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Power Lunch: Chat with Darnell Mayberry

by Darnell Mayberry Published: March 31, 2014
NewsOK Sports 9:49 a.m. Welcome to the Monday Thunder edition of the Power Lunch chat. If you've got questions, get them in now. Darnell Mayberry will be on at 11 a.m. to get the chat started.
Darnell Mayberry 10:59 a.m. Greetings, ladies and gents.
Guest 11:00 a.m. Any concerns among Thunder brass about the minutes KD is piling up? I know he's young but it still has to have an effect if you want to play into June
Darnell Mayberry 11:03 a.m. I don't think so. Not at the moment. They'd be nuts to not think that Durant won't wear down over time like any other player would with so much mileage on his legs. But this season doesn't seem to be a concern. He's averaging about the same number of minutes as he has for pretty much his entire career, and even though he leads the league in minutes he's had a lot of fourth quarters off, like the last two games. So I think they're trying to find ways to get him rest throughout the season. Also, Durant's game is much different than a player like, say Russell Westbrook's. He's not flying all over the place and crashing into defenders. So in that sense, 30 minutes for Durant probably isn't the same 30 minutes for Westbrook if that makes sense to you.
Aron 11:03 a.m. How worried should we be that re-entry of Thabo and perk doesn't go smoothly and messes with the team right before playoffs and maybe going into playoffs
Darnell Mayberry 11:06 a.m. I highly doubt they could hurt on the defensive end. And offensively, they're not key pieces so it'd be hard for them to mess that up. In fact, with Thabo stepping back in for Andre, you'd expect that to be a net positive. Besides, Brooks will probably still play small a lot and continue to rely on Fish and Butler. So it'll be interesting to see where Thabo and Perk stand in the rotation when they return.
Guest 11:06 a.m. I don't see the KD scoring streak will fall short to MJ's. Given that they have big upcoming games and KD needs to score big numbers unless he go incredibly cold
Darnell Mayberry 11:07 a.m. I don't either. The guy gets 25 rolling out of bed.
Guest 11:07 a.m. How do you think jeremy lamb has been playing since reggie got hurt
Darnell Mayberry 11:08 a.m. He's been good. But you've also got to keep in mind the opponents. Pretty much everybody on the Thunder looked good against the Kings and Jazz.
early to bed 11:08 a.m. any ideas on playoff times or dates yet? should we expect more 9pms since there is only 1 west coast team with Home court advantage?
Darnell Mayberry 11:08 a.m. We won't really have a better idea until the matchups are set.
Garrett 11:08 a.m. Does it seem like Adams is on an incredibly short leash? He was gobbling up rebounds yesterday, but obviously got into a little foul trouble which caused him to be quickly removed after any foul later in the game. Brooks isn't using him in the later parts of the game, so why not let him play some more?
Darnell Mayberry 11:09 a.m. That's a good question. Foul trouble is meaningless if you're not going to play a guy late. But more than anything, I think it's just an opportunity for Brooks to get Fish or Butler, guys he trusts implicitly, into the game sooner.
-Q 11:09 a.m. What chance do you give this team to finish out the regular season 7-2 & better their winning percentage again?
Darnell Mayberry 11:12 a.m. I'd say it's a really good chance. The schedule isn't too difficult. But the Thunder definitely will have to find ways to win two of the following four: Spurs, Rockets, Clippers and Pacers. The last three of those are on the road, which will be tough. But the other five games shouldn't be too difficult.
Randy 11:12 a.m. How concerned are you that Thabo and Perk are returning at playoff time with only a few games to work back in with the team?
Darnell Mayberry 11:13 a.m. I'm interested to see how rusty they are or how long it'll take them to regain their rhythm. That's my biggest concern.
Tim 11:13 a.m. What's your favorite position (center, point guards, etc.) to watch during a game?
Darnell Mayberry 11:13 a.m. Point guard. I've always been partial to point guards.
Michael 11:14 a.m. Seems like Jeremy Lamb has had a renewed focus on defense. A lot better effort in my eyes. Will this be enough to get him some playing time when Perk and more specifically Thabo gets back?
Darnell Mayberry 11:14 a.m. Doubt it. But I disagree that he's had a renewed focus. I think he's always tried really hard on that end. It's just he's not a great defender at this stage in his career. But I never watched him and thought he wasn't trying to do the right things.
