Berry Tramel: OKC Thunder can only benefit from more playing time for Thabo Sefolosha

The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel took questions from readers today in his Power Lunch Chat. Topics included the Oklahoma City Thunder, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State football, college football from around the nation, the NFL and more. Here's a recap of today's chat.
Oklahoman Modified: November 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm •  Published: November 13, 2012
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The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel took questions from readers today in his Power Lunch Chat. Topics included the Oklahoma City Thunder, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State football, college football from around the nation, the NFL and more. Join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports.

Here's a recap of the chat:

ON THE OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER:

Thabo Sefolosha needs to shoot the ball more for OKC when he is open. Do you think he's playing too many minutes?

Thabo needs to play. He needs to play as many minutes as possible. If you need more offense, put in Martin and take out one of the bigs. The Thunder got butchered in Miami last year because Scotty Brooks forgot about Thabo. Thabo has to play around 30 minutes a night. He's too good on defense, and he's not in any way an offensive liability. I agree, go ahead and shoot more, Thabo. But he needs to play more, not less.

Do you like it, love it, or hate it that KD is trying to expand his all-around game?

I sort of like it. Especially the rebounding. I love the rebounding. But I'll grant you that Durant occasionally looks to pass a little much. Except in crunch time, Durant still seems willing to take it all on his shoulders.

Birthday Boy Westbrook played a great game last night. Your thoughts on his performance?  

Sir Russell Westbrook now is 24. Looks to me like he remains serious about basketball at age 24. He was the only Boomer who was into the game for three quarters last night. Then everybody joined up with him.

Any chance Kevin Martin resigns with the Thunder next year? What type of money will he want? He can score and we've seen scorers get money. Ben Gordon, Harden, Eric Gordon, etc.

All depends. What does Martin want? Does he want a max contract? Or does he like being here and winning? Does the Thunder want him back? I think there's a good chance he'll want to return and the Thunder will want him back. But it's a long year.

Do you think anyone will admit that the Thunder are better off with Martin and financial flexibility than they would be with James Harden and a large tax bill looming?

I think a lot of people already have said so. Some haven't, but a lot have. So I think if the Thunder plays well, the platitudes will come.

What do you think of Darnell Mayberry's new nickname for Westbrook -- Wolverine?

I sort of like it. He ran with it, and maybe it will stick. I will support it.

Biggest concern right now for the OKC Thunder?

Lack of defensive intensity. The Thunder seems to be asleep early against Atlanta, Detroit, etc. Get with it.

If anyone wanted Lamb to get more minutes, they just need to watch the 02:58 he played last night. With that said I do like PJIII but it looks like he just disappears when he gets in the game. What are your thoughts?

Jones looks completely lost. Lamb did, too, last night. It wasn't a bad spot to try him. Give Brooks credit. He got Lamb in and got him out quickly.

The Thunder is in the top 8 in all the major defensive categories. In my opinion, turnovers are the biggest problem for OKC.

Yes. But I think OKC has to live with it. Sort of like Brett Favre. You have to live with the interceptions. The Thunder's style just leads to that. You want the up-tempo, you want the drives to the basket, you have to live with the turnovers.

Why do you think OKC has been lackadaisical on defense?

Long season. Boredom. Just trying to get through the day.

Could the Thunder make a move for a guy like Mickaël Piétrus? They really need someone to try to slow down LeBron.

I don't like Piétrus against LeBron. I think the Thunder needs a big small forward, or a small big forward. Stephen Jackson, Shawn Marion, people like that. The dude in New Jersey. Gerald Wallace. I would love to see the Thunder pick up someone like that.

 

ON THE NBA:

James Harden had a good initiation to having his own team this week, the Rockets played the Griz and he was defended by Tony Allen, and they played the Heat and he was picked up by Shane Battier and then LeBron on an end of game play when they needed a three. Do you think he was looking around for Kevin or Russ?

No, I don't think he was looking for his old pals. I would guess that it remains somewhat euphoric for Harden to be the franchise cornerstone. But when February arrives, and Houston is five games under .500, and he's headed for a road trip to Minnesota and Detroit, then reality sets in.

Who are your top 5 NBA players? Mine: 1. LeBron; 2. KD; 3. Chris Paul; 4. Dwyane Wade; 5. Dwight Howard.

Oh, I don't know about Wade. Healthy, I'd put Derrick Rose ahead of Wade. If healthy, Dwight Howard belongs, too.

Did you see what LeBron did last night? 38, 10 and 6. 16 in the fourth and put his team up with 18 seconds left. And guarded Harden on the three. He is out of this world good.

LeBron James is good? No freakin' kidding. The guy is fabulous. He's the best player since Jordan, and when someone trots out that LeBron could be better than Jordan, it's not nonsense. He is unbelievable.

 

ON OKLAHOMA SOONERS FOOTBALL:

Ed Cunningham was critical of Tony Jefferson too in the Iowa State game. I was a little disappointed. Saying he was targeting and hitting illegally. As Jim Traber says this is the sissification of sports. I agree. Bring back smashmouth football.

Traber is a good friend of mine. But he's full of crap. We've got 50-year-old men walking around with no memory, some of them NOT walking around. Why did Traber wear a batting helmet? Time was, hitters didn't wear batting helmets.

OU will be favored in each of their last three games. What do you think the likelihood of stumbling is? Who is most likely to beat OU?

Let's see. West Virginia, I'd give OU a 75 percent chance. OSU, 80 percent. TCU, 65 percent. So I guess I'm saying TCU is most likely to beat the Sooners.

Why does Tom Wort continue to play? Misses a lot of tackles. Seems like Shannon is playing better than him right now.

Franklin Shannon is better against spread passing teams. But Wort clearly is better against teams that can come at you with power. That's why Wort was solid against Notre Dame. Not against Baylor.

Why the shortage of good players in OU’s defensive front seven? It’s not because of injuries.


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...
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