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Chat transcript: Darnell Mayberry talks Thunder - from MVP race to Reggie Jackson's leash

by Darnell Mayberry Published: January 27, 2014
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NewsOK Sports 9:45 a.m. The Thunder has shown resilience, winner of seven straight with and without Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Ask Darnell Mayberry how OKC is pulling it off at 11 a.m. Get your Thunder questions and comments in now.
NewsOK Sports 11:08 a.m. Hang tight folks, Darnell will be logging on shortly.
Darnell Mayberry 11:27 a.m. Greetings, ladies and gents.
Guest 11:29 a.m. Maybe we need some overtime from you Darnell?
Darnell Mayberry 11:30 a.m. Definitely. Please excuse my tardiness.
Guest 11:30 a.m. should ibaka be an all star
Darnell Mayberry 11:33 a.m. Should he be? That's a loaded question. He's played extremely well this season, so saying no would be taking something away from him. But the fact of the matter is he hasn't played as well as LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, DeMarcus Cousins and a few other "frontcourt" players. So I think the better question is will he be, and I think the answer to that is no.
Guest 11:33 a.m. is russ a top 5 player when healthy?
Darnell Mayberry 11:35 a.m. LeBron James. Kevin Durant, Chris Paul. Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard would be my top five when everyone is healthy. And Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade are right there in my book. But Westbrook is close after those guys to me.
Guest 11:35 a.m. what are your predictions for conference finals, finals, and champion
Darnell Mayberry 11:36 a.m. Pacers-Heat; Thunder-Spurs.

Heat-Thunder.

Heat.
Guest 11:36 a.m. kd mvp?
Darnell Mayberry 11:36 a.m. As of today, yes.
Guest 11:36 a.m. do you think reggie will win 6th man of year?
Darnell Mayberry 11:37 a.m. Totally depends on when Russ comes back.
Guest 11:37 a.m. do you think the spurs championship window is now closed after they have lost to all of these elite teams?
Darnell Mayberry 11:38 a.m. Not at all. Injuries have played a factor. Duncan getting off to a slow start played a factor. Parker having yet to turn it on this season like he has in previous years has played a factor. But I still like the Spurs chances in a series against most West teams.
Guest 11:38 a.m. why does brooks consistently play derek fisher instead of reggie in crunch time?
Darnell Mayberry 11:39 a.m. Derek Fisher plays better defense at this point. It's shocking to say, but it's true. Fisher might not always play well defensively. But he's never lacking effort. Jackson's defense is a wild card. You never know what you're going to get these days.
Guest 11:39 a.m. why are fisher and perkins both foul machines?
Darnell Mayberry 11:40 a.m. Neither shies away fro contact.
Guest 11:40 a.m. where do you think durant will end up all time by the time his career is over? how does top 20 all time sound?
Darnell Mayberry 11:40 a.m. Not as good as top five!
Guest 11:40 a.m. how many mvps and championships will kd have by the time his career is over?
Darnell Mayberry 11:42 a.m. No clue. So much goes into that. If he can get one of each, he's had a great career. Look at a guy like Kevin Garnett. He's a Hall of Famer, and he's got one of each. But because youth is on KD's side still, I wouldn't limit him to just one of each. He's got a real chance to get multiple MVPs and championships before it's all said and done.
Guest 11:42 a.m. do you like kd's new nickname: slim reaper?]
Darnell Mayberry 11:43 a.m. It's cool. I like it. I don't love it. It's the best yet, though, that's for sure.
Guest 11:43 a.m. what has happened to lamb recently? his fg% has tailed off considerably?
Darnell Mayberry 11:43 a.m. Road games. He's played much better at home than he has on the road.
Guest 11:44 a.m. is reggie and lamb's inconsistency natural for this stage of their careers? This inconsistency happened with a younger westbrook too, right?
Darnell Mayberry 11:44 a.m. Yes. You see it all the time with young players. Harrison Barnes is going through it right now with Golden State, and he was considered a much better prospect than Jackson and Lamb coming into the league.
Guest 11:44 a.m. why doesn't brooks implement an offensive system?
Darnell Mayberry 11:46 a.m. Depending on who you ask, he does. But to answer your question as best I can, I think he's playing to his strengths with two dynamic players like Durant and Westbrook and not stuffing them into structured sets.
Guest 11:46 a.m. will pj3 be in the regular rotation next year, since this is fisher's last year?
