Berry Tramel: Thunder is better off playing Portland in first round of NBA Playoffs

by Berry Tramel Modified: April 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm •  Published: April 7, 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 NewsOK.com/sports

On whether the Thunder has a better chance to beat Denver or Portland in the first round of the playoffs:

Like I said, Portland. I think Denver is a load. Tougher inside, first, with Nene and Kenyon Martin and maybe Birdman. Now, Gerald Wallace makes Portland a tougher series for Kevin Durant. But Russell Westbrook can expose Andre Miller over a 7-game series. The Thunder is better off with Portland.

On whether the Thunder will "try" to pass Dallas and get the No. 3 seed in the playoff:

Yes, the Thunder will try. It's not in their nature to tank games. If that happens, it happens with old teams. I think the Thunder is better off with the Spurs than the Lakers, but I think the Thunder is better off with Portland than with Denver. OKC always seems to play well against the Blazers. Not necessarily true with the Nuggets. I like OKC's chances better against the Spurs. But let's be honest. Nothing easy about either one of them. Rough, rough series against San Antonio. The Spurs are playoff-tested, they've got the league's best record, I like everything about them. But I'd still rather play San Antone than LA. The Lakers-Thunder would be fascinating theater, with Perkins, but LA would be very tough to beat. Chat Recap: Berry Tramel Poll: Portland or Denver?


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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