Berry Tramel: Rockets' lineup changes out of desperation and necessity

The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel took questions from readers in today’s Power Lunch Chat. Take a look at today’s Q&A and join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports.
by Berry Tramel Modified: April 25, 2013 at 10:52 am •  Published: April 25, 2013
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The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel took questions from readers in today’s Power Lunch Chat. Take a look at today’s Q&A and join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports.
NewsOK 10:52 a.m. Hey everyone. Berry will be logging in at 11 a.m. Submit your questions now.
Berry Tramel 11:01 a.m. Hey, everybody. I'm up and running. So send in your questions and we'll get started.
Eric 11:02 a.m. What was the deal with the lack of rebounding last night? It was atrocious. Half of the time there were exactly zero Thunder players the basket when a shot went up. Is that lack of effort? Rockets boxing out better? Bad shooting decisions?
Berry Tramel 11:03 a.m. The lack of offensive rebounding is sort of understandable. The Thunder is really geared to transition defense against the Rockets. They don't want a bunch of Houston fast breaks. But the defensive rebounding was indeed atrocious. Lack of effort, lack of focus, lack of a lot of things. That has got to change.
Brian 11:04 a.m. The starting QBs for this year's Bedlam game will be ...?
Berry Tramel 11:05 a.m. Oh wow. Great question. I have a pretty good guess for Aug. 31. But December? I'll say Blake Bell and Wes Lunt. But that's just a wild guess. I tend to think the OSU job will be fluid. Gundy has a lot of options. I think Bell is the man at OU, unless he gets hurt.
Alan 11:05 a.m. Where does Scott Brooks rank among current NBA coaches? I realize that he's no Popovich, but he's got to be climbing.
Berry Tramel 11:06 a.m. I would agree. He is climbing. The schematic problems I saw in Brooks in years past, I don't see much. He still plays Derek Fisher too much, but otherwise, I don't have a problem with Brooks' moves. His guys play for him, the Thunder is solid defensively and I don't know that you can ask much more out of a guy.
Kendrick Perkins 11:06 a.m. Do you like how I called off Thabo to guard The Beard? Giving up a and one wasn't that big of deal.
Berry Tramel 11:07 a.m. I don't know what was going on there. Perkins was not good in the second quarter. But Perk was invaluable in the fourth. He didn't play until the Rockets got it tied at 91, then Brooks put Perk back in and the Thunder made a move.
Pattrick 11:07 a.m. On a scale of 1-10, how good is KD?
Berry Tramel 11:07 a.m. About a 72.4. He's phenomenal. And getting better. Wow. What a ballplayer.
Eric 11:08 a.m. I'm hoping Jeremy Lin isn't hurt too badly to miss the next game. The Thunder need him in the Rockets lineup, Beverly is all kinds of problems. Also there's no reason Beverly should have more rebounds than everyone on the Thunder (sorry to harp on the rebounding again).
Berry Tramel 11:09 a.m. Actually, Houston needed Lin last night. When Beverley got in foul trouble, the Rockets had to go with Aaron Brooks, which was a desire. But otherwise, you're right. Beverley clearly is the better player in this series.
Brian 11:09 a.m. Will the Big 12 have a team in next year's inaugural College Football Championship semifinals?
Berry Tramel 11:09 a.m. Oh heck. I don't know. I don't even know who half the Big 12 quarterbacks are going to be next year. Much less how good anyone will be next season. But I will say this. Most years, the Big 12 champ is in good shape to make the top four. That's what history has shown.
Eric 11:11 a.m. I thought I saw something yesterday about one mock draft showing Tony Jefferson going undrafted. Do you really think he won't get picked at all? He seems good enough for someone to at least take a chance on him in the late rounds.
Berry Tramel 11:13 a.m. I don't know. He's fallen fast. Tony is not big. He's got a cornerback's body but a safety's game. You've got to be big and physical to play safety in the NFL. I don't know if Jefferson made a mistake turning pro, but he's not going to reap a bonanza.
Pattrick 11:14 a.m. On a scale of 1-10, how good is LEbron
Berry Tramel 11:14 a.m. 87.3. He's got a pretty good game working himself.
harry man 11:14 a.m. how many daily oklahoman writers are going to houston?
Berry Tramel 11:14 a.m. three. John Rohde, Darnell Mayberry and me.
Fred 11:23 a.m. What piece of advice would you give Scott Brooks going forward?
Berry Tramel 11:24 a.m. Don't bite on that offer to let Russell Westbrook pick your wardrobe if the Thunder wins the title. Championships are rare and valuable and wonderful. But they're not worth that.
JC 11:24 a.m. What'd ya think of RW's outfit last night?
Berry Tramel 11:25 a.m. It was subtle. Because I barely remember it. Someone just told me he was wearing leather. But I still remember that Sunday night look. Scotty said he didn't mind the sleeveless shirt, but those shoes were a non-starter.
Eric 11:25 a.m. Is there anything that would be considered TOO ridiculous to wear to an NBA post game interview? I'm guessing no.
Berry Tramel 11:27 a.m. I'm guessing no, too. Which reminds me of a funny story. Second year for Westbrook, in the locker room after the game, he was dressed in some kind of shirt that was sort of poofy (think Seinfeld) and had some kind of stripes or insignia on the shoulder. Desmond Mason was visiting, chatting with Collison or somebody, when suddenly he saw Westbrook. Mason turned, put his heels together and gave Westbrook an exaggerated salute. Westbrook was duly embarrassed.
JC 11:27 a.m. Should the Thunder be worried about the Spurs? They look to be playing pretty well.
Berry Tramel 11:28 a.m. Plenty of time for that later. I'd be worried about the Clippers, if you think it's safe to no longer worry about the Rockets. By the way, the Spurs could be headed for a soft trip to the West finals. First, the Lakers. Then, perhaps the Warriors.
Charlie 11:28 a.m. Marcus Smart coming back to Stillwater. Are they clear-cut favorites in the Big 12 next year or do you still have your money on Bill Self?
Berry Tramel 11:28 a.m. OSU. By a longshot. The Cowboys clearly have the best team returning. If Bill Self wins this one, the Cowboys can forget about ever winning the Big 12.
JC 11:28 a.m. Some of the TNT crew said Houston's lineup change was a sign of desperation. Did you see it as desperation?
Berry Tramel 11:29 a.m. I saw it as desperation, but also necessity. Think about it. What possible reason could Kevin McHale ever have for going big against the Thunder again? The Thunder clearly had trouble with the small lineup. I'd stick with it, and I think McHale will.
JC 11:31 a.m. Tony Jefferson has fallen off most mock drafts. Did he make a bad decision to leave early?
Berry Tramel 11:31 a.m. Not necessarily. Maybe he was tired of school. Maybe he wants to make some money, even if it's not a lot of money. If you don't want to be in college, you shouldn't be in college.
Berry Tramel 11:31 a.m. OK, great questions. Talk to everybody next week.

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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