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Berry Tramel: Thunder needs a little variety at game's end

by Berry Tramel Published: March 6, 2011

“A lot of teams shoot bad percentages,” Brooks said. Defenses “scout. They do a good job bodying up.”

Durant offered up a basketball tutorial. That great curl play of his isn't available late, he said, because defenders switch on screens.

“You rarely get a catch-and-shoot situation late in the game,” Durant said.

OK. But still, can't the Thunder try something else? Anything else?

Especially on a night when Durant had made only three baskets (on 12 shots; he finished 3-of-14).

Brooks is right. This is a leaguewide problem. Tired of the Thunder's last-possession failures? Try being a Heat fan. LeBron James has a nice little streak going of last-second futility.

But the Thunder seems to be falling too easily into the Heat trap that the reigning superstar has to take the final shot. That's nonsense. Maybe that's why the league success rate is low. Too much reliance on the bellcow.

Durant is OKC's best offensive player, but Westbrook is an all-star and Harden is a gamer. Give those guys a little love. It might just relieve some defensive pressure off Durant.

“Everybody needs to do a better job, including myself,” Brooks said.

Oh, well. Maybe next time.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

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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