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Berry Tramel: James Harden is Thunder's Game 3 wildcard

by Berry Tramel Published: May 5, 2011

The Oklahoman sports columnist Berry Tramel answered questions from readers in today's Power Lunch chat. Read the entire chat recap here. Participate in our Power Lunch chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. at

On what the Thunder needs to do to win Game 3 in Memphis

Play physical defense like the Thunder did in Game 2, and no way will the Grizzlies sweep. But let Gasol and Randolph have their way in two games, and Memphis will take a 3-1 lead. That's the key. Durant and Westbrook, we pretty much know what they will do. The only offensive wild card is Harden. But that defense could go either way.

On Memphis' gameplan in Game 3 vs. the Thunder:

I expect the Grizzlies to come out and pound the ball. The Thunder has to be ready. If Perk and Ibaka and Collison push back, then I think the advantage switches to OKC. Of course, you never know how the officiating will go. Thunder could find some foul trouble. But the Thunder excelled in Game 2 not just in spite of the foul trouble, but BECAUSE of the fouls.

On the better NBA player - Serge Ibaka or Blake Griffin:

Well, at the risk of alienating Ibaka fans, I'd have to say Blake. But I've got no complaints about Ibaka. Did you see what Bill Simmons said about Ibaka? Compared him to Bill Russell.

On how his opinion of Memphis has changed since the playoffs started:

They've showed me. Blog: Mavericks waiting on OKC-Memphis winner? Chat Reap: Berry Tramel

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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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