OKC Thunder: Charles Barkley says the Thunder has the series in the bag

However, ‘Sir Charles' says the Thunder's habit of missing jumpers will be a downfall later in the playoffs.
by Mel Bracht Published: May 1, 2012

BIG LETDOWN IN BOOTH

TNT's crew assignment of play-by-play announcer Matt Devlin, analyst Mike Fratello, “the czar of the telestrator,” and sideline reporter Marty Snyder was a big letdown after Game 1 in which ESPN assigned the stellar team of Mike Fratello, Hubie Brown and Heather Cox to the game. Devlin made such an impression on TNT that his name was misspelled in its bottom line — Delvin.

FSOK's crew of Brian Davis, Long and Kelly Crull provided better insight as I switched back and forth between the telecasts.

Devlin and Fratello marveled at the Thunder crowd during the team's 11-1 run late in the first quarter. “What a great scene here in Oklahoma City, one of the great venues in the NBA.”

“It reminds me of when Sacramento was really good with the great teams with (Vlade) Divac and (Chris) Webber,” Fratello said. “They had great crowds.”

Fratello rarely used the telestrator Monday night, but he had a nice illustration showing Westbrook shadowing Jason Terry in the first half.

SHORT TAKES

*Late in the third quarter, TNT had a nice “inside Trax” segment with Thunder coach Scott Brooks imploring his team to shoot better as the Thunder struggled through a 5 of 19 shooting quarter. “We're missing shots that are wide open,” he said. “Keep your head up. Keep your spirits up.”

*Fratello on Nowitzki: “He is as tough mentally as they come. He's never going to get old. He just keeps playing at the same level.”

*Long credited the Thunder's team defense in clamping down on the Mavericks shooters in the final two minutes.

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by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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