Darnell Mayberry 11:48 a.m. That's a good question. So much can happen that will determine it. Does Pleiss come over? Does Thabo come back? Does the Thunder make a trade that keeps PJ3 in the 10th slot? I can't answer that.
tom 11:48 a.m. Do you think Brooks will experiment with his lineups on Wednesday to see what match-ups might work best against LeBron? Or will it be a business as usual game?
Darnell Mayberry 11:49 a.m. At this point, I'll believe Brooks will take the "business-as-usual" approach until he doesn't.
Guest 11:50 a.m. The ESPN and NBA TV analyst have been stating that the Thunder are a very good except for too many turnovers and too many jump shots, how do you think the coaches can improve the turnovers and making shots under the rim?
Darnell Mayberry 11:52 a.m. I don't see either as much of a problem. Both can and have been issues at times. But I wouldn't go as far as to say they're going to prevent them from making a championship run.
Guest 11:53 a.m. Some think that Reggie is doing just right, even with his mistakes, just as Westbrook had done during his 1-3 years with the Thunder and is still doing it, like being aggressive and taking too many ill-advised shots, why does Brooks let Westbrook do it and not Reggie?
Darnell Mayberry 11:56 a.m. Two main reasons as far as I can tell. 1) Personalities. Jackson is much more receptive to criticism than Westbrook. I think Brooks recognized that early and has understood that he couldn't coach Westbrook the same way as he could other players without running the risk of "losing" him. 2) Westbrook is much more explosive. I also think Brooks say Westbrook's ability early and figured out that Westbrook will do more good than bad so he made the decision long ago to live with it. Now that he's a perennial All-Star, he's got to live with it.
Moriart 11:56 a.m. Think the "Scott Brooks" effect kinda guaranteed the 10 day signing of royal to be a waste?
Darnell Mayberry 11:57 a.m. Red Auerbach could have been coaching this team and Ivey wouldn't have played. That's not on Brooks. That was just a largely pointless signing by Presti.
Russell Westbrook 11:58 a.m. I want to play vs Miami what i got to do?
Darnell Mayberry 11:58 a.m. At this point, it seems make a deal with the devil.
Gary Neal 11:59 a.m. I would help yall in Playoffs If you trade for me.. Ask Miami about me...
Darnell Mayberry 12:00 p.m. I'm sure you would. But your salary is just enough to make it a difficult trade for the Thunder to pull off. OKC isn't trading Sefolosha for you, and I can't see them parting with anything else if it includes a mix of the young players. So good luck in Milwaukee.
Guest 12:01 p.m. TV analyst from the NBA station see the Thunder making it to the playoffs, even the finals with the team they have now, specially with the emerging young talent like Lamb, Reggie, Perry Jones and Adams, are they right, your thoughts?
Darnell Mayberry 12:02 p.m. Of course they're going to make the playoffs. And they've got a chance to make the Finals. But the young guys that you speak of will have to grow up fast. None of this inconsistency that we're seeing now. And the perimeter players, namely Derek Fisher and Thabo Sefolosha, are going to have to start making shots.
Iman Shumpert 12:02 p.m. I will love to leave N.Y Knicks to play with the best player in the world Kevin Durant... There's any chance that can happen? Im a better shooter than Thabo Sefolosha and i can defend to...
Darnell Mayberry 12:03 p.m. It's possible, I suppose.
Guest 12:03 p.m. I would think that what the coaches wants for PJIII to do is stand by the perimeter to take threes, but last games he did go inside and dunk the ball several times, did he noticed that by waiting at the three point line, his minutes are short rather than doing rebounds, blocking shots and put backs, increase his minutes, your comment?
Darnell Mayberry 12:05 p.m. Yeah, if he does all those little things he has more of an impact on the game. I'm not sure if there's a correlation between that and his minutes so much as it is a matter of matchups and foul trouble. But he definitely looks better when doing other things rather than just firing up 3s.
Mac 12:05 p.m. When does Russ come back, Wednesday night @ Miami or Friday night @ Brooklyn?
Darnell Mayberry 12:06 p.m. I've said Feb. 3 against Memphis. I'm sticking to that. But the team is sticking to post-All-Star break.
Guest 12:06 p.m. It has been said that this year's Thunder possesses more athleticism than the Spurs or its previous Thunder team, would you agree?
