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Berry Tramel chat from H&H Shooting Sports: What's the fix for Thunder-Clipper Game 2?

staff reports Published: May 7, 2014

Berry Tramel 10:52 a.m. Hey, everybody. I'm up and running at H&H Shooting Sports, Interstate 40 and Meridian. I'll be doing my chat at 11 a.m. and will be here until 12:15 or 12:30. So come on out for lunch at the 4U Cafe' -- it's lasagna day -- and say hello. If you can't make it by, send in your questions and we'll get started soon.
Berry Tramel 10:58 a.m. OK, let's get started. I'm out here at H&H Shooting Sports, I-40 and Meridian. Join me for lunch or online.
JoeOklahoma 10:58 a.m. Do you think we'll be able to cover CP3 and the Clippers' longshots a bit better this round now that we're a bit more prepared on D (hopefully).
JoeOklahoma 10:59 a.m. Also, thanks for your great writing - your articles about the BCS got me into sports politics, then sports journalism and writing in general. I know it's not fun to have a headline changed, but I appreciate all NewsOK has done for the Thunder and OKC in particular. Keep it up.
Berry Tramel 10:59 a.m. There's no way the Thunder can cover CP3 worse. Oh, I shouldn't say that. Letting him shoot 3's is better than letting him get to the basket. But you've got to cover both. Paul won't have another shooting night like that, but his teammates are capable of more than 7-of-20, like they went in Game 1.
Berry Tramel 11:00 a.m. Oops. Got out of order there. Sorry. But as for Joe's second comment, I didn't really have a headline changed. I don't write headlines and I never submit a suggestion. Probably ought to change. Probably need to do that.
Dalton 11:00 a.m. What's your prediction for tonight? Does the defense look better? Any minutes changed in the lineup?
Berry Tramel 11:00 a.m. Oh, I guess I'll pick the Thunder. I always go with the home squad. But man, that defense was awful in Game 1. I assume it'll be much better in Game 2.
Brant 11:01 a.m. OKC is lucky to have Kevin Durant, Westbrook, Presti and the Thunder. That being said, I keep hearing Popovich and other coaches talking about running the offense and getting looks for easy baskets. Durant and Westbrook get baskets but they work HARD to get them. Do you think a set offense might permit them to get some easy baskets and focus more energy on defense?
Berry Tramel 11:02 a.m. I don't believe that easy-basket stuff. One way to get easy baskets is to run. Try to beat the foe downcourt in transition. Otherwise, it's hard to score. Barkley's always talking about throwing it inside to someone for an easy basket. You think it's easy to score on the low post? If so, why don't more people do it? Because interior defense is strong and because team defense collapses. It's not easy.
Brian 11:02 a.m. I appreciate what Durant has done for the Thunder and the Oklahoma City community. But at what point do fans and media start to criticize him for him not leading the Thunder to a title like LeBron was heavily criticized for?
Berry Tramel 11:03 a.m. Oh, I think we're a ways from that. What I wrote last week was on that path, though. I said he needed to play better to get the Thunder past Memphis, and that was true. And Durant knows that. He doesn't disagree. But Durant is a ways from severe criticism. The Thunder is just now blooming into the prime of its stars.
JJ 11:03 a.m. The speech KD gave yesterday was the most incredible speech I ever heard, so do you think that brought the team closer together than they have ever been?
Berry Tramel 11:04 a.m. I don't see how it couldn't. It was a great speech, and it had to strengthen the bond. That's why I wrote about it in the Wednesday Oklahoman.How that translate to success in this series, we'll have to see.
Joe 11:04 a.m. Berry, after yesterday's MVP Award Ceremony I believe the Thunder is on the right path for a Championship. With all the honest tears and honest sincere feelings displayed from all including the players, coaches, owners, fans and by all means the MVP Kevin Durant. We have won even if its not a Sporting Championship it is a Championship won in the Heart by knowing the Durants!
Berry Tramel 11:05 a.m. It was a great moment, and it will sustain the fans and the city through what figures to be some tough times in the Clipper series. However, I don't think it replaces winning. I think the Thunder still needs to win to keep everyone happy.
