Darnell Mayberry: It's likely the Thunder and Miami Heat will meet again in the Finals

The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry took questions on the Oklahoma City Thunder today in his Power Lunch Chat. Join our Power Lunch Chat's Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports. Here's a recap of today's Q&A.
by Darnell Mayberry Modified: April 15, 2013 at 12:48 pm •  Published: April 15, 2013
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The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry took questions on the Oklahoma City Thunder today in his Power Lunch Chat. Join our Power Lunch Chat's Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports. Here's a recap of today's Q&A:

Darnell Mayberry 10:58 a.m. Greetings, ladies and gents.
Bill 10:58 a.m. Darnell, do you not agree that Jackson is a star in the making? How much longer can OKC hold on to him? If I were the Lakers, I would sign him as soon as is legally possible.
Darnell Mayberry 10:59 a.m. Star might be a little much. But I think he can be a really, really good player. The Thunder has him for two more years, and the team likes his potential. So I can't see him getting away anytime soon.
Your Name 10:59 a.m. Probably we'll play against the Lakers in the first round.. do you think we are going to have some problems with them even if they are w/o Kobe?and what about the Toronto pick if a big like Len or Zeller is no more availbale at our choice? Greetings from a huge Thunder fan from Italy (sorry if my english is bad)
Darnell Mayberry 11:03 a.m. Your English is great. Thanks for joining us. I didn't think the Lakers would be much trouble with Kobe, so I definitely don't see them giving OKC many problems without Kobe. As for the Toronto pick, the Thunder is in a great position to take the best player available, regardless of position. Whoever the pick ends up being, it's possible that he won't play for a year or two anyway. That's a luxury.
Your Name 11:03 a.m. Please tell everybody on the coaching staff to BURN those Navy Blue uniforms for the Play Offs it seems everytime they wear those uniforms they seem to loose the game. They aren't the true Thunder Colors and I wonder if that has something to do with it that they DON'T seem to feel like themselves when they wear them!!!
Darnell Mayberry 11:05 a.m. They went 6-5 in them. The team was 4-5 on the road. You want the coaching staff to petition the league to not play road games, too?
MS 11:05 a.m. Looking ahead to the draft, Darnell, does Presti go BPA or does he pick a guy who can immediately come in and shore up the 2nd unit? And if it's the latter, what position in the 2nd unit needs upgrading the most?
Darnell Mayberry 11:05 a.m. I'm not sure there is a guy in the draft that could step onto this team and be a big-time contributor from day one. I just don't see it.
Your Name 11:06 a.m. The way Parker has been struggling, do you think that thunder are the favorites to win the west in playoffs?
Darnell Mayberry 11:06 a.m. Now I do. Between letting go of Stephen Jackson and Parker being banged up, I think the Spurs are trouble.
Your Name 11:06 a.m. Alex Len, Plumlee or Zeller, who is your pick?
Darnell Mayberry 11:08 a.m. Haven't seen Len so it'll have to be between Plumlee or Zeller by default. I've liked Plumlee more. But he's really the lesser of two potential evils so to speak in my eyes.
Kevin 11:08 a.m. Do you see the Thunder using both 1st round picks on frontcourt guys? Or do you potentially see a wing player in the mix?
Darnell Mayberry 11:08 a.m. If the Thunder uses its late-round pick I see the front office going the draft and stash route.
Carey 11:08 a.m. Even at a discount, for what it would cost is it even worth re-signing KMart. He hasnt exactly been used properly all the time but he brings nothing off the dribble, defensively,doesnt absorb contact, etc. Have to think by next year Lamb can do some of those same things or you can find a more cost friendly replacement that is maybe a little more versatile.
Darnell Mayberry 11:11 a.m. I've always liked Lamb's potential. But while I think he can replace some of K-Mart's perimeter shooting, I'm not positive he can move without the ball as well doing things like cutting and working the two-man game like K-Mart does with Nick Collison. But money matters. And I just don't see the Thunder being able to bring back Martin. Not when a talent like Lamb, who would be a much cheaper alternative, is waiting in line.
the_Mont 11:11 a.m. With a win tonight against SAC, do the Thunder sit their starters/major players for Wednesday's finale? I'd love to see Lamb, PJ III, Brewer, Orton and Liggins for an extended period of PT.
Darnell Mayberry 11:11 a.m. It's possible. But Brooks has never done it, so I doubt it. It's much more likely that the main guys would play just 20-25 minutes on Wednesday.
the_Mont 11:12 a.m. Any general feelings from the players/coaching staff regarding who they want in the first round of the playoffs?
Darnell Mayberry 11:12 a.m. They don't care.
