left out the No. 1 reason. Defensive rebounding. The Thunder allowed the Grizzlies 23 second-chance points. In Game 1, Memphis got four second-chance points. That's what hurt the most. Even more than the turnovers. Martin's got to shoot better. Perkins, you have to live with. He did last night what he almost always does, except for a turnover or two more.
ThunderJon 11:07 a.m. What's the atmosphere like inside the Grizzlies arena FedEx Forum? Is it a more laid back nonconfrontational vibe, or are the fans more of the rabid in your face loud right ontop of the court type??? Just trying to figure how hard it's gonna be to try to take a game or 2 there this weekend??
Berry Tramel 11:08 a.m. Let's see. Haven't been there since Game 6 of 2011. But it was rowdy, no doubt about it. It's not that rowdy for the regular season, from what I hear, but they get worked up for the playoffs. I really don't know how the Thunder will respond. I'd say the Thunder played as well in Houston as it did in OKC (post-Westbrook, of course). So maybe this show travels well. Who knows?
Gill 11:08 a.m. Thought once Grizz switched Tony Allen to Durant the last few minutes it worked well. I have a love hate relationship with Allen.
Berry Tramel 11:09 a.m. It did work. I think Lionel Hollins knows he can't use Allen on Durant for long. Allen will go nuts or something, or at least get in foul trouble. It's interesting. Playoff basketball is about trying out what works, then going from there. Remember Houston. The Rockets played big almost all of Game 1. Then didn't play big again the rest of the series. Memphis trotted out Austin Daye to try to guard Durant. Then Hollins said, enough of that.
Gill 11:11 a.m. Thoughts on UN Jefferson, LAMDA LAMDA LAMDA president, coaching the Grizzlies? The revenge of the nerds actor and Lionel Hollins are look a likes
Berry Tramel 11:12 a.m. I don't know anything about that, but I've grown tired of Hollins already. Give Scotty Brooks credit. He doesn't say anything of substance, but he doesn't outright lie. Hollins doesn't tell the truth. "Can't put Allen on Durant; he's too big." Then he puts Allen on Durant. With that said, I think Hollins is a pretty good coach. He's got those guys playing tough D and workmanlike offense.
Nick 11:12 a.m. Berry, Love you on the Total Dominance. But please don't stick up for Perk today. He was awful last night. Anthony Slater posted his + - on twiiter last night. It would be better to play a dead man.
Berry Tramel 11:13 a.m. Perk was -10, I think. Reggie Jackson was -14. I like plus/minus, but it's not always accurate. Perkins was abysmal on offense. But he wasn't too far from what he usually does on offense. And offense didn't beat the Thunder. Not by a mile. The Thunder got walloped on the boards. Part of that was Perkins, but Tony Allen had five offensive rebounds, Zach Randolph four. The Thunder has to play with Perk. Just has to.
Andre 11:14 a.m. How did you like the small lineup?
Berry Tramel 11:15 a.m. I thought it was great for awhile. Which is how Scotty's going to have to use it. In short doses. Try to trade two for three. Scotty went to the small ball, and the Thunder scored 16 points on six straight possessions. That's close to the best efficiency in NBA history. But Gasol wore out the Thunder down low. So it's a problem. I will say this. Anytime Hollins takes out Randolph or Gasol, I'd go small. I'd go small immediately.
Nick 11:16 a.m. How about Perks turnovers that led to atleast 6 layups and his tech? That's 7 crucial points in a tough matchup. His basketball IQ cannot be defended.
Berry Tramel 11:18 a.m. Perk had three turnovers. How does that lead to six layups? Let me check real quick. OK, I just checked. Perk's three turnovers led to three Memphis points. In the 241/2 minutes that Perk didn't play, Gasol scored 16 points. And his basketball IQ? It's among the highest on the team. Perk's limitations are physical. He's not much of a jumper. He's got stone hands. But what he does well, he does really well. The Thunder has to have Perkins in this series.