Brian 11:05 a.m. The biggest problem with the headline wasn't "Mr. Unreliable." It was that there wasn't a subheadline underneath to EXPLAIN why Durant was unreliable. That's more of a design mistake, than an editor mistake.
Berry Tramel 11:06 a.m. That's not a bad point. It left too much to interpretation, though I would say "Mr. Unreliable" was a little too much. In my column, I said Durant had become unreliable at the foul line in the Memphis series. I ddin't even say he had become unreliable all around vs. Memphis. So that's a pretty big jump. I think it was an inappropriate headline. Explanation would have helped, but not using it at all would have helped better.
JJ 11:07 a.m. Hello Tramel. With the most incredible speech I ever heard anyone give and well deserved MVP do you think that brought the team closer together than ever before and help them play at an elite level of basketball?
Berry Tramel 11:07 a.m. I think it had to bring them closer together. Whether or not it helps them play better against the CLippers, I don't know. I don't see how it can hurt. I expect the Thunder to play focused tonight. And much better. Whether that translates to victory, who knows?
Nicky 11:09 a.m. How did the Thunder do guarding Jamal Crawford?
Berry Tramel 11:10 a.m. I thought OK. Crawford went 3-of-6 from 3-point range, but two of his baskets were in the fourth quarter, which was a JV Game, with no starters the final 10:40. If the Thunder can guard everyone else the same and improve against Paul, that's acceptable.
Guest 11:10 a.m. There's just something about Deandre Jordan to me that I can't stand. But with that said, he is ferocious at dunking, rebounding, and defense most times too. What can OKC do to slow down his production while also trying to contain CP3 and Blake to an acceptable level?
Berry Tramel 11:11 a.m. I thought the Thunder did fine against Jordan in Game 1. He had five rebounds total. He often has that many offensive rebounds in a game alone. And while he got free for three dunks, that's OK, as long as you're keeping him off the boards. And Brooks always might go back to fouling him, which is good strategy if the Clippers are in an offensive flow. Jordan went 1-of-8 from the line in Game 1.
Randy 11:11 a.m. After hearing KD's quotes, do you think it affects Russell Westbrook in any way? I'm not dumb enough to think Westbrook will change his entire style of play and mature into the calculated PG Chris Paul is, but do you think that KD vote of confidence could have lasting effects? If so, what kind?
Berry Tramel 11:12 a.m. I doubt it affects Westbrook too much, but it can't help but make him feel better about his role and situation. I mean, that kind of vote of confidence has to be supremely satisfying for a guy always under the gun. Makes me think more than ever that Westbrook and Durant might stay together for quite some time.
JJ 11:13 a.m. Tramel I hope Westbrook plays as the facilitator and not play 2 on 2 basketball and be agressive
Berry Tramel 11:16 a.m. I don't mind 2-on-2 basketball. Durant and Westbrook playing pick'n roll basketball is a total load for defenses. The Thunder offense was pretty good in Game 1. Defense was the problem.
Brian 11:16 a.m. Any heat or job security talks about Scott Brooks if the Thunder don't win this year's championship?
Berry Tramel 11:17 a.m. Championship? No. Lose to the Clippers? Probably. The Thunder is reaching the point where they are expected to be great every year. Another disappointment would be a huge blow to Brooks' record. So I think the heat turns up if the Clippers win this series.
-Q 11:18 a.m. Thunder showed up Monday for a 7:00 game & left around 9:20 or so... Someone needs to remind them of the 8:30 (scheduled) tip time.
Berry Tramel 11:18 a.m. Here's what's strange. The Thunder, notoriously a slow starting team, got off to a good start. 16-10 after 5 minutes or so. But then the defense caved. They've got to play defense from the start.
Brant 11:18 a.m. The question last year was whether Reggie Jackson could be the sixth man and spark the Thunder reserves' offense. Westbrook was hurt and we never found out the answer to that question. Do you agree that the keys to tonight's game are Defense and whether Jackson can play that role?