Darnell Mayberry 12:07 p.m. Yeah, the Thunder has long been more athletic than the Spurs. And this year's team, with Steven Adams as the backup center, coupled with Jackson/Lamb/Jones, definitely is the most athletic we've ever seen.
Guest 12:08 p.m. It's been quite the turnaround the last seven games . . compared to the first few games of the month. Any thoughts on why such a big one?
Darnell Mayberry 12:09 p.m. In order, Kevin Durant has been playing out of his mind, the defense has picked back up and the role players have done a much better job of contributing more offensively.
Guest 12:09 p.m. Its been told that the Heat got Oden for the Pacer's big man Hibbert and with that said, is the Thunder prepared now than previous years for the Heat or the Pacer's?
Darnell Mayberry 12:10 p.m. The Thunder has never had a problem with the Pacers. The Heat are the problem, and I'm still not sure the Thunder can beat them in a series. I think they will be much more competitive, just because of player development. But Miami is just a bad matchup for the Thunder.
tom 12:11 p.m. As a nickname and chant, instead of "MVP" how about "MKD"?
Darnell Mayberry 12:11 p.m. As in "Most Kevin Durant?" Pass.
Guest 12:11 p.m. There was a question that Durant wants to stamp on the franchise to share the ball, by playing team ball, which has been successful for KD, will that affect team chemistry when Westbrook joins the team?
Darnell Mayberry 12:13 p.m. We'll see. Westbrook was doing a fantastic job as an assist man just before he went down. But when the playoffs start and defenses tighten, I still think this team is going to revert back to Durant and Westbrook doing it all. I'm not sold that the trust is there to continue to pass to the open man and live with the results. It's one thing I'm most interested in seeing when Westbrook comes back and when the playoffs begin.
Dean 12:14 p.m. Do you think we will make any trades before the deadline? Or sign any free agents?
Darnell Mayberry 12:15 p.m. I think a couple of smaller moves are on the horizon. They've got two roster spots, a little wiggle room under the tax, the Eric Maynor trade exception and a $1.2 million contract in Hasheem Thabeet to play with. That's like a treasure chest of assets for Presti.
Guest 12:16 p.m. Have you noticed that most Thunder players are shooting the ball, example, Collison, Perkins and Sefolosha. That's good but why only now?
Darnell Mayberry 12:16 p.m. Because a guy who takes 18 shots a game is missing.
Guest 12:16 p.m. The assistant coaches are now barking their instruction while the game is in progress and I have not seen this before, why the change?
Darnell Mayberry 12:17 p.m. Then you've missed it. They've always done it. But new assistant Robert Pack is much more vocal than others.
Optimus Prime 12:17 p.m. Do you think that when Russell does come back, it might throw a slight kink in the team chemistry that is happening right now?
Darnell Mayberry 12:18 p.m. For whatever kinks he adds, he'll iron out twice as many issues. I'm not worried about his return.
JayZ 12:18 p.m. Is my boy winning MVP this year?
Darnell Mayberry 12:19 p.m. I don't know. Is your other boy, LeBron James, going to captain another 27-game winning streak?
Casey 12:19 p.m. Do u think the thunder will hold Westbrook out longer jst to be sure, since we're winning & leading the west?
Darnell Mayberry 12:21 p.m. I think "longer" means the original timetable. So, yes. Even though I've predicted he returns Feb. 3, Westbrook doesn't even appear to be cleared for things like running and jumping yet when you watch him in pregame workouts. That, to me, is a sign that he's still a long way away. And with the team winning, not to mention what happened last time when he returned early, there's no reason to bring him back early again.
Guest 12:21 p.m. I like this power lunches because people without facebook can throw in their questions.
Darnell Mayberry 12:21 p.m. Fair enough.
Guest 12:22 p.m. Does the fact that Royal Ivey was not re-signed mean that Russ may come back sooner than mid February?
Darnell Mayberry 12:22 p.m. No. It means that Royal Ivey got a more lucrative offer to play in China. So that's what he did.
AJ 12:22 p.m. Darnell, PJ3's effort on both ends of the floor is pretty noticeable. On busted plays, he puts the the ball on the floor and has been making things happen. Do you see him taking some of Thabo's minutes as the season goes along?
Darnell Mayberry 12:23 p.m. I hope not. For as much as Sefolosha has struggled shooting the ball this year, I'm still quite confident when I say that there's nothing Jones can give this team that Thabo can't.