Joe 11:12 a.m. With the Thunder only needing 1 win in the last 2 to get the 1 seed, do you see Brooks resting the guys in the finale if they beat Sacramento tonight?
Darnell Mayberry 11:12 a.m. No.
Steve 11:12 a.m. Will Perkins and Kevin Martin play tonight?
Darnell Mayberry 11:12 a.m. No.
Nix 11:13 a.m. Playoff timeeee...I'm sure by the time you get to this Q someone has already asked how far you think we go. I'll ask, what is the key area that would keep the Thunder from a ship? (I won't take HEAT as the easy answer)
Darnell Mayberry 11:14 a.m. With the injuries and the Spurs letting go of Jackson, I've now got the Thunder making it to the Finals. Still can't see OKC beating Miami, though, so that's my pick. It's not an easy answer if it's true.
harry man 11:14 a.m. 2 games to go...the the big MOVIE begins on Saturday...
Darnell Mayberry 11:14 a.m. Ahhh, Harry Man. Welcome.
harry man 11:14 a.m. the kings tonight in OKC. OKC will rest all starters all of the 4th quarter..that is harry man's prediction...easy win for the thunder tonight
Darnell Mayberry 11:15 a.m. We shall see.
Mh 11:15 a.m. do you have any info about whats planned for the playoffs? are we doing t-shirts again?
Darnell Mayberry 11:15 a.m. Haven't looked into it yet. But I imagine the team will.
Olly 11:15 a.m. Do you think Perk gets too much money when you compare to Ibaka and Sefolowsha? Is Brooks saving Brewer for the playoffs?
Darnell Mayberry 11:16 a.m. No, because I don't compare him to those players. I compare him to what other starting centers are making. And last I checked Perk was pretty low on the list.
Mark Austin King 11:16 a.m. Can anyone beat the Heat in the East?
Darnell Mayberry 11:16 a.m. No.
Nix 11:16 a.m. Don't you think ideally the Thunder would prefer for the Rapors to get in the top 3 and use the pick next year w/ the deeper draft?
Darnell Mayberry 11:17 a.m. I'd take the pick whenever I could get it. That's just me. This could be a solid draft, in my opinion. Might not have much star power. But there could be a lot of players who could help down the line. And that's all the Thunder needs, not another star.
okie 11:17 a.m. any rumors on the 1st playoff game? i have a wedding saturday night and dont want to miss
Darnell Mayberry 11:18 a.m. Before Kobe went down, it was all but guaranteed that the Thunder would open Sunday afternoon if the Lakers were the matchup. Now, it's anyone's guess. The league and networks might still want the Lakers and Thunder on Sunday afternoon even without Kobe.
harry man 11:18 a.m. best part of the nba begins saturday
Darnell Mayberry 11:18 a.m. You said that already.
okie 11:18 a.m. also what time is being throwing out for the 1st playoff game?
Darnell Mayberry 11:19 a.m. My guess is it'll be Sunday at 2:30.
eddie 11:19 a.m. If and when do you see the rookies being called back up from the D-league?
Darnell Mayberry 11:20 a.m. With the 66ers in the playoffs, I'm not sure.
Nate 11:20 a.m. Will durant get the 99 points he needs for the scoring title?
Darnell Mayberry 11:20 a.m. Highly doubtful.
Mark Austin King 11:20 a.m. Can KD catch Carmelo for the scoring title?
Darnell Mayberry 11:20 a.m. Highly doubtful.
Karen 11:20 a.m. Why do you think the Thunder is more closed mouth on injury status vs other teams and are Perks/Martin's injury's serious or are they being conservative so ready for playoffs?
Darnell Mayberry 11:21 a.m. They're actually more forthcoming about injuries. They just don't provide many specifics about timetables.
Alum in AZ 11:21 a.m. How is Perkins' health entering this playoff season compared to last year?
Darnell Mayberry 11:22 a.m. Seems to be better. But this hamstring injury is a bit of a concern. But, remember, he didn't injure his groin until the first round against Dallas.
Nate 11:22 a.m. Kobe-less lakers wont even come close to winning a game against thunder, correct?
Darnell Mayberry 11:22 a.m. Correct.
Your Name 11:22 a.m. Two questions: Will Reggie get more playing time? You're right when you say he is starting to show glimpses of Harden.
Darnell Mayberry 11:22 a.m. I can't see it.
Brett 11:23 a.m. Hypothetically, how awesome would a Western Conf realignment with OKC, NOP, DAL, SAS, and HOU in the SW be?
Darnell Mayberry 11:23 a.m. Not sure why it matters. You play them three or four times as is.
Your Name 11:23 a.m. Question Two: Will Mark Stein ever stop mentioning the Harden Trade in everything he writes about the Thunder?
