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Darnell Mayberry: Breaking down the OKC Thunder's matchup with the Dallas Mavericks

by Darnell Mayberry Modified: May 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm •  Published: May 16, 2011

The Oklahoman's Oklahoma City Thunder beat writer Darnell Mayberry 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

On what the Thunder needs to do to beat Dallas:

Defend the perimeter to limit the 3-point shooters. Win the rebounding game to prevent second-chance opportunities. Use its defense to get out and run for easy buckets. And limit turnovers.

On his prediction for Thunder-Mavericks:

Haven't quite figured it out yet. Two things are in play, though. On one hand, the Thunder could take advantage of Dallas' long layoff and ride its wave of momentum and steal Game 1 on the road much like Memphis did to the Thunder. On the other hand, the Thunder will have to adjust extremely quickly to its third different style of play in these playoffs. OKC didn't fare so well at that going from Denver to Memphis. So those will be the two biggest factors in a win right now. A third is Dallas is perhaps overconfident. We'll see. Right now, I'm leaning toward the Thunder.

On which Thunder player could guard Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki the best:

Kevin Durant. He's long enough, athletic enough and smart enough. I have my doubts about how much Brooks will rely on KD. He probably won't want to tire him out or get him in foul trouble. But this could be a turning point for KD defensively. Chat Recap: Darnell Mayberry

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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