TNT analyst Steve Kerr, rumored as a candidate for the New York Knicks coaching job, noted on the telecast that a key reason for the Thunder’s offensive woes in the playoff series was a lack of two-way players, those who can play both offense and defense.
“One of Oklahoma City’s defenses is they have a few guys who are really one-way players like (Kendrick) Perkins and (Thabo) Sefolosha, who are great defensive players, but not much of a threat offensively," said Kerr, who called the game with Marv Albert. "They are basically playing three on five offensively for the Thunder.”
He said that stood out in particular with the team’s offensive struggles in overtime. “Right now this is their defensive lineup. ...You don’t have a lot of playmakers.”
One of the Thunder’s 3-point shooters who didn’t get as much playing time as normal was Derek Fisher, who is line to tie Robert Horry for most NBA playoff games, 244, during Saturday’s Game 4.
“Just an amazing career for Derek Fisher,” Kerr said. “I thought he was done three years ago. I really did. Yet he continued to find his way into the rotation because of his ability to hit big shots... He also knows where he needs to be defensively.”
Kerr questioned Durant’s deep 3-point shot late in overtime, noting he had been 0 for 7 on threes. “There is plenty of time for Durant to go to the rim. I would have liked to see him put the ball on the floor and go to the basket.”
TNT’s Charles Barkley held court at haltime, even lecturing Thunder star Kevin Durant, the likely MVP, on one of the weaknesses in his game.
“I’ve been saying for the last three years, and Kevin Durant clearly don’t watch the show. He has a hole in his game. When they play little guys on him, I don’t understand why he doesn’t post up. He takes them out on the floor and tries to dribble around him. If he were to add a post-up game to his game, as great a player as he is, it would take his game to a whole new level. They would have to double him on the block.”
Barkley noted the Thunder “had the psychological thing going on. “They are struggling to find their identity right now. ...They got to get the tempo of the game speed up. If Oklahoma City doesn’t get to 100 points, I don’t think that they are going to win the game.”
FOX SPORTS OKLAHOMA
•Play-by-play announcer Brian Davis marveling at Russell Westbrook’s four-point play in the final minute that tied the game, which the announcers made their OG&E Wind Power Play of the Game: “Wow! Shades of Durant’s four-point play in the closing stages Monday. But this was in full stride.”
•Studio analyst Nancy Lieberman’s postgame analysis of the Thunder: “They did a great job on the boards. The one thing that hurt them was the turnovers, points off turnovers. At last count, that was 22.”
•Game analyst Grant Long on Durant’s resilience: “I like the fact that he didn’t get discouraged. His teammates continued to lift him up and find ways to get him involved offensively.”
•TNT’s telecast was marred by graphics glitches with the scoreboard box freezing up several times. It took producers several minutes to take it off the screen, and Albert failed to mention the problems.
•Former OSU standout Tony Allen hit his first five shots for Memphis, prompting an Albert outburst. “Tony Allen is on fire!”