Darnell Mayberry: Thunder played better in late-game situations last season

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: February 21, 2013 at 12:46 pm •  Published: February 21, 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 11:00 a.m. Greetings, ladies and gents.
Thomas 11:00 a.m. KD only had 11 shot last night,your thoughts, Thanks
Darnell Mayberry 11:00 a.m. Forget what I think. Durant said it himself. He should have been more aggressive.
tom 11:00 a.m. Is it just me, or is the team's small lineup defense just atrocious. The second Perk is off the court the team plays D like it's an all star game.
Darnell Mayberry 11:01 a.m. I wouldn't go that far. It's been great in its own right at times. The added athleticism of the small ball lineup has at times allowed the defense of that unit to get more deflections and run-out opportunities.
Your Name 11:01 a.m. Can Brooks now say that he is going to his bench players to pick anyone that could fit in the center position in not only rebounding and blocking shots, but scoring?
Darnell Mayberry 11:02 a.m. Doubt it.
Your Name 11:02 a.m. Do you have any idea who of the centers can play the 5 position well?
Darnell Mayberry 11:02 a.m. I take it you're not a fan of Perk.
larry 11:02 a.m. no roster changes, 3-5 seed in west and 2nd round exit?
Darnell Mayberry 11:03 a.m. If the Thunder slips out of the second seed I'd be shocked.
Your Name 11:03 a.m. Is it possible that the Thunder will have a trade or two this season?
Darnell Mayberry 11:03 a.m. Yes. It's possible.
Your Name 11:03 a.m. What did Sefolosha eat on that evening he scored 28 points?
Darnell Mayberry 11:04 a.m. Wheaties?
Your Name 11:04 a.m. Is Sefolosha going to get into the scoring double digits regularly?
Darnell Mayberry 11:04 a.m. Probably not.
Your Name 11:04 a.m. Sefolosha is getting his worth in gold, by being a defensive specialist and a offensive threat, what do you think?
Darnell Mayberry 11:05 a.m. I agree. He's been great this season. Has helped the team survive the James Harden trade in the regular season.
Your Name 11:05 a.m. Is Sessions, Bobcats point guard, a good fit for the Thunder, as a playmaker?
Darnell Mayberry 11:05 a.m. I've always kind of liked him.
Michael 11:05 a.m. Darnell, what's the rationale behind the punishment for a clear path foul? I get that the defense is taking away two guaranteed points but how is that different from a foul at the rim in the halfcourt?
Darnell Mayberry 11:06 a.m. Ever play pickup ball? Notice what the game turns into when the equivalent of a clear path foul happens?
Your Name 11:06 a.m. What is the problem with the Thunder being in a funk?
Darnell Mayberry 11:06 a.m. It's not good.
Your Name 11:06 a.m. Was the Thunder better off last year than this year? If so, why?
Darnell Mayberry 11:07 a.m. They seemed to be better in late-game situations last year. If it's not a blowout, it's become iffy whether the Thunder will win a close game down the stretch.
Nix 11:07 a.m. Man, the Thunder made my season tickets higher! That's the game I suppose.
Darnell Mayberry 11:08 a.m. All in the game.
Your Name 11:08 a.m. In your opnion, will the Thunder win the Western Conference title again? If not, why?
Darnell Mayberry 11:08 a.m. I have no clue. I expect it to be tough.
KDisNOTnice 11:08 a.m. With the trade deadline closing in quickly, do you anticipate any surprises?
Darnell Mayberry 11:08 a.m. Nothing big.
Your Name 11:08 a.m. Has Brooks become better a better coach this year than in the past? If not why?
Darnell Mayberry 11:09 a.m. I think he has. He's drawn up some good plays this year, especially out of timeouts, and has become more flexible in his rotations and substitution patterns.
MO 11:09 a.m. Big trade? little trade? or no trade?
Darnell Mayberry 11:10 a.m. I'm still going with little trade. Between the Thunder's own draft pick (projected to be 29th overall) and Eric Maynor there are assets that can be used to get something or someone that can help this team.
Your Name 11:10 a.m. Is the power lunch schedule given in advance by how long in time?