Guest 11:14 a.m. Of all the Thunder players, whose minutes do you think are the most out of balance? Who should be getting more or less minutes?
Darnell Mayberry 11:15 a.m. Jeremy Lamb should be getting more. Caron Butler probably should be getting less.
Taylor 11:15 a.m. Of the 3 most likley matchups for the Thunder in the first round (Dallas, PHX, Memphis) who would you most like to see us play?
Darnell Mayberry 11:16 a.m. Memphis. I think it'll be the most competitive.
guest 11:16 a.m. I've heard this sentiment alot, and Brian Davis repeated it this morning on the radio, that Memphis is a tough matchup for OKC in the playoffs. Am I the only person in this state that would rather face the Grizzlie's inside game over the outside shooting of a Dallas or Phoenix? Seems to me that's where the Thunder's defensive issues are. Adams and Perk are fine inside.
Darnell Mayberry 11:19 a.m. I'm not as, for lack of a better word, fearful of the Grizzlies as most. So I'm leaning more to your side on that. But I wouldn't go as far as saying I'd rather face the Grizzlies if I'm the Thunder. They're still a tough matchup, while Dallas is older and not as athletic and the Suns are young and inexperienced. So in my eyes the Grizzlies are still the team you'd least like to play. But that doesn't mean the Thunder would struggle in the series or lose it.
harry man 11:19 a.m. my favorite thunder up player THABEET has been playing some min. harry man says keep playing my favorite player THABEET and thunder up will win a NBA title...
Darnell Mayberry 11:20 a.m. I'll pass that right along to Brooks.
KD4MVP 11:20 a.m. Since Patrick Beverley is out, do you think Russ will play against the rockets instead of the spurs?
Darnell Mayberry 11:20 a.m. I'd be surprised. The Thunder still has a good chance at catching the Spurs for the top seed.
Jacob 11:20 a.m. Do they let Thabo walk after the season or re-sign him? And if they keep him, what do you think the contract will look like?
Darnell Mayberry 11:23 a.m. I wrote about this early this year ( There's a lot of things in play. But it'll be tough. That's about as much as I can say at this point (bcause the short answer is I don't know). But I can't see them giving him more than, say, $3 million per over three years.
Guest 11:23 a.m. Do you think Jeremy Lamb will start next season ?
Darnell Mayberry 11:24 a.m. I'd like to see it. But I doubt it. Even if Thabo, Fish and Cutler aren't here next year, Brooks might make Andre the token starter as he's done in recent games just to keep some scoring coming off the bench.
Sam 11:24 a.m. Do the Thunder matchup well against the Spurs or did they just play better in those 3 regular season games?
Darnell Mayberry 11:27 a.m. In at least one of the meetings (maybe two), the Spurs weren't fully healthy. But with that said, the Thunder matches up well with them.
boss 11:27 a.m. Hey this is a bit random but does ibaka look less happy or less confident these past few games? Something just seems off about him
Darnell Mayberry 11:27 a.m. I haven't seen that.
harry man 11:27 a.m. thoughts on the Beverley injury? Karma is a ?
Darnell Mayberry 11:28 a.m. I think it could cripple Houston in the playoffs if he misses extended time. I think he impacts the game that much on the defensive end. And Jeremy Lin isn't nearly the same threat defensively.
Guest 11:28 a.m. Brooks' rotation has always been questioned, and it will continue into the playoffs, but how unusual is his strategy? Do other coaches in the league limit their starters minutes, only play them at the start of the halves, not play them down the stretch, etc.?
Darnell Mayberry 11:28 a.m. Yes. It happens a lot on teams that don't start their best five players.
harry man 11:28 a.m. I like wisconsin winning it all. Who does darnell like in the final 4 winning it all?
Darnell Mayberry 11:29 a.m. I had Michigan State winning it all. But I'll go with Florida now.
@JohnMRedfearn 11:29 a.m. Do you see Westbrook sitting against the rockets or spurs?
Darnell Mayberry 11:29 a.m. Rockets. But I really don't know for a fact which game it'll be.
Randy 11:29 a.m. Will the minute restriction be lifted for Westbook in the playoffs.