Darnell Mayberry 11:23 a.m. You'd have to ask him.
count 11:24 a.m. Will we see any Brewer in the playoffs do you think?
Darnell Mayberry 11:25 a.m. It's possible. But it's also possible that seeing him shoot Friday at Portland might have scared off Brooks even more.
okie 11:25 a.m. how long is lawson out?
Darnell Mayberry 11:25 a.m. He's back. He played last night.
Nix 11:25 a.m. What are the odds we see Liggins in a playoff game? O/U 50%?
Darnell Mayberry 11:26 a.m. I'll take the over. I anticipate some garbage time throughout this run. That should give Dre some burn.
harry man 11:26 a.m. harry man liks spurs and heat (2 team sleeper) denver and Indiana
Darnell Mayberry 11:27 a.m. Not bad picks. But I can't see the Spurs getting past the Thunder anymore: 1) They let Jackson go. 2) They're banged up and it doesn't seem to be getting any better. 3) They're about to officially lose out on home-court advantage through the West Finals.
Alum in AZ 11:27 a.m. If the Thunder win it all this year, will they move "up" on the web page above the OU and OSU sections?
Darnell Mayberry 11:28 a.m. I don't make those decisions.
Nate 11:28 a.m. Can the rockets take care of the spurs for us?
Darnell Mayberry 11:28 a.m. Doubt it.
Jr 11:28 a.m. You just mentioned that the Heats will go all the way in the East Conference, do you not believe in the Kicks? they are 3-0 with the Heats.
Darnell Mayberry 11:28 a.m. No. No I do not believe in them.
Nix 11:28 a.m. Does Durant keep up the 50/40/90 pace in the playoffs?
Darnell Mayberry 11:29 a.m. It would be great if he did, but only if he did it naturally and didn't try to be selective in his shots to get it.
eddie 11:29 a.m. Follow up question: Do the "d-leaugers" have to be called up before the playoffs to be eligible to play or can they be called up after the play-offs start?
Darnell Mayberry 11:29 a.m. I'm not sure how that works.
Nate 11:29 a.m. True or false.....brewer was brought here for the sole purpose of guarding lebron if we make it back to the finals.
Darnell Mayberry 11:29 a.m. False. Nobody can guard LeBron.
Your Name 11:29 a.m. You were pretty "sky is falling after the Thunder lost to the Knicks. This team is going to win 60 games, yet they are scrutinized and treated like a lottery team.
Darnell Mayberry 11:32 a.m. I've never been sky is falling. The fact of the matter is the Thunder went 5-11 against Miami, San Antonio, Denver, Memphis and New York. Think about that. Now, the Spurs are struggling and Denver could be down two key players for the rest of the year. Kind of opens up some things.
harry man 11:32 a.m. I think the daily oklahoman sports staff (all included) should have a nba bracket filled out with who wins the title published in the daily oklahoman.....what ya think about that great thought
Darnell Mayberry 11:32 a.m. Wouldn't be nearly as fun as the NCAA bracket.
Randy 11:32 a.m. Why did spurs release Jackson?
Darnell Mayberry 11:33 a.m. I have no idea. They had to have their reasons. Because from the outside looking in that looks pretty foolish.
Your Name 11:33 a.m. Oladipo would be perfect for the the Thunder. Any chance he is still available at 9 or 10?
Darnell Mayberry 11:34 a.m. Doubt it. But I agree on the fit.
Mark Austin King 11:34 a.m. Who will make the All NBA 1st team? Any chance of Westbrook?
Darnell Mayberry 11:34 a.m. I'm afraid reputation is going to put Kobe and Chris Paul ahead of him.
Your Name 11:34 a.m. Trey Burke = Monta Ellis 2.0 agree? I like Monta and would like to see Burke on the Thunder as a potential offensive spark off the bench
Darnell Mayberry 11:34 a.m. Not as big and not nearly as explosive of an athlete.
Nix 11:35 a.m. By the end of the playoffs (regardless of what round we exit) who do you think is the Thunder's MVP for playoffs? Russ or KD? Russ seems to elevate in the playoffs because he is such a specific matchup problem.
Darnell Mayberry 11:35 a.m. Co-MVPs
Your Name 11:35 a.m. The guys on the 6ers just won a decisive game 3 on the road to advance in the D League playoffs. That has to help a little bit with the developments of "onions" right?
Darnell Mayberry 11:35 a.m. You'd think so. But NBA ball is a big jump from D-League ball.
Tyler 11:35 a.m. Do you think Lebron will stay in Miami or go to a different team when his contract is up?
Darnell Mayberry 11:36 a.m. I think he's headed back to Cleveland.
