Darnell Mayberry: OKC Thunder on pace to win 55 games

The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry took questions from readers in today's OKC Thunder Power Lunch Chat. Here's a recap of today's chat.
Oklahoman Modified: November 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm •  Published: November 15, 2012
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I'm with you. Something has got to happen.

Is it a safe assumption that PJ3 and Lamb would be improving more if they received about 20 minutes a game rather than spot duty? And if so, how many years do you think it would be until they are solid, regular contributors? The second unit looks like it could use a creator against tough defensive teams that key on locking down Martin.

Yes. That's a safe assumption. It's also safe to assume the Thunder would be worse with them in the lineup.

Am I crazy, or have the home crowds been terrible to begin the season? Fans need to step it up ... although Harden's absence and the sloppy play have done nothing to boost the crowd.

Nor have the weak opponents, save last night.

I know it’s early in the season, and I’m not being reactionary, but the starting lineup has not been able to score for two years.

It's getting better this year with Ibaka's emergence. And contrary to popular belief, Durant's playmaking is helping to alleviate some of the stagnation in the starting unit. There's a reason Thabo is shooting 60 percent from 3.

Last season, didn't Brooks generally sub Westbrook out with a few minutes left in the first, then bring him back early in the second quarter? Teams seem to be feasting on the Thunder’s bench in the second when either KD or Russ isn't out there with them.

I don't understand why Brooks is still going with so much of a bench unit. He could get away with that last year with Harden running things. Now, it's probably best to keep either KD or Russ on the floor at all times.

Does the Thunder make a move this year to clear ourselves of some salary before the trade deadline by moving Perk, or possibly trading Maynor and try to get something in return?

Everyone loves to say "something." What is that "something?"

Maybe Russell Westbrook’s early season struggles last year were not contract related. Do you think he may just be a slow starter and it takes a while into the season to get into his groove?

Perhaps. More than that, though, I think he's a volume shooter who struggles to make smart decisions, especially when it comes to shot selection.

Why are the statgeeks like Hollinger and Lowe so down on Perk? Do they not remember how teams used to thoroughly dominate the Thunder inside before Perk got here?

Perhaps they don't. But it's easy to not appreciate Perk's impact when you break down numbers.

Is Memphis the team to beat this year? They’ve beaten Miami and OKC.

... in early November.

Do you think that Brooks knew that Lamb was going to play like he did against the Pistons and that he did that to send a message to him? Kind of hint at what it takes to play in this league?

Doubt it. Brooks isn't the message-sending type of coach.

Please choose: a.) The Thunder's greatest chance a title this season comes from improving play with the current roster; b.) They need to add someone; c.) If the Heat stay healthy, it doesn't matter.

B.) They need to add someone.

Is the Thunder working on designing any plays to get Martin involved? Besides standing in the corner wide open not being passed to?

After last night, the team had better be.

Last season, Westbrook's early shooting troubles seemed to be due to mechanics, particularly his release point. Seems I recall KD mentioning they had talked about that. Do you see any technique problems this season, or just decision-making issues?

More decision-making.

The new guys are going to have to get minutes this year. Which means the 66ers could be a hell of a team this year. Do you think Lamb, Perry and maybe Reggie go down to get some burn?

As we've seen in the past, it's possible if they continue to not be in the rotation.

Are the draft picks that the thunder got in the Harden trade lottery? And what year?

The Raptors' pick will be. Not Dallas', though.

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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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