Darnell Mayberry 11:11 a.m. Monday morning most of the time. But I don't think it's publicized until the day of or the day before.
Nix 11:11 a.m. I'm not able to watch the games as much as I used to so I the majority of what I get is from box score and the nuggets. How is Serge doing? I'm not getting the sense that his consistency is there. Has he began to level off since January?
Darnell Mayberry 11:12 a.m. Yes. He's been inconsistent. It's frustrating to see on his end and as a result of the Thunder's other players when they don't get him involved as much as they should.
Your Name 11:12 a.m. Who is the team to beat in this year's finals, east and west?
Darnell Mayberry 11:12 a.m. Until someone proves otherwise you have to say Heat-Thunder.
Michael 11:12 a.m. Why is it that Thabo can seemingly shutdown certain players (Kobe) most of the time and has trouble with others (Harden last night)?
Darnell Mayberry 11:14 a.m. Kobe has a different game. He's not driving as much. He's posting up and taking jump shots. That's not easy to defend because, well, he's Kobe Bryant. But Harden keeps you off balance with shooting, slashing and setting up. You never know what's coming. On top of that, Harden plays with great pace. He can stop and go and change directions when you least expect it.
Joe 11:14 a.m. When will Brooks get it through Westbrook's head that in order to win consistently, Durant has to take the most shots? (This isn't Skip Bayless, but I'm starting to agree with him more and more.)
Darnell Mayberry 11:16 a.m. The record is pretty good when Westbrook shoots more. It's not about the sheer number of shots in my eyes. It's how those shots come. Are they in the flow? Are they going to the hot hand? Could a pass to a teammate make more of an impact than a shot by either of them at that time? Those are all just a few things one must take into account while watching the game rather than looking at the final shot tally.
Your Name 11:16 a.m. Is Durant changing his game to become an all around player, with his second triple double?
Darnell Mayberry 11:16 a.m. He's not changing his game. It is his game.
Your Name 11:16 a.m. Do you think the Seattle folks will get their team back next year?
Darnell Mayberry 11:17 a.m. I think they will get a team.
Your Name 11:17 a.m. If the Sonics were revived, do you believe that they will try to get Durant back being their draft pick?
Darnell Mayberry 11:17 a.m. They can try al they want. It's not happening.
Your Name 11:17 a.m. Can Westbrook by himself make the Thunder win a title?
Darnell Mayberry 11:17 a.m. No.
Your Name 11:17 a.m. What is missing with the Thunder's game to win against teams like the Heat, Spurs, Grizzlies or clippers?
Darnell Mayberry 11:18 a.m. Discipline.
Randy 11:18 a.m. Why are the Thunder raising ticket prices? I thought the purpose of the lockout was to reduce overall costs for the teams.
Darnell Mayberry 11:18 a.m. The purpose of the lockout was to protect owners and their profits.
Your Name 11:18 a.m. The only move I think the Thunder should make is to play defense on the road.What are your thoughts? Have they just lost the focus they had in the early season or is the a real problem that is going to haunt them in the playoffs?
Darnell Mayberry 11:19 a.m. In the last 10 road games, the Thunder has allowed 105 points per game and 45.4 percent shooting. Needless to say, I agree.
Edwin 11:19 a.m. Hi Darnell. What are the chances that we see a major lineup change in OKC roster this year? Do you see Coach Brooks flexible enough to move Russell two SG or pulling Perk off the starting unit?
Darnell Mayberry 11:20 a.m. I'd be shocked if Westbrook is ever moved to the 2. And I'd be more shocked if Perk is pulled from the starting lineup barring a trade.
Kg 11:20 a.m. I hope the thunder make a trade,but if we don't what adjustments do we need to make regarding lineups,playing time,etc.? I honestly don't know if we will make it out of the west if there is not some tweaking. I think many are jumping the gun worried about Miami....the west will be tough for us how currently constructed/operating
Darnell Mayberry 11:22 a.m. I agree. Got to worry about the West before Miami. The things the Thunder needs to do are the same things we've been talking about for years. Rebound. Take care of the ball. Get good shots. Share the ball. Communicate and protect each other on the defensive end. It's no different. Generally, when the Thunder loses it's a combination of some of those things.