Darnell Mayberry 11:29 a.m. Yes.
harry man 11:29 a.m. thursday night will tell me alot about thunder up. going to spur country...Spurs 114 thunder up 109 OT
Darnell Mayberry 11:29 a.m. Thanks
John Redfearn 11:29 a.m. Is Caron Butler a good enough fit to be re-signed over the summer?
Darnell Mayberry 11:30 a.m. If the price is right I think the Thunder definitely looks at keeping him around.
harry man 11:30 a.m. does any Oklahoman care about opening day in Major League Baseball? I do
Darnell Mayberry 11:30 a.m. Plenty
Scott 11:30 a.m. Do you think Durant will stay in OKC long-term? I know it could happen, but what do you really think? I cannot image he will pass up the allure of NYC, LA, or Brooklyn. What do you think it will take to keep him?
Darnell Mayberry 11:32 a.m. Why does he need to go to NY, LA or anywhere else? He has endorsements. He has recognition. He has perhaps the best supporting cast in the league. I can't see him leaving.
Michael 11:32 a.m. How important is starting to an average NBA player if they're talented enough to be starting? Is it enough for most to seek other places to play? Wondering if we're going to run into the same thing with Jackson, Lamb, as we did with Harden.
Darnell Mayberry 11:34 a.m. Depends on the player. But I think for a lot of players, starting is a big deal. That goes all the way back to the high school level. But once you get to the pros, starting or not starting could be the difference between a few million dollars. So some guys might not want the stigma of being a bench player, or a sixth man, simply for financial reasons. Aside from all that, it's an opportunity to be on the court as much as possible.
Guest 11:34 a.m. I like Fisher and Butler. I think they can make teams better when used properly. However, given Brooks' propensity to play veterans too much, would the Thunder be a better team without them?
Darnell Mayberry 11:35 a.m. Not sure anyone can say that after the way Fish has played this year. And the Thunder's 3-point percentage, I believe, has only gotten better since Butler came aboard. So I'll say no.
John Redfearn 11:35 a.m. Do you see Perry Jones still her next season? If yes will he play a bigger role?
Darnell Mayberry 11:36 a.m. Yes, and that depends on him. How much more of an impact will he make? How much more consistent can he learn to be? Those things fall entirely on him.
harry man 11:36 a.m. what does daily oklahoman NBA writers do before the trip to SPURS home court (monday-tuesday-wednesday) what do you guys do
Darnell Mayberry 11:36 a.m. Write articles.
Guest 11:37 a.m. Spurs fan here and I agree the thunder are a horrible matchup for them. their streak ends thursday night, as its also their 5th game in 7 nights and back end of a back-to-back
Darnell Mayberry 11:38 a.m. We sure it lasts until Thursday? They've got Indiana on the road tonight (and Indy's lost two straight), and Golden State on Wednesday. They've got a brutal schedule this week, which is why I don't think the race for the top spot is done yet.
harry man 11:38 a.m. a few empty seats at your OKC chesapeake...why
Darnell Mayberry 11:39 a.m. The place is packed every night. The only empty seats you see are the ones at the beginning of the third quarter, when people are still making their way back from the concession stands or restrooms.
Louis 11:39 a.m. Who, in the west, presents the thunder the most difficult matchup? I would think the Clippers or Spurs (although we usually play pretty good against them).
Darnell Mayberry 11:42 a.m. The Spurs are always tough just because they play so smart and they're so consistent. They force you to play at a high level for 48 minutes. They're not going to beat themselves. I'm still not sold on the Clippers. The Thunder has counters for their best two players, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. And they have zero counters for Kevin Durant. I have no doubt the Thunder can beat the Clippers in a series.
harry man 11:42 a.m. they are empty in 1st-2nd quarters and 4 min. into the game in 3rd quarter. i think when a well below 500 team comes to OKC plenty of seats excuse on attendance
Darnell Mayberry 11:43 a.m. Come to a game sometime and see how packed it is. The place is usually almost filled before tip off.
harry man 11:43 a.m. how does someone become a sports writer? Could I be a sports writer for the daily oklahoman? double team with pine tar baldwin.
Darnell Mayberry 11:43 a.m. Well, you ask enough questions to qualify. You're off to a good start. :)
Darnell Mayberry 11:44 a.m. That's it for today. Thanks for joining us. Enjoy the games this week.
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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