Guest 12:23 p.m. Tell Anthony Slater good work for covering during your absence.
Darnell Mayberry 12:23 p.m. Will do. Thanks for reading us.
Darnell Mayberry 12:25 p.m. You got it. It's top 20 protected through, I believe, 2018. That means as long as it's in the top 20, Dallas keeps it. If it's 21-30 at any point between now and then, it is conveyed to the Thunder. In 2018, it's unprotected. But it's looking like it'll come to the Thunder this year, which only gives Presti another chip to play with. Scary.
Guest 12:25 p.m. Can you give the info on the Dallas 1st round pick for this year? Is it top 20 protected?
Darnell Mayberry 12:26 p.m. OK, pretend we're playing Jeopardy on that last gaffe.
Guest 12:26 p.m. Last night, the Spurs were beat up by the Heat, with Oden getting minutes and the Blazers were also clobbered by the Warriors, which is good for the Thunder, can you say that the Thunder has reached its peak, even without Westbrook?
Darnell Mayberry 12:27 p.m. This is definitely the team's peak without Westbrook. Seven straight wins and a red hot KD is probably more than anyone imagined.
t-up 12:27 p.m. Team is better without Westbrook? Trade him while you can. I am afraid he is the next Rg3. Damaged goods.great player if healthy!
Darnell Mayberry 12:29 p.m. While I'd love to T you up twice and toss you, I gotta say, a lot of people share your concern about Westbrook's long-term health. I'm not one of those people. Keep in mind what's kept him sidelined. Swelling. This issue isn't major. Also, remember how he was performing when he was in the lineup. He was playing his best ball of his career. He'll be just fine.
Instntterry 12:30 p.m. I don't quite understand why they signed royal Ivey.. I get the chemistry but that would imply that they sign him another 10 days.. Unless this is leading to an early Westbrook return..
Darnell Mayberry 12:31 p.m. Again, he got a lucrative offer to play in China. The Thunder can't force a guy to sign with them. As for the initial signing, again, I don't get it. I think it was a largely pointless move. Sure, he might have helped with chemistry, but that implies that chemistry was an issue in the first place. Made no sense to me, especially when there are more capable players available (Daniel Gibson) who can really help.
Guest 12:32 p.m. Were you on vacation the past several days?
Darnell Mayberry 12:32 p.m. Not vacation. Just took the three-game trip off. I'll be on the next one.
Steven Adams 12:32 p.m. Would I get more playing time to season myself before the playoffs?
Darnell Mayberry 12:32 p.m. I think you're getting about what you deserve.
PistolChad 12:33 p.m. I work with a lot of Thunder fans - many with season tickets, but very few of us knew that Fisher had announced last summer that this was his last season before retirement. Do you think Fisher may change his mind before next season?
Darnell Mayberry 12:33 p.m. We've asked him that and so have others. He's repeatedly said no. This is it.
Guest 12:33 p.m. Have you any news on how Brooks will handle his team against the Heat on Wednesday?
Darnell Mayberry 12:35 p.m. We're just taking it one day at a time, Guest. We're just focused on Atlanta. And then we're focused on eating a sensible postgame meal. And then we're focused on getting a good night's rest. And then we're focused on waking up Tuesday. And then we're focused on having a good practice. And then we're focused on walking o the plane without tripping on the steps. And then we're focused on flying to Miami. And then we'll turn our attention to the Heat. But our focus right now is on the Atlanta Hawks.
Darnell Mayberry 12:36 p.m. That was my best Scott Brooks.
Kellan Oconnor 12:36 p.m. Why isn't Perkins gone already? And why does Brooks continue to start him?
Darnell Mayberry 12:37 p.m. Kind of picked the wrong time to make that comment. Perk is currently playing his best ball of the season and showing his worth during this seven-game winning streak.
Guest 12:37 p.m. The team has improved and changed a lot since last season. How do you think we will do against the Heat this week?
Darnell Mayberry 12:38 p.m. That's a tough team for the Thunder WITH Westbrook. I'd be shocked if the Thunder can beat them without him.
Streaky 12:38 p.m. How long you think durant's streak is going to last?
Darnell Mayberry 12:39 p.m. No clue. Could end tonight. Could stretch to 20 or 25 games.
Danny 12:39 p.m. What happen to our nuggets after the game??
Darnell Mayberry 12:39 p.m. I don't do them for road games I don't cover.