Nate 11:36 a.m. Shouldn't Carmelo be deducted .5 ppg for missing several games while durant shows up every night?
Darnell Mayberry 11:36 a.m. Nah. But he should be outed for chucking so many shots.
Your Name 11:36 a.m. Was Brewer brought in as insurance in case Thabo's plantar fasciaitis flared up again and he had to miss signficant time?
Darnell Mayberry 11:37 a.m. Ronnie Brewer was brought in solely because he is a quality player who has been on some quality teams. He is like any other acquisition. The power that be thought he could help, and that's what he's here for.
Alum in AZ 11:37 a.m. Interesting on the Thunder record against other top teams. How do the other teams' records against top teams compare?
Darnell Mayberry 11:38 a.m. I haven't studied the other teams records against the same opponents.
Your Name 11:38 a.m. Yeah the Thunder are 5-11 against those teams you mentioned, but I think 4 losses were off the buzzer beater variety
Darnell Mayberry 11:39 a.m. I know the Thunder lost one each against the Spurs and Grizzlies that way. I'm not remembering the other two you speak of at the moment.
harry man 11:39 a.m. so ask your sports editor about the nba bracket. would love to see the experts predictions including pine tar baldwin...(THABEET)
Darnell Mayberry 11:39 a.m. Cool.
Mh 11:39 a.m. is Thabeet going to get fined or suspended for.....
Darnell Mayberry 11:39 a.m. That's one of the things I'm looking forward to hearing this week.
Nate 11:40 a.m. Who leads the thunder in shots per game in the playoffs?
Darnell Mayberry 11:40 a.m. Westbrook.
Your Name 11:40 a.m. I thought that Monta was little dude?
Darnell Mayberry 11:40 a.m. Nah. He's like 6-3.
Mark Austin King 11:40 a.m. Thanks for your time, Darnell. I gotta bounce.
Darnell Mayberry 11:40 a.m. Thanks for joining us.
Nix 11:40 a.m. If James heads back to Cleveland...Does that massively open the door for the Thunder? Obviously a lot of shifting will happen, but it's a window...right?
Darnell Mayberry 11:41 a.m. Uh, the Cavs have this young killer named Kyrie...
harry man 11:41 a.m. thunder 116 kings 97
Darnell Mayberry 11:41 a.m. Thanks.
Your Name 11:41 a.m. What is Brooks thing with not sitting the main guys? And also, Wolverine's consecutive game, do you think it would ever impact sit or play decisions when he could definitely use a rest?
Darnell Mayberry 11:41 a.m. The main guys are 24 years old. It'd be different if they were 28, 29 or, say, 36...and, yes, Wolverine don't sit.
Caddo 11:42 a.m. Any chance K-Mart resigns with the Thunder. Sure doesn't look likely. If not who would be a good fit? Is Jeremy Lamb ready?
Darnell Mayberry 11:42 a.m. Read the recap.
Nate 11:42 a.m. Does postseason success come down to whether tabo, Martin, and fish can hit their spot up threes? If so how confident are you in them?
Darnell Mayberry 11:43 a.m. It doesn't come down to that. But in a potential rematch against the Heat, that will help immensely. I'm confident in Martin and Thabo. Fisher has been so streaky that I haven't seen anything in his offense that makes me confident he'll be there when needed.
Your Name 11:43 a.m. Do the Thunder have to win it all to be vindicated in the Harden trade or would just making the Finals again suffice?
Darnell Mayberry 11:44 a.m. Just making it would suffice. I don't see how anybody could blast the franchise for getting back to the same round that it did with Harden. Besides, how many teams make it to the Finals two straight years. If the Thunder did, especially after losing a player like Harden, it'd be an amazing accomplishment.
Nate 11:44 a.m. How much is Westbrook salivating at facing Steve Blake in the first round? He might average 40!
Darnell Mayberry 11:44 a.m. :)
Nix 11:44 a.m. Chris Broussard just put Russ on the 3rd team all NBA...What's up w/ that guy?
Darnell Mayberry 11:46 a.m. I don't know. But I'm thinking about Russ for first team. He's been phenomenal. He's played every game. His production is on par, if not better, that all his competition. And he's had every bit as much to do with the Thunder having the conference's best record as KD.
Russell Westbrook 11:46 a.m. Why you no love me?
Darnell Mayberry 11:46 a.m. :)
Alum in AZ 11:46 a.m. Looking forward - will the thunder follow the path of the Spurs or the Suns? I fear they will follow the Suns' path (Joe Johnson and James Harden deals are eerily similar).
Darnell Mayberry 11:47 a.m. Suns didn't have Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.
Darnell Mayberry 11:47 a.m. Thanks for joining us today. Have a great week, and enjoy the game tonight.
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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