Jason 11:19 a.m. Can Fisher keep this up?
Berry Tramel 11:21 a.m. I don't see how. I mean, the guy is shooting like crazy. He's what, six of eight from 3-point range against Memphis? Kevin Martin's got to get consistent. You want to bash someone, bash Martin. He's the one who's not holding his weight. Martin's job is offensive, to score and shoot. Bashing Perkins for his offense is like trashing Martin for his defense. Martin is not a defender. Perk is not an accomplished offensive player. You live with his offense because you have to have his defense. You live with Martin's defense because you have to have his offense.
Rumble 11:21 a.m. With Reggie's offensive game improving and Lamb's potential, Thoughts on not trying to resign Martin. Amesity Perk and then use Martin and Perk's salary to get Al Jefferson or Andrew Bynum.
Berry Tramel 11:23 a.m. Andrew Bynum and Al Jefferson? Why don't you just put in a quicksand pit in the lane so that Durant and Westbrook can't get to the basket? Let's see Al Jefferson can't guard anyone, and Bynum is king of the flakes who requires huge money. If you want to get rid of PErk, fine. But if you don't get a defensive center, you're sending the Thunder back down the ladder. As for Martin, maybe. Depends on how much he wants. If he'll play for $5 million or so, I'd sign him. If he wants$8-9 million, I wouldn't.
kk 11:23 a.m. Randolph doesnt get his first foul until the fourth quarter? by that time Nick has fouled out. Something isnt right there
Berry Tramel 11:24 a.m. Part of it is that Randolph doesn't play much defense. The Thunder has to take advantage of that. Hello, Serge. I'd like to see Ibaka inside more. He made five baskets last night. He was 3-of-5 in the paint and 2-of-7 on jumpers. I think the jumpers will start falling -- they at least looked better last night -- but I'd still like to see him attack Randolph more.
not a brooks fan 11:24 a.m. When OKC goes small, we do not seem to trap, press on D, and push the tempo like many other teams do (i.e. Maimi), why?
Berry Tramel 11:25 a.m. Well, the Thunder isn't as athletic as Miami, when your lineup includes Martin and Fisher. Westbrook? Sure. But that small ball is an OFFENSIVE unit, not a defensive unit.
Chris 11:25 a.m. Berry, what did the ref say last night when he was reviewing instant replay that made you all laugh?
Berry Tramel 11:26 a.m. It was Tony Allen. He came over almost into their huddle and said something about the 24-second shot clock -- we couldn't make it out; he sort of talks his own language anyway -- and the refs were outraged. You're not supposed to approach them when they're reviewing replay. It's like walking into the girls shower in high school PE or something. That one ref told Allen to get out of there like a shopkeeper shooing away punks from his store.
kk 11:27 a.m. Can we get one of these wins in Memphis?
Berry Tramel 11:27 a.m. Sure. It won't be easy. But it's possible. The Thunder needs to rebound. If the thunder rebounds, it can win. If the Thunder does not rebound, it can't win.
Rumble 11:28 a.m. Jefferson held Gasol to 5-14 shooting, 2-7, another 2-7 this year. That's not defense?
Berry Tramel 11:29 a.m. No. Jefferson is not a good defender. And he's stationary on offense. The Thunder is not built for a low-post scorer. The Thunder is built to keep the driving lanes open. Now, if you want to argue that OKC needs a low-post scorer in case Durant or Westbrook goes down, you're right. The Thunder would be better off with Al Jefferson in this series, maybe, because of offense. But when Westbrook gets back, Jefferson would just muddle the lane.
kk 11:30 a.m. Gasol looks like he plays with one eye on the play and one eye on the official ready to complain.
Berry Tramel 11:30 a.m. I don't know what he's doing, but he does it well. He's a marvelous player. Sees the court well. Just a great, great player.
Berry Tramel 11:30 a.m. OK, super. Great questions. Talk to you next week.
by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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