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Thunder-Clippers Chat: Darnell Mayberry previews Game 5

by Darnell Mayberry Published: May 13, 2014
Paul Monies 10:10 a.m. Plenty to talk about today on the Power Lunch chat. Will the Thunder make the necessary adjustments in Game 5 tonight against the Clippers? Darnell Mayberry will be on at 11 a.m. answering your questions.
Darnell Mayberry 10:58 a.m. Greetings, ladies and gents.
Redneck Joe 10:58 a.m. Darnell Mayberry, Your article "Small defenders have been troublesome for Kevin Durant" is right on, like many of your articles have been. Thank you, I appreciate you telling us your thoughts without Sugar coating like so many do. By the way for what its worth, I have a new word of meaning in my vocabulary "Appreciate" and I owe it to Kevin Durant and his Mom. For not only did he introduce the word to me but he actually showed the meaning in his M.V.P. reward speech and he seems to show it each day. Keep up the good work. Thanks again! Redneck Joe
Darnell Mayberry 10:59 a.m. Man, if only you had a better name.
Billy 10:59 a.m. Darnell, I have seen this fan reaction before: Fire M. Stoops, fire B. Stoops, fire Gundy, fire Ford, now fire Brooks. What is it all these arm chairs understand that I don't?
Darnell Mayberry 10:59 a.m. If you ain't first you're last, maybe??
Chris 10:59 a.m. Darnell, first, love reading your work. You do a great job. What's the biggest "X-Factor" tonight in getting the Thunder back in control of the series?
Darnell Mayberry 11:00 a.m. Thanks, Chris. I think it's the same things as the first four games. Defense has to be the biggest focal point.
-Q 11:00 a.m. I'm sure the league reviewed the contact between Ibaka & Griffin, we would have heard by now if he was going to be suspended right?
Darnell Mayberry 11:00 a.m. We have heard. He's not going to be.
Guest 11:00 a.m. Do you think the Clippers will start or at least try again CP3 on KD? I would like to ask you also if you think that Okc has a solution for this option. One thought, Butler has big problems in guarding Croford, Brooks needs some solution.
Darnell Mayberry 11:01 a.m. I think they might go to it at some point. But I don't think they'll stick with it for long stretches. And I think the Thunder, but particularly KD, will be more prepared for it by passing out quicker or just attacking quicker.
Alberto 11:01 a.m. Sorry I forgot to sign after my questions on cp3 and butler. Nice work by the way and sorry for my not perfect English, cheers from Berlin
Darnell Mayberry 11:02 a.m. Hey, hey. Berlin in the house.
3:10 to Yuma 11:02 a.m. Darnell, who suffered the most this week? KD or his Agent? KD being effectively neutralized by a mismatched Cliff Paul's brother, or Jay-Z being smacked around in an elevator as his wife Beyoncé looked on and smiled?
Darnell Mayberry 11:02 a.m. Uh, I'm going to go with Jigga. Was that not the longest and most awkward elevator ride ever???
JROD 11:04 a.m. Crawford is potentially a huge player in this series off the bench. I STILL contend Roberson is the most suitable defender for Crawford that we have. I get that he has zero playoff experience, but I just think you have to throw that look at Crawford some. It's not going to happen, but I think some 2nd half minutes from Roberson on Crawford could be really big for us. Throw a totally fresh Roberson at Crawford in the 2nd half and I think he gives him fits - and a fresh Roberson could be big on the glass. Have we forgotten this guy is a monster rebounder? He is.
Darnell Mayberry 11:06 a.m. I like the idea of Roberson on Crawford. But, really, Crawford hasn't been that big of a factor since Game 1. He's shooting 31.9 percent in the last three games. So he's not really the problem.
Josh 11:06 a.m. How big of a collapse game 4 was ?
Darnell Mayberry 11:06 a.m. Probably the second worst playoff loss in Thunder history, behind the blown 15-point lead in the final five minutes against Dallas.
Josh 11:06 a.m. Scott Brooks have been bad using his time outs. Thoughts ?
