Berry Tramel: Bedlam matchup for Big 12 Championship 'not crazy talk'

The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel took questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. Here's a recap of today's Q&A.
Oklahoman Modified: March 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm •  Published: March 8, 2013
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ON OKLAHOMA STATE FOOTBALL:

What did you think of Yurcich's comments about the OSU quarterbacks?

I was interested that Yurcich didn't want to comment on any QB individually. You know he has to have watched a ton of film. I guess he's walking softly until he's with these guys more.

 

ON THE OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER AND THE NBA:

I know KD is the best shooter in the NBA, but he may be the worst in the NBA for handling the basketball. He is a great dribbler for someone who is 6' 11", but he gives up a ton of turnovers. Does he insist on handling the ball or is this something that Brooks really wants him to do?

I assume Brooks wants him to handle the ball, and the truth is, Durant has gotten much better. Last night, not so much. KD had a bunch of turnovers. But he's been playing much better in terms of ballhandling, and Durant driving to the basket is a total load for defenses.

Big win for the Thunder against the Knicks last night, but would the game have gone differently with Carmelo on the court?

NO. In fact, I keep arguing that the Knickerbockers are no better with Carmelo. He's a ballstopper. He's a scorer, but they've got other scorers.

How much do Westbrook’s turnovers detract from his good qualities?

Westbrook's turnovers are down. But either way, they don't detract from his play. Look at the NBA leaders in turnovers. They're all stars. Heck, I'll look it up. Here are the top five NBA players in turnovers this season: Kobe Bryant, Jrue Holliday, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant. It's guys who have the ball in their hands a lot, shoot a lot of shots and make a lot of passes.

I assume that a lot of Westbrook’s turnovers are as a result of his fast pace of play. I'm sure he will get better each year.

He has gotten better every year. Every month, really. He does play at breakneck speed, which can lead to miscues (to use one of Eddie Sutton's favorite words).

Everyone gets on Russ, but if OKC wins a title I think he will be the main reason why. LeBron can slow down and frustrate KD, but Miami has no answer for Russ

Good point. Here's what's interesting about Thunder-Heat. Westbrook is better than Wade. Ibaka is just as good if not better than Bosh. Thunder role players are about as good as the Heat role players. But Miami has a big edge, because of LeBron.

I'm definitely not an NBA expert because I only pay attention during the Playoffs, but is Westbrook really better than Wade? Or is Wade just a little diminished under the enormous shadow of LeBron?

Westbrook is better. Westbrook is where Wade was before he lost a step. Lost a little explosiveness. Westbrook's explosiveness is top of the line.

 

ON THE NFL:

Do you think next year is make or break for Bradford with the Rams next year? Do you think they compete for a playoff berth?

Make or break? No. Sammy B. is the Ram quarterback for the future. Yes, I think the Rams will compete for a playoff, but it won't be easy. Suddenly, this is the toughest division in the NFL.

 

ALL THE EXTRAS:

I heard you talk about attendance in college sports a couple of days ago (haven't yet read your Bowlsby piece). I totally agree with the impact TV has had on attendance. Years ago, weren't there blackouts if fans didn't show for games?

I can't recall if it was ticket sales, no-shows, or combination thereof that gave rise to that. It seems like it was mostly NFL-related and the blackouts were in the immediate proximity of the local team. Is that an option for the college game or would there be too much public outcry?

Can't do it in college. The TV contracts don't allow it, and sellouts would not occur, so you'd have a ton of blackouts, and the TVs wouldn't like it. Most college viewing is provincial — regional or local. Not so with the NFL. NFL blackouts are rare. Just wouldn't work.

 

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
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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