Berry Tramel 11:19 a.m. I think it's defense. I think Jackson will be fine. I mean, the guy scored 32 points in a must-win game against Memphis. He can stand up to the Clippers, despite that bad Game `1. The defense is the problem.
Jay 11:19 a.m. Do you think it would benefit the thunder to double CP3 and try to force the inside guys to beat us?
Berry Tramel 11:21 a.m. No. I don't think you can double perimeter guy very often. That leaves the guys underneath open too quickly. But quick double teams on the pick'n roll can help. The Thunder actually did a decent job on CP's penetrations. But those 3-pointers were killers.
Berry Tramel 11:22 a.m. OK, everybody. Let's play some more trivia. H&H Shooting Sports has another RedHawks prize pack -- four tickets to Friday night's game, plus a parking pass. We'll give it away to the first person who answers this question. Three baseball franchises have moved from West to East. Name two of them, and the prize pack is yours.
Husker John 11:22 a.m. I think "Blocks" are the most overrated stat kept. How many times have we seen Serge block a shot, only to have an opposing player concert the rebounded block into an easy layup or pass it out to a teammate for a wide-open 3-pointer. I think the more useful stat would be "BCP" or Block that results in a Change of Possession. You could get this started. What do you think?
Berry Tramel 11:24 a.m. I like the new stat, but I don't think blocks are overrated at all. Serge's biggest defensive contribution is not his blocks, it's his shots that are either altered or not taken. The presence of Ibaka makes everyone change. You either don't drive, or you drive and don't shoot, or you drive and shoot and shoot differently. Ibaka's shot-blocking ability is a huge Thunder asset.
Guest 11:24 a.m. What happened to Jenni Carlson's news about "Scott Brooks its now your move"? I like how she had the "b_lls to call him on that and not much from you guys!
Berry Tramel 11:24 a.m. What happened? Nothing's happened. Haven't had a game since.
Robo Cop 11:24 a.m. Can Brooks outsmart doc Rivers in coaching and not make blundering moves in substitution that clearly does not work and play guys that does not want to play, including defense?
Berry Tramel 11:26 a.m. Substitution had virtually nothing to do with Game 1. The big lineups didn't work, the small ball didn't work. Using Thabo and not using Thabo made no discernible difference. And I didn't see much of anybody on the perimeter who played great defense. The key to this series is getting Westbrook to play good defense on CP3.
Redneck Joe 11:26 a.m. Brooks has several fouls to give Jordan with the bench he has. Fouling Jordan from start to finish just might be a good Idea or it just might make a hell'va free shot shooter out of Jordan. Wining is the name of the game, right?
Berry Tramel 11:27 a.m. Here's the key to Jordan. Don't necessarily foul him intentionally all the time. But don't let him dunk. If he's going to get an easy shot, hack him. Don't let him dunk. And don't let him get a 3-point play.
Jon 11:27 a.m. What an acceptance speech! As if we already didn't know that KD was good as gold and exceptional human being and role model, he had to go and do something like this. In a day and age when the good guys need someone to step up, KD has and should be a shinning example to everyone. I don't want to beat a dead horse but SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on the individual responsible for attacking him last week.
Berry Tramel 11:30 a.m. It was a bad headline. But Durant wasn't attacked. People took it that way, which is why it was a bad headline.
Jay 11:30 a.m. How big of a factor is the coaching mismatch between Doc Rivers and Scott Brooks going to play in this series?
Berry Tramel 11:31 a.m. Not much, I don't think. Both teams know how the other will play. The key for each coach is getting his own players to play the way they want to play. The Thunder has to commit to defense. That's Brooks' job. Get his guys to play D. The offense will come.
W 11:31 a.m. Hi Berry! It seemed like on Monday night the Thunder, at some point, seemed to accept their fate. As soon as a Thunder shot went up they'd all start jogging to the other end as if it didn't matter whether or not it went in. What do you think caused that, and what do you think needs to change tonight?
Berry Tramel 11:32 a.m. I think the Thunder knew midway through the third quarter that it was a lost cause. So I'll cut them some slack. Westbrook said yesterday that effort was the issue on defense. That has to change.