Guest 12:39 p.m. Whats te lastest with Thibor Pleiss?? Will he ever be in a Thunder unifor?
Darnell Mayberry 12:40 p.m. He's reportedly said he's coming over next year, which is strange because the matter of money still needs to be agreed upon.
George Mikan 12:40 p.m. So Royal Ivey is going to China- is the Thunder sunk? What's the deal with the Eric Maynor trade exception?
Darnell Mayberry 12:41 p.m. If the Thunder falls tonight, you know why. The Maynor exception is about $2 million. It expires next month.
Kellan OConnor 12:41 p.m. Other than KD, what player has stepped it up the most in Westbrook's absence?
Darnell Mayberry 12:41 p.m. I love what Serge Ibaka has done scoring the ball.
Guest 12:42 p.m. Do you see Andre Roberson replacing Thabo next year
Darnell Mayberry 12:43 p.m. Nope. That's become a pretty popular idea, but I think Roberson is a long way away. The hardest thing to do in this league is be a consistent performer. Roberson has had some solid nights, not taking anything away from him. But doing it three or four times is much, much different from doing it for the better part of an 82-game schedule.
Guest 12:43 p.m. Is KD adjusted to life without Westbrook, as he is showing right now? Why was it better for KD this time?
Darnell Mayberry 12:45 p.m. It certainly looks like it. I think the main thing is defenses in the regular season don't have all week to game plan for Durant only like Houston and Memphis did in last year's postseason. And I think KD has taken advantage of that.
PistolChad 12:45 p.m. With Jackson's play this season, what do you think the market value for him will be when he can sign a contract extension next fall? I'm thinking a (smaller) James Harden type trade is in the cards for him.
Darnell Mayberry 12:46 p.m. There are a ton of teams that would love to have a talent like Jackson. I'll just say, it's probably going to be a hard sell to get Jackson to stay for less money and a lesser role.
instntterry 12:46 p.m. How important is the Miami game this week?
Darnell Mayberry 12:48 p.m. Not very without Westbrook. But it puts the Thunder in a win-win situation. They won't be expected to win without Russ, so if they lose, no big deal. But if they win, it's a huge win and Durant only builds his case for MVP.
Guest 12:48 p.m. Will the Thunder go for Andrew Bynum or someone else at the trade deadline? Ay rumors for the Thunder acquiring anyone?
Darnell Mayberry 12:49 p.m. Think of guys like Anthony Morrow, Mike Dunleavy and Gary Neal. Those are guys the Thunder could target. I can almost guarantee you Andrew Bynum won't be one of them.
Mark 12:49 p.m. Is Perkins having a comeback type season?
Darnell Mayberry 12:49 p.m. He's having a good stretch.
Reggie Jackson 12:49 p.m. Why am I so inconsistent in my game??
Darnell Mayberry 12:49 p.m. Happens to most all young players.
Kellan OConnor 12:50 p.m. Is Steven Adams going to grow with the Thunder over the next few season or be traded?
Darnell Mayberry 12:50 p.m. He's here for the long haul.
Kellan OConnor 12:50 p.m. Is there a way for the Thunder to make it to WCF without Westbrook?
Darnell Mayberry 12:50 p.m. Probably not. But that shouldn't be an issue.
Guest 12:51 p.m. will kd avg 30-8-5 aftr westbrook's return???
Darnell Mayberry 12:52 p.m. I wouldn't be surprised if Durant puts it on cruise control and hands it over when Westbrook gets back. Kind of let Russ regain his rhythm while catching his second wind.
Guest 12:52 p.m. Don; what if Harden was still with OKC; what does the lineup look like?
Darnell Mayberry 12:52 p.m. Who is Don? Lol
tom 12:52 p.m. Who has more shots on Wednesday, MVP MKD or Lebron
Darnell Mayberry 12:53 p.m. After what LeBron said, I'm hoping LeBron now that you mention it.
Guest 12:53 p.m. Anthony Slater's debut at the NBA TV was very good, as he answered all the questions correctly and direct to the point.
Darnell Mayberry 12:53 p.m. I agree. He did a very nice job.
BrianW 12:53 p.m. If you were GM, would you trade Thabo or ride him out this year???
Darnell Mayberry 12:54 p.m. No way would I trade him. His defense on the perimeter is much too valuable in the postseason.
Guest 12:54 p.m. Would Brooks have two kind of rules, one for his stars and another for the role players?