KDisNOTnice 11:22 a.m. Thinking about it, last night's game was kind of strange.
Darnell Mayberry 11:22 a.m. No kidding.
Your Name 11:22 a.m. Will Seattle boo the Thunder players, coach or Clay Bennett, if they show up in their place?
Darnell Mayberry 11:22 a.m. Kevin Durant thinks so. I agree with him.
Your Name 11:22 a.m. In your opinion, who is the player that the Thunder should go after in trades? Why?
Darnell Mayberry 11:23 a.m. Jermaine O'Neal.
Sooner403 11:23 a.m. Any interest in Jermaine O'neal? for a pick or if he is bought out?
Darnell Mayberry 11:24 a.m. Not from what I can tell. But I'd give up the Thunder's own pick for him. Or if I knew he was going to be bought out, I'd try to snag him as a free agent.
Roi Weinberg 11:24 a.m. Darnell, do you think the Thunder will do any move? If they will, which player or players will arrive to OKC?
Darnell Mayberry 11:24 a.m. I wish I could tell you at this moment. I do not know.
Your Name 11:25 a.m. If Martin does not sign up with the Thunder, who do the Thunder go after in a trade? or sign up
Darnell Mayberry 11:25 a.m. I've said before that I think J.J. Redick would be a nice fit if the price is right and assuming he doesn't get traded to a team today that has interest in re-signing him.
Michael 11:25 a.m. Is all the switching on screens mostly by design? Thunder seem to do it a lot.
Darnell Mayberry 11:26 a.m. Yes. It's by design. It's sort of the Thunder's version of a zone.
Your Name 11:26 a.m. Can you say that folks watching the Thunder play have any clue why they lost games, as some are saying that the coach has a better idea on the game?
Darnell Mayberry 11:26 a.m. I think most people have a feel for what's going on.
Tony 11:26 a.m. What is the latest on trade rumors? We definately need an inside scoring presence, love KP but he is quickly becoming the weak link. Also need another backup guard.
Darnell Mayberry 11:27 a.m. It's still quiet on the Thunder's end. But that could change real quick.
Your Name 11:27 a.m. Does the Thunder coach, manager or playersw read the blogs here or just don't pay attention to what are being said?
Darnell Mayberry 11:27 a.m. Sometimes they do.
Michael 11:27 a.m. Is it as much fun to cover trade deadline day as it is to follow?
Darnell Mayberry 11:28 a.m. It's actually a headache. It's great when you're a fan. Not so much when it's your job.
Your Name 11:28 a.m. Who are the best coaches in the NBA right now, who know the game and plays on match-ups?
Darnell Mayberry 11:28 a.m. Popovich, Doc Rivers and George Karl.
Nick 11:28 a.m. Explain why a guy like Martin was not put back in the game after an offense rebound when a 3 is needed?
Darnell Mayberry 11:28 a.m. Can't say.
Nick 11:28 a.m. Durant was cluthcing side, any concerns?
Darnell Mayberry 11:29 a.m. He was grimacing throughout the game and getting treatment (ice) after shoot-around. Something might be bothering him in that area. He's had a few hard falls in the last three weeks. I'd say it stems from those.
PGroll 11:29 a.m. is there any chance for maynor to trade?
Darnell Mayberry 11:29 a.m. I think so.
Patrick 11:29 a.m. so is presti gonna pull off a trade?
Darnell Mayberry 11:30 a.m. When I know, you'll know.
Edwin 11:30 a.m. Will OKC make a move today? If so, what should be addressed more: PG spot or a scoring big?
Darnell Mayberry 11:31 a.m. Scoring big would be nice. But those guys are expensive. What's everybody got against Reggie Jackson. He's looking better and better, but I guess that train has left the station and it's no changing people's mind.
KDisNOTnice 11:31 a.m. Although it's evident KD has been having some brilliant assists lately, I think he needs to focus on a more balanced approach with regards to his overall game. It should be natural. At times I feel he deviates from his natural game flow to try and assist more resulting in turnovers. Is this fact or fiction?
Darnell Mayberry 11:31 a.m. It's probably more fact than fiction. I think he'll get it down soon.