Jay 11:33 a.m. The bucks and the Bulls for the question
Berry Tramel 11:33 a.m. BAseball. Not NBA.
Guest 11:33 a.m. I know the Giants and Dodgers moving East to West but West to East... This is tricky!
Berry Tramel 11:33 a.m. Yes indeed. Remember, three baseball franchises have moved from West to East.
Bryan 11:34 a.m. Milwaukee Braves; Montreal Expos
Berry Tramel 11:34 a.m. One of two there. The Expos didn't move East when they moved to D.C.
Brian 11:35 a.m. Off topic, but why doesn't the Thunder have a color analysts for its radio broadcasts? It's maddening to listen to 1 voice for 2 hours and I feel like I'm listening to an auctioneer because Pinto talks all of the time.
Berry Tramel 11:37 a.m. Pinto prefers to work alone. One thing that goes on, basketball is so fast-paced, it's hard to get another voice in. I listened to Matt call the Memphis-OKC game back in March, and it's tough to keep up, just with Matt alone. The game is so fast-paced, and Pinto does a great job describing the action, there's not a lot of dead time. Meanwhile, on TV, Brian Davis doesn't have to describe everything, because you're watching it for yourself.
Guest 11:37 a.m. I would say let the center just play the others center one on one and let him stay in and around the paint, not like Brooks want him to go after the point guards near the 3 point area and back to his man, its confusing what Brooks wants?
Berry Tramel 11:37 a.m. No. You can't do that. Your big men have to help on defense, because they'll screen the point guard defender, and without help from the center, that's a free lane to the basket.
Jon 11:38 a.m. The question is Berry, how did KD hinselft take the headline?
Berry Tramel 11:38 a.m. I'm sure the headline hacked him off. Heck, I'm sure the column didn't please him. Durant said yesterday he understood what I wrote and that he deserved (very nice of him). I really think others were bothered by it more than he was.
Jon Hamm 11:38 a.m. For the record, I felt way too much attention was given to a two word headline and not enough given to the 495 word article. Bad headline, sure, but valid article. It's unfortunate that so many people apparently read just the headline and jumped to conclusions.
Berry Tramel 11:39 a.m. Well, some people got mad at me, but that was OK. And they lost their anger at me, most of them, when they realized I didn't write the headline. But they didn't lose their anger over the headline.
Scott 11:39 a.m. One thing I would like to see from the thunder players is more shot fakes. It would open up a lot more on offense. What are your thoughts?
Berry Tramel 11:39 a.m. Hadn't thought of it. Maybe. Durant does it a lot. Fisher is good at it. Westbrook tends to just drive rather than fake. But it works out.
Guest 11:40 a.m. Milwaukee Braves and Philly Athletics to Kansas City
Berry Tramel 11:40 a.m. West to East. West to East. Philadelphia to KC is East to West.
Redneck Joe 11:41 a.m. Milwaukee, S. F. Giants
Berry Tramel 11:41 a.m. The Giants moved from New York. That's east to West.
Guest 11:41 a.m. Braves and Orioles?
Berry Tramel 11:41 a.m. That's the answer. Sign in with your name.
Boerner 11:41 a.m. I was wondering what your thoughts were regarding the lack of athleticism of Fisher and Butler and how that affects our defense when they are in the same lineup, which is quite often.
Berry Tramel 11:42 a.m. Hmm. I don't know how much fisher and Butler play together. Is it a bunch? Fisher is fine on defense. Not great, but fine.
Levi Convirs 11:43 a.m. Ok cool, I'm Levi Convirs
Berry Tramel 11:43 a.m. Levi, send me an email. I'll give you details.
Jon 11:43 a.m. Dr. Jack and Jim Durham made sweet music on the radio
Berry Tramel 11:43 a.m. Yes indeed. JAck Ramsay was a keeper.
W 11:43 a.m. If the Thunder end up losing this series (which I hope they don't), what do you think the team's first action would be post-season?
