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Berry Tramel: Thunder is well-suited to defend James Harden, the Rockets

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 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm •  Published: April 18, 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.

Berry Tramel 10:59 a.m. Hey, everybody. I'm up and running. So send in your questions and we'll get started in a minute or two.
Jay 10:59 a.m. Call your shot: Thunder over the Rockets in how many games?
Berry Tramel 11:01 a.m. Thunder in five. After watching Houston's pathetic performance Wednesday night, I almost picked the Thunder in a sweep. But Harden and Lin could get hot and win one in Houston.
Tom 11:01 a.m. If Blake Bell was clearly the best QB, who was second?
Berry Tramel 11:02 a.m. Kendal THompson. I actually was impressed with Thompson. I think he's got a bright future. But Bell will be the starter.
Jay 11:02 a.m. Heard the brief discussion on radio the other day about Kobe and whether he'd pull a Fisher and join a team just for a shot at a 6th ring. Is there a franchise that would put up with him? If so, which one(s)? Personally I believe he'd be more of a distraction for a team if that team is good enough to be "close" to winning it all.
Berry Tramel 11:03 a.m. I think Kobe would fit in a lot of places. Heck, I think he'd fit in at OKC, if he was willing to know his role. Which he knows what the role would be. So if he signed up for it, there you go. Whether he'd do that or not, I don't know. I doubt it. But it would be fun.
Tom 11:03 a.m. Have you become a predominantly NBA/Thunder sports writer. Seems like you enjoy talking and writing about that league to such an extent that the other sports have taken a back seat.
Berry Tramel 11:04 a.m. Well, not predominantly, but I do write about the NBA quite bit, because there is stuff to write about. The other hot topic in Oklahoma is college football, and fans and media are excluded from much of the information going on with our football teams. So if it wasn't for the NBA, I'd be manufacturing stuff to write about. The NBA is manna from heaven.
Jay 11:04 a.m. Do you think the retention of the OSU trio in basketball (these guys need a collective nickname) changes many fans' opinion of Ford as OSU's coach?
Berry Tramel 11:06 a.m. Great question. I don't know. I do think the decision of the Three Amigos (you like them) looks very favorably on Ford. He's obviously running a program the guys enjoy.
Tom 11:06 a.m. I thought Ronnie Brewer was a starter for NY. How can he be a professional basketball player and be such a bad shooter. Thinks it's nerves. I love the other parts of his game and would play him over Fisher.
Berry Tramel 11:06 a.m. I'm with you. I would play Brewer. But that shooting is atrocious. I don't know how it's gotten so bad. He makes our old pal Desmond Mason look like Steph Curry.
Jerry 11:06 a.m. Berry, I don't care what anyone says, two 7 footers are hard to deal with. They have a chance to upset the spurs right?
Berry Tramel 11:07 a.m. I don't know. Not unless the Spurs have some issues. The Lakers are a total mess. They can't guard on the perimeter, last night not withstanding, when Harden was absolutely awful.
Your Name 11:07 a.m. Are you ready for the playoffs
Berry Tramel 11:08 a.m. I'm ready. I love the NBA playoffs. I actually enjoyed the NBA playoffs long before we ever had a team. NEver really got into the regular season, but I've always loved the NBA playoffs.
Your Name 11:08 a.m. Toronto really didn't do the Thunder any favors by going on a tear down the stretch. I guess that is a way to combat tanking. All of the players I was hoping the Thunder would are young to be gone. And Marcus Smart also hurt the Thunder's draft choice because even though he would have been gone as well, his absence moves everybody else up a spot. Should the Thunder take the best big men available and hope he is more Ibaka than Aldrich ?
Berry Tramel 11:09 a.m. I don't know. Maybe Toronto will get a top-3 pick and delay the Thunder's choice until next season. The draft choice is all determined by what kind of summer decisions the Thunder will make. Will they re-sign Martin, primarily?
Mike 11:09 a.m. Hola Berry, what is your opinion of OU linebackers Tim Kish. I don't understand why Bob accepted him coming him. OU could have gotten a way better linebacker coach. Someone like Randy Shannon or a proven guy. I don't understand why OU let him just come tag along with Mike. I think this year will be his last with OU. We need a guy who can recruit and he really hasn't show he can.
Berry Tramel 11:11 a.m. I have no knowledge of Kish's recruiting abilities. But I think Bob gave Mike some latitude in hiring Kish, which is common practice. Let a coordinator get a guy or two that he's comfortable with. So I have no problem with Kish right now.
Your Name 11:11 a.m. The Rockets should be an easy team to defend in a playoff series when you can lock in on them. They are guided by advanced stats and told to only shoot at the rim or take threes. But what do you do when the defense takes those away and they get back on defense and limit transition? You gotta take and make tough contested shots
Berry Tramel 11:12 a.m. I guess that's what the Lakers did last night. The Thunder is well-suited to defend the Rockets. Thabo on Harden. Westbrook on Lin. Get back on defense with those young legs. So it's a great matchup for OKC.