KDisNOTnice 11:31 a.m. With the trade deadline closing in quickly, do you anticipate any surprises?
Darnell Mayberry 11:31 a.m. No.
randy 11:32 a.m. do YOU think the thunder should make a move today? if so what should it be?
Darnell Mayberry 11:32 a.m. I do, yes. I've said over and over again that Jermaine O'Neal makes a lot of sense.
Melonhead Jim 11:32 a.m. Yeah maybe Durant should have been more aggressive. But diming out 11 made Thabo play his best ball of the year, and the rest of the starters (save Thabeet) were in double digits. Defense killed them in this game, I wouldn't blame it on Durant's play. Your thoughts?
Darnell Mayberry 11:33 a.m. I agree. But he was a no show in the final seven minutes or so. That can't happen. Even if the defense is atrocious, he's the three-time scoring champ. We expect him to spark something on the other end.
Your Name 11:33 a.m. Westbrook and Durants attitudes have seemingly taken a turn for the worse this year. More sour attitudes, feeling like the refs are the enemy. How much do you think that has to do with this ceiling te team appear to have reached?
ChrisLackmeyer 11:33 a.m. Do you think there any truth to the Perkins trade rumors?
Darnell Mayberry 11:34 a.m. I've heard conflicting messages. So the answer is I don't know what to believe, which is generally the case this time of year.
Shannon 11:34 a.m. Can you tell if the Thunder are still wheelin' and dealin' for a trade today? If so, what?
Darnell Mayberry 11:35 a.m. I think Presti is working the phones right now!! Just joking. He might be. But I suspect he is still taking and making calls.
Patrick 11:35 a.m. Dar, is it time for Im Sam we trust yet?
Darnell Mayberry 11:35 a.m. Talk to me at 2 p.m.
LaTrice Thibodeaux 11:35 a.m. You gonna grow your hair back?
Darnell Mayberry 11:35 a.m. Nah. Nature has taken its course.
Bodie Broadus 11:36 a.m. The Game is rigged.
Darnell Mayberry 11:36 a.m. Don't play, right? :)
Matt_Westphalen 11:36 a.m. What would you do if you were GM?
Darnell Mayberry 11:36 a.m. Try to be the best Ernie Grunfeld I can be. Have a big cushy job and not get fired.
Tony 11:36 a.m. Is Pressey being too frugal?
Darnell Mayberry 11:36 a.m. Uh, no.
KDisNOTnice 11:37 a.m. Westbrook's missed dunk from last night or KD's missed dunk at Barclay's?
Darnell Mayberry 11:37 a.m. Westbrook's was worse. But I'm not sure I understand the question.
ChrisLackmeyer 11:37 a.m. Do you really think the current roster can beat the Heat in a 7 game series? I don't.
Darnell Mayberry 11:37 a.m. A lot of things would have to go right. And I mean a lot of things.
Willy 11:37 a.m. Chances that we give up a draft pick & Maynor for a front court player? to get someone crashing the board. since that's the only way we could beat miami!
Darnell Mayberry 11:38 a.m. 32.6 percent.
Your Name 11:38 a.m. You've been consistent in opining that the thunder don't regret building this team around Westbrook/durant rather than Harden/durant....after last night and a season of tempermenal Russ, have you changed your mind?
Darnell Mayberry 11:38 a.m. Russ/KD 2, Harden 1.
Michael 11:38 a.m. I'd like to see the NBA not count a last second heave as a field goal attempt. Seems like most of the players do too. Do you agree or are you more of a purist?
Darnell Mayberry 11:39 a.m. If you shoot it, count it.
Darnell Mayberry 11:39 a.m. Maybe that just makes me simple.
Nix 11:39 a.m. There is talk of Reddick to Spurs. That sounds kind of scary. Am I right?
Darnell Mayberry 11:39 a.m. You're right.
KDisNOTnice 11:39 a.m. What is that one factor that can upgrade Thunder's status to unstoppable?
Darnell Mayberry 11:40 a.m. Time...which I'm out of today. Sorry I couldn't get to everybody. Join us this afternoon for a Google+ Hangout and more trade talk. Until then. Be well.

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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