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Berry Tramel: Changes coming for OU's defense

The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel took questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat covering the Sooners, Oklahoma State, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and more. Here's a look at the Q&A.
Oklahoman Modified: March 28, 2013 at 11:42 am •  Published: March 28, 2013

You're right, but does he have the instincts? I think Westbrook will get better on defense, and at times he's very good. Really flexible — he can guard all kinds of guys. But I don't think he's ever going to be a Thabo-type defender.

If you’re the Thunder, do you want to see the Nuggets of the Clippers in the second round?  

Here's how I would rank the teams the Thunder would most like to AVOID: 1. Spurs; 2. Grizzlies; 3. Clippers; 4. Nuggets; 5. Rockets; 6. Warriors; 7. Lakers; 8. Mavericks; 9. Jazz.

Nick Collison and Kendrick Perkins: which is a better player overall?

Oh, I'd say Collison is a better player. He's a wonderful player. Does all kinds of things. But Perkins is invaluable because of the interior defense he provides. That's very hard to find. Collison is good, too, but Perkins can match up with almost any post player and neutralize them to some extent.

Who's your all-NBA first team?

Let's see. Four are easy: LeBron, Durant, Kobe, Chris Paul. Maybe James Harden. Maybe Tyson Chandler (I love Tyson Chandler).

Tyson Chandler is awesome. He's an all underrated team guy. That's a good subject. Here's my all underrated team: Marc Gasol. Tyson Chandler. Joakim Noah. Tony Allen. Nick Collison. Who's yours?

I like your list. Let's see. Who else? Danny Green. Kawhi Leonard. Ty Lawson.

When you compare KD and LeBron, what's the one thing that separates them? Is it defense? Passing? Feel for the game? Ball handling? Is it just the team’s overall game plan for them?

First off is physical strength. LeBron is as athletic as Durant, yet outweighs him by what? 50 pounds? Strong as an ox, which means he can do all kinds of things around the basket and defending. He's an excellent passer, but KD is good, too. Durant is a better shooter, but LeBron is good, too. LeBron's probably a better ballhandler, but Durant is fine there. I just think LeBron's strength makes him a defensive marvel.

Do you think the media’s coverage of the Heat lately is too much? Too little? Or just enough? I know they just won 27 straight. But they lost. It's over. Now I want to hear about the NCAA Tourney and other things. What the Heat did was incredible but I do not think them losing warrants so much coverage.

Well, if you're going to cover the streak like crazy, you have to cover their defeat like crazy. With that said, it will settle down starting tonight or tomorrow. Everything is overhyped these days. The Heat is near the top of the list.

Did you see Hinrich's tackle on LeBron James? James is making it seem like it was a terribly dirty play, but it looked defensive to me. LBJ probably outweighs him 90 pounds.

I did see it, and I agree. I don't see what the big deal is. I don't think it was defensive — Hinrich did pull a takedown — but Hinrich did take the brunt of the fall. Everyone is a little too touchy these days.

Finish this sentence for me. LeBron James is …

The greatest basketball player in the world and one of the greatest of all time.



Your pick to win The Masters and why?

Tiger Woods, because he's the best player in the world.

Sad to hear Tim McCarver is stepping down as a baseball analyst after this year. His insight, to me, makes postseason baseball worth watching.

I was saddened, too, not because of any insight — I find virtually all baseball analysts boring these days; I wish Joe Garagiola was still around telling stories — but because Tim McCarver has always been a part of my life. Always. When I discovered baseball at age six, listening to Cardinal games, McCarver was the St. Louis catcher. That was 1967. Here 46 years later, he's still around.

My wife and I are season ticket holders for the Barons and it has been sad attending the games this year with poor attendance. Are there true grumblings about the Barons closing shop in OKC?

Not that I've heard. I've heard that the Oilers like being in OKC but want to see better attendance.

I listen to you, Jim, and Al on the Sports Animal almost everyday. Love it. Granted you barely get a word in, but I still love it.

Thanks. Good thing they don't pay me by the word. I wouldn't be able to have an egg salad sandwich for lunch.