Darnell Mayberry 12:54 p.m. I think he does, and I think most coaches, in all sports, at all levels, do.
Reggie Jackson 12:54 p.m. Where will I be playing next season?
Darnell Mayberry 12:54 p.m. Oklahoma City.
Darnell Mayberry 12:54 p.m. I think...
Don 12:55 p.m. What if Harden was still at OKC; what would the lineup look like?
Darnell Mayberry 12:57 p.m. Oh, you're Don. Thanks for clearing that up. I think the starting five would still be the same (smh), and I think Harden and Collison would still be doing their thing off the bench. Having Reggie Jackson with Harden in the second unit would be a nightmare for opponents. That's a heck of an eight-man rotation. You could almost throw a dart at the wall to fill out the rest of the roster.
Sam Presti 12:57 p.m. Darnell if you were twice as smart as you think you are...I'd still be smarter.
Darnell Mayberry 12:57 p.m. No question.
Jimmy 12:57 p.m. What do you think it would take for Presti to move Dallas' first round pick?
Darnell Mayberry 12:57 p.m. A top-15 pick in this year's draft.
Taylor 12:58 p.m. Any concern that Russ may well disrupt what appears to be a pretty cohesive unti at this point? Trading a top 5 NBA talent is not the answer, but I am concerned that chemistry has been really good thus far. Am I crazy to be worried?
Darnell Mayberry 1:00 p.m. What was the Thunder with Westbrook? Like 23-5 after he went down? So take away those three games he didn't play in and they were 21-4. Still the best team in the West, if not the league at that time. I think you're over-thinking it.
Guest 1:00 p.m. Adams has not angered anybody from the other teams lately, did he get warned by the assistant coaches, your thoughts?
Darnell Mayberry 1:01 p.m. Why would he get warned? He's doing his job and coming out ahead when other players get ejected.
Scott Brooks 1:01 p.m. Am I playing young guy more because of influence from Presti or an adjustment that he made on my own
Darnell Mayberry 1:01 p.m. I think it has something do with both.
Guest 1:01 p.m. What do the Thunder need to add to their game or roster to beat the heat?
Darnell Mayberry 1:01 p.m. At least one perimeter shooter.
Brett 1:01 p.m. Does KD let LJ's comments get to him and play out of the flow of the offensive on Wednesday?
Darnell Mayberry 1:02 p.m. Highly doubtful.
William 1:02 p.m. I know it's a little early, but what do you think the Thunder are looking to get in the upcoming draft? I'd love to get a dead eye shooter like Stauskus on the squad.
Darnell Mayberry 1:03 p.m. A shooter like him is all that's missing from this team in my eyes. That seems like an obvious target. But more help at the point guard spot could be a target as well with Jackson's situation being up in the air.
Chris 1:03 p.m. I think Indiana will surpass Miami this year and meet us (Thunder)in finals. I think we match up very well and will win in 6. Your thoughts?
Darnell Mayberry 1:04 p.m. That would be a dream come true for the Thunder...and a nightmare for the league office.
Jimmy 1:04 p.m. 560 QAM sports radio in Miami is reporting, Bosh severely injured his knee in practice? Start watching ESPN soon. Currently here as an Okla transplant in Sebring, FL and John Bellini is reporting it's likely a torn ACL. Wow.
Darnell Mayberry 1:05 p.m. This would be a shock and a game-changer if true.
Bob 1:06 p.m. Any updates on how Pleiss is playing? If he does come over next summer can you see the Thunder amnesting Perk and going with Adams and Pleiss?
Darnell Mayberry 1:06 p.m. I haven't followed him closely over there. But I can't see the Thunder amnestying Perk.
Guest 1:07 p.m. Would a championship banner in OKC be a beacon of hope in the future to lure big name free agents since OKC is a smaller market and the weather aint all that great?
Darnell Mayberry 1:08 p.m. Money lures big name free agents more than anything, and as long as Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka are in town, the Thunder doesn't have the money to spend on big-name free agents...and doesn't need to.
Preston 1:08 p.m. With Westbrook the thunder are 21-4, and he is having one of his best seasons. Why isnt he getting more love for being an allstar?
Darnell Mayberry 1:08 p.m. Games missed.
Guest 1:08 p.m. I didn't know that a past NBA pick can be on hold since 2006, like the Spurs did (Freeland).
Darnell Mayberry 1:09 p.m. Teams keep the draft rights to players until they trade them.