Berry Tramel 11:44 a.m. Great question. I think the likely answer is go straight to the draft and find out what it can get.
Guest 11:44 a.m. I know you lit up KD on what was the headline, can you light a fire on Brooks to be completely 48 minutes coaching the game?
Berry Tramel 11:44 a.m. Not the same thing. What do you want Brooks to do? Coach harder?
Guest 11:44 a.m. Westbrook said yesterday that effort was the issue on defense. That has to change. Do you know if he keeps his words or they an empty words?
Berry Tramel 11:44 a.m. I have no idea. I have no idea if it's even true.
3:10 to Yuma 11:44 a.m. Berry, how did you celebrate our new Kevin Durant Day yesterday?
Berry Tramel 11:44 a.m. Went to Durant's celebration. That's how.
Guest 11:45 a.m. I saw all of you 3 last game with Clippers, why did you not asked some questions to Brooks right fter the game about no defense?
Berry Tramel 11:45 a.m. I was busy writing, but Brooks got plenty of questions about the defense.
Redneck Joe 11:45 a.m. Berry, are we having fun Yet?
Berry Tramel 11:45 a.m. I am. Can't say about you.
guest 11:45 a.m. What was the third team?
Berry Tramel 11:46 a.m. Seattle Pilots moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers. The Milwaukee Braves moved to Atlanta. The St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore.
Scott 11:46 a.m. If the thunders problem Monday night was focus, do you think it was partly because of the MVP award, and now that its over will there focus be back tonight?
Berry Tramel 11:46 a.m. No. I don't think the MVP had anything to do with Thunder focus.
Guest 11:46 a.m. Should Brooks tinker with the starting lineup again, to give more offense out of the gate? Seems to have kick started our team play.
Berry Tramel 11:47 a.m. No. The Thunder had excellent offense out of the gate. The Thunder has to play defense in this series.
Guest 11:47 a.m. I know it was late in the second half, but KD was guarding CP3 .. Would you start KD out on Paul to use his length to disrupt his flow and not make him so comfortable?
Berry Tramel 11:47 a.m. Sounds like a good recipe to get Durant in foul trouble. But he might be able to guard CP3 for short stretches.
KW 11:47 a.m. would you start Butler over Thabo this game? Butler seems to be more effective when he starts.
Berry Tramel 11:47 a.m. No. I would start Thabo and play him 35 minutes. Someone has to defend.
Jon 11:47 a.m. Isn't KD a breath of fresh air as far as sports stars go? A-ROD, Lebron, Dwight Howard, Kobe. Geez, they can't hold his jock attitude wise.
Berry Tramel 11:48 a.m. Yes, Durant is a breath of fresh air. He's a keeper. Now, I will say, LeBron is a good sport, too. Howard's a little goofy, and Kobe and A-Rod are pieces of work.
Rumble 11:49 a.m. Theres a quote floating around today about the MVP award, Lebron James said something like "I played well enough to win it, but Heat didnt". Seems like quite a different glimpse into a superstars mindset than what we saw from a humble KD yesterday...If he said it, what are your thoughts?
Berry Tramel 11:49 a.m. He didn't say it. In fact, LeBron was very gracious. Talked about what a great season KD had.
Jay 11:49 a.m. I understand that everyone thinks that Brooks is going to be on the hot seat if he loses this series. But is it realistic to think that the Thunder would make a coaching move for someone like Kevin Olley or Calipari given that they have no head coaching experience in the NBA over Brooks who does. It seems like a step back. Given that, who would be a viable option to take his spot if it does come to that?
Berry Tramel 11:50 a.m. I think the Thunder makes a change only if Sam Presti believes Scotty has lost the players' ear and he thinks they would respond well to a new coach. Ollie or not.
3:10 to Yuma 11:50 a.m. Berry do you think that Al in the "Total Dominance Hour" on 98. 1 FM can go 3 minutes without blaming Perk for all the world's ills?
Berry Tramel 11:50 a.m. No.
Berry Tramel 11:50 a.m. OK, everyone. Great stuff. Levi, email me. We'll talk to you next week.


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