Your Name 11:12 a.m. What does OU do if Montgomery/Kish cant get the job done on the recruiting trial in the Near future? or How does OU restore the Defense to a National Contender?
Berry Tramel 11:13 a.m. If OU can't get the job done on the recruiting trail, the Sooners will continue to struggle to win the Big 12. And everyone will be in a bad mood and Bob will fire some more coaches. OU restores its defense by getting better players.
Danielle in Florida 11:13 a.m. Living in South Florida, all I am hearing about is Heat this and Heat that. Who do you think has the best chance of knocking them off their perch?
Berry Tramel 11:13 a.m. Memphis. I think the Grizzlies can turn the NBA Finals into a series of 86-82 games and have a shot at winning some of them. But I don't think the Grizzlies will make the Finals.
brewzer 11:14 a.m. OSU football question- DT talk rightfully centers on Barnett and Castleman, but have heard nothing about Ofa in the mix. His pub looked pretty impressive. Is he still on track?
Berry Tramel 11:14 a.m. It's a great question. I haven't thought of him since signing day. I need to check. I'll ask around.
Will 11:14 a.m. Berry- Wouldn't it make more sense for the Sooners to play younger guys in the secondary that have an opportunity to learn from mistakes under the gun, rather than play Gabe Lynn, who continually makes the same mistakes over and over? The diving at ball carrier's feet and missing has been maddening over the last 2 years, and once again reared it's ugly head in the Red/White game.
Berry Tramel 11:15 a.m. Well, I think OU will play the best players. And that might very well be the young guys -- Thomas, Sanchez, Johnson, whoever. Still, Stoops said Gabe Lynn had been playing very well. So we'll see.
Your Name 11:15 a.m. Don't you love the fact Kobe is out?! I do.
Berry Tramel 11:15 a.m. No. I sort of miss him. Doesn't really matter to me now, but if OKC had played the Lakers, I wanted to see Kobe. He makes it more fun.
Will 11:16 a.m. Can OU fans please watch the National Anthem from the Bruins game last night, have a little National pride, and STOP SA
Will 11:16 a.m. Can OU fans please watch the National Anthem from the Bruins game last night, have a little National pride, and STOP SA
Will 11:16 a.m. Can OU fans please watch the National Anthem from the Bruins game last night, have some National pride, and STOP SAYING SOONERS AT THE END OF THE ANTHEM PLEASE! Just a request
Berry Tramel 11:16 a.m. It's a little heavy request, I'd say. But it's a great question. It does sober you up, a little bit.
Your Name 11:19 a.m. On Bill Snyder-College Athletics in a bad place right now. Really? He talking about KState or in general?
Berry Tramel 11:20 a.m. I don't know what he said. But perhaps he meant overall. College basketball is a mess. And college football has Penn State. But I don't know what he meant.
Mike 11:20 a.m. Were you suprised by Bradley Griner's admission yesterday?
Berry Tramel 11:20 a.m. No.
Your Name 11:22 a.m. Did you like Stoops bright white kicks with his black attire last Saturday? His wife set out those clothes?
Berry Tramel 11:23 a.m. No, I did not like it. You do not wear lighter-colored shoes than your pants. Darker is fine. Lighter is not. Like these basketball coaches who wear a dark suit, with brown shoes. Not good.
Your Name 11:23 a.m. Politic to get Phil Jackson to OKC!
Berry Tramel 11:23 a.m. To what? Run for mayor. I don't want him coaching this team or running this team. He's full of himself.
Will 11:25 a.m. Berry- Any news about renovations to that rust bucket press box at OU yet? Think it will be done while you are still writing?
Berry Tramel 11:27 a.m. I plan to write for another 30 years, so I assume so. But I've never been bothered by the pressbox. I think it's functional. Some people say its an eyesore. I don't buy it. But I'm not really in the mood to debate it, either.
craig 11:27 a.m. Have you been following OU baseball? They seem to really have a complete team this year.
Berry Tramel 11:28 a.m. I was impressed with them, but the series at Baylor was unfortunate, then OU lost a doubleheader to Derek FIsher STate (Arkansas-Little Rock). So I think the Sooners will get a home regional, but not a top-8 seed that would get OU a Super Regional home game.
Jerry 11:28 a.m. I could care less what the press box is like as I never will get to be in it, I would rather have better speaker system and scoreboard at N. End of stadium where I have to sit
Berry Tramel 11:29 a.m. Excellent point. I think the video is fine but the audio long has been a problem at OU. Can't hear a thing.
Danielle in Florida 11:30 a.m. As I died in the wool Sooner (BOOMER!) who is living in exile, any suggestions how to best follow an out of market team? (in my case the Sooners :-)
Berry Tramel 11:30 a.m. Yes ma'am. newsok.com. We've got a ton of stuff every day on the Sooners (and the Cowboys, and the Thunder). We'll keep you updated.
The Ultimate 11:30 a.m. Hey berry, with the big 3 players coming back how far can OSU go next year? Final 4?
Berry Tramel 11:30 a.m. Sure. OSU will be Final Four caliber next year. Doesn't mean the Cowboys will get there. But it means the Cowboys CAN.
Berry Tramel 11:31 a.m. OK, great questions. Talk to you next week.

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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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