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Darnell Mayberry: OKC Thunder's starting five may need time to get their chemistry back

The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry took questions from readers in today's OKC Thunder Power Lunch Chat. Join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports.
by Darnell Mayberry Modified: October 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm •  Published: October 17, 2012
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Daniel Orton and Andy Rautins had some nice plays last night. Chances they will make the cut?

Orton I'm saying 95 percent. Rautins, zero.

I didn't care for the answer as to why at least more than a couple of preseason games are not televised. In my opinion that is weak that the games are not televised and the franchise is just being cheap.

You want televised preseason games or James Harden?

I hate that it seems as if I am pulling against Maynor, because I obviously really like him, but I wanted Reggie to play and play well last night just to shut up Berry Tramel. He seems to think that Maynor is Bob Cousy. Reggie has really improved and I hate that he is getting ripped because he is not Maynor.

I don't think anyone is ripping Jackson (not anymore at least). But it is clear that Maynor is special for what he is and what he is to this team. I'm with you though. I'd like to see Jackson succeed (but not to shut up Berry).

What are the chances that some minor deals could be made, like moving Cook or Hayward if Presti and Brooks like Liggins and want to hang on to Orton?

Slim. But I wouldn't doubt Presti. The problem, though, is that a team has to be willing to give up an asset for those guys. That might be hard to find, even if it's only a second-round pick. They just don't have much value.

If the cheap bigs play as well as Aldrich, could you see Aldrich being traded due to his salary, especially with the increase next year?

No.

Didn't see a lot of Aldrich last night, what's your assessment of his progress?

He has a good possession and then a bad possession. We might all want to get used to that for now. But if his good possessions have outweighed his bad by the end of the night, then he's done his job.

Your prediction for biggest surprise teams in the East and West?

I'll say Cleveland in the East and Sacramento in the West.

One thing I have noticed with Hayward when he gets to play, dude is a serious ball hog. He has a JR Smith like quality of getting shots up when he is in the game.

Definitely.

Would you say Orton appears to be a more confident scorer in the post than Aldrich?

Definitely.

I think it is safe to say that Darren Rovell would not approve of Russell Westbrook’s "Why not Wednesday" on Twitter. Geez, he is killing everybody's timeline.

Lol. Yup. Westbrook's absence from Twitter made me forget how annoying that is.

How good is Denver? Can they get a top 4 seed?

I think so. I'm really high on the Nuggets. They play great team ball, a style that is hard to defend for most teams and, in my opinion, upgraded from Afflalo to AI.

What do you think of the Celtics this year?

Kind of funny that I was just saying to myself either yesterday or two days ago that I really like how they've retooled. Jason Terry and Courtney Lee can make up for Ray Allen. I like Sullinger. Not so high on Fab Melo. They're getting Jeff Green back, and at some point will get Bradley back. And I think Darko will help them. They should be in the thick of it in the East ... but probably still can't beat Miami.

How did Aldrich do defending Utah's bigs?

He was awful against Al Jefferson. But it's Al Jefferson. He makes a lot of guys look awful trying to defend him. Aldrich resorted to hacking Enes Kanter. That was sort of embarrassing. But, again, Aldrich's good plays outweighed his bad, which is the only goal you can really have for him.

Any news on the new sideline reporter?

Haven't heard anything yet.

Speaking of Utah, was that Jerry Sloan on the Bobcat bench last night?

I didn't see that.

Daequan is perilously close to the “shooter who can't shoot.”

I wouldn't go that far.

How many games do you think it will be before the Lakers gel, or don't?

I'll give them two months to get on the same page. But if it doesn't happen by then, I don't think that means they won't get there.

Bradley Beal seems to be playing well. Do you think Presti is going to regret not making the Harden for Beal deal?

If he has to lose Harden at the deadline, I think he might wonder what could have been.

Nice potshot from Haberstrok in his Harden article. "All you can eat steak and catfish barn in downtown OKC" Are you kidding me.

I wouldn't even pay attention to it if I were you.

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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