MartzMimic 1:09 p.m. It's kind of interesting that we fans don't really want an old vet who's getting a lot of minutes, yet sad for losing another who wasn't getting any.
Darnell Mayberry 1:10 p.m. Haha. Excellent point.
Eric 1:11 p.m. Since a knock on Perk is he has nobody to guard against Miami, would I be completely nuts if on Wed. night I wanted to see some stretches with Perry Jones in guarding Bosh instead of Perkins? I know PJ's defense isn't up to par but he's super athletic and might be able to guard Bosh on the perimeter a little better than Perk, and allow Ibaka to stay at home to protect the rim. Worth a look anyway? that lineup would be crazy long and athletic
Darnell Mayberry 1:11 p.m. I don't think you're crazy. What I do think is crazy is trying the same thing against the Heat only to see it fail over and over again. So it's worth a shot.
MartzMimic 1:12 p.m. During the Thunder's first season, I recall you saying that teams shouldn't overpay for a backup point guard. That was looking at Earl Watson. Does the same hold true for Reggie?
Darnell Mayberry 1:14 p.m. The difference with Reggie is that he's not just a backup point guard. He's capable of being a starter and an excellent weapon off the bench, a guy who can play with Westbrook and score in bunches. With that said, I don't think he's worth as much (financially speaking) to the Thunder as he is to other teams. I thought the same about Harden.
Dale 1:15 p.m. Do you see KD and Russell still being with the Thunder in 4 years?
Darnell Mayberry 1:16 p.m. Players like Durant and Westbrook generally leave to go play with other players like Durant and Westbrook. So they have no reason to leave. I say they're still here.
Darnell Mayberry 1:17 p.m. Following up on that Bosh comment. A writer friend who covers the Heat says Bosh has not suffered a knee injury. Wanted to make sure I cleaned that up.
Guest 1:17 p.m. I live in Oregon and these Blazer fans are giving me a lot of Sh*t, do you think we will win on the road in the Rose Garden so I don't have to get hazed while at the game?
Darnell Mayberry 1:19 p.m. You mean the Moda Center? (I loved the name Rose Garden. Wish it didn't have to change). Even though the Blazers have won two of three against the Thunder, I still think OKC is a better team. Portland creates matchup problems. But I like the Thunder any time they play the Blazers.
Carl Ballenger 1:19 p.m. Who do you think, besides KD, is the next MVP during these games without RW?
Darnell Mayberry 1:19 p.m. Ibaka. He's been the most consistent.
Guest 1:19 p.m. I think Collison should get more minutes than he does. Is it a match up issue?
Darnell Mayberry 1:20 p.m. I've felt that way for five years. I don't know what the issue is. It may be a Perk issue.
tom 1:20 p.m. How good has Durant been? So good that people are asking about trading Russ again. Have we not learned anything???
Darnell Mayberry 1:21 p.m. Comment of the day goes to you, Tom.
Preston 1:21 p.m. What do you think the thunder record would be if durant was out 10 games instead of WB? What would his stats look like?
Darnell Mayberry 1:23 p.m. Don't know. But I do know that Westbrook's attacking style is greatly benefited by Durant's presence. Nobody talks about that. We've grown to appreciate how Westbrook's presence benefits Durant simply because we've seen Durant and the Thunder struggle without Westbrook in the lineup. But if Westbrook had to play a playoff series without Durant, it wouldn't be pretty. That's not taking anything away from Westbrook. It's just pointing out something that nobody talks about.
Guest 1:24 p.m. If you were Sam Presti, would you go after Arron Afflalo?
Darnell Mayberry 1:25 p.m. Yes. But as it's been pointed out, if I was twice as smart as I think I am, Presti still would be smarter. That's probably why he's not going after him.
Guest 1:25 p.m. With Wade not 100%, do you think the Thunder can now win it all?
Darnell Mayberry 1:26 p.m. I think Wade's health is the biggest key to Miami's championship hopes. If he's not close to himself, the Heat can forget it. For as great as LeBron is, I can't see him leading Miami to a title without a healthy and effective Wade by his side.
Guest 1:26 p.m. why is OKC so hesitant to start the MVP chant?
Darnell Mayberry 1:27 p.m. Something I continue to be baffled by. I hope they do it tonight.
Darnell Mayberry 1:27 p.m. Thanks for joining us today. Enjoy the game tonight.

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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