TNT studio analyst Charles Barkley ripped Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook for shooting too much and the team overall for taking too many jump shots following the Thunder’s Game 2 overtime loss Monday night to the Memphis Grizzlies.
“You don’t want your point guard shooting 30 times,” Barkley said. “Nobody else got in the flow. Kevin (Durant) tried to get in the game late, but he never got his rhythm. Russell has to understand that I’m the point guard. I’ve got to get other guys involved, especially KD, the second-best basketball player in the world. He’s the guy who makes everything go.”
Host Ernie Johnson noted that Durant and Westbrook each took 28 shots.
Barkley repeated his regular complaint against the Thunder.
“The criticism of OKC for the last three or four years still goes,” Barkley said. “Too many jumpers and they are tough jumpers. You are just not going to win ‘cause you don’t live by jumpers, you die by jumpers.”
Johnson noted that the Thunder was 9 of 30 from 3-point range.
Barkley had made similar comments about Westbrook at halftime. Sideline reporter Lewis Johnson relayed Barkley’s comments that Durant needed to be more involved in the offense to Thunder coach Scott Brooks, and Johnson said he replied, “Who’s listening to Charles anyway?”
TNT analyst Kenny Smith said he was pleased by the effort of both teams, but not the execution. “I think both teams down the stretch had ample opportunity to win the game,” he said, noting missed free throws, fouling a three-point shooter and ballhandling woes.
The game wouldn’t have gone to overtime without two dramatic plays by the Thunder in the closing seconds — a desperation 4-point play by Durant and Kendrick Perkins’ putback at the buzzer.
Fox Sports Oklahoma’s broadcast team of Brian Davis and Grant Long and TNT’s broadcast team of Brian Anderson and Greg Anthony captured the emotion of the plays, although it was hard to hear Anderson at times over the roar of the crowd.