Darnell Mayberry 11:07 a.m. I don't understand how you can run out of timeouts when you lead by 22 points and are ahead by 16 with nine minutes left.
harry man 11:07 a.m. HELLO from hawaii, harry man here. looking forward to all the chat leading up to a late night start in OKC..
Darnell Mayberry 11:07 a.m. Waiting on your prediction.
Josh 11:07 a.m. Does Durant need to add some post-game moves, back-to-the-basket moves ? Will he oblige this off-season ?
Darnell Mayberry 11:07 a.m. You can only hope so.
Joel 11:08 a.m. Russell Westbrook played 38 minutes in game 4 and had he played 45 OKC would have won. I'm sorry but this time of year you ABSOLUTELY do not take out your best players unless the game is completely out of reach and when OKC had the big lead early and Brooks sat Russ (who was playing great at the time) that was a HUGE mistake. You NEVER take out a hot player. I understand other things happened but at the end of the day had Russ simply played 5-8 more minutes there's absolutely no way OKC would have lost that game.
Darnell Mayberry 11:09 a.m. Maybe. Maybe not. If Russ would have gotten worn out, I'm not sure how effective he would have been. And the Clippers were on a run with Russ on the floor, too. So I wouldn't boil it down to something as simple as that.
Josh 11:09 a.m. How bad were the turnovers from Durant in game 4 (that lead to at least two lay-up in the last 3 min of the game) ? Wade and James have always insisted on the importance of limiting their TO in big games, but RW and Durant don't seem to be bother by any of that. Why is it so ?
Darnell Mayberry 11:09 a.m. I think he was caught off guard and just weak with the ball. It wasn't a good quarter for KD.
Josh 11:10 a.m. If Stan Van Gundy is off the market. Does it means OKC is better off being stuck with Brooks (if we imagine management wants to get rid of him) ?
Darnell Mayberry 11:11 a.m. Stan Van Gundy would be a horrible fit in OKC. I don't think he'd mesh with Presti's philosophy or Westbrook's personality.
Josh 11:11 a.m. Does being defended well by smaller players is starting to get to Durant head ? I would like him to play more down low, using a nice fade away like Jordan or Kobe. he's good enough i think ;)
Darnell Mayberry 11:12 a.m. He's just got to commit to doing it. We've seen him embrace it before and be really effective. But Sunday was a bad showing.
Dooby 11:12 a.m. Who wins tonight? Did the Clippers figure out the Thunder mystery in the 4th qtr last game? Does Anthony Slater have turrets?
Darnell Mayberry 11:13 a.m. I'm going with the Thunder...and he might. I'm not really sure. It would explain a lot. :)
harry man 11:13 a.m. what time will game 7 be..i see 7 game series
Darnell Mayberry 11:13 a.m. TBD. And so do I.
Keyana 11:13 a.m. Why didn't Serve get more touches in game4?
Darnell Mayberry 11:14 a.m. Serge Ibaka has been shut out of the offense a lot late in games this postseason. I don't know why it happens so much other than the Thunder trying to get Westbrook and Durant the touches. But they need to keep him involved.
Garrett 11:14 a.m. On a scale from relaxed to memphis game 6 pregame, how worried are you about tonight's game?
Darnell Mayberry 11:15 a.m. Relaxed. The Thunder has been in control of this series for the majority of the way. Sunday's final nine minutes don't change that. I say OKC is still in good shape.
Josh 11:15 a.m. Brooks played small in the 4th quarter, a thing he always seemed reluctant to do before. But this time it was a bad idea, kind of anyway. How on earth can he watch a lead evaporate like that without asking for some "nasty" from his players ?
Darnell Mayberry 11:15 a.m. I don't know what he asked for. Whatever it was it didn't work.
Chris 11:16 a.m. Got any extra seats by you? Asking for a friend... ;)
Darnell Mayberry 11:16 a.m. No, Chris. I don't. Nice try, though. :)
harry man 11:16 a.m. tonight thunder up 113 clippers 108. thursday: clippers 113 thunder up 108..sunday thunder up wins
Darnell Mayberry 11:16 a.m. What is going on with the world? Is that two straight weeks that you've picked the Thunder?
CC 11:16 a.m. When the the Thunder start talking to KD about his contract? Will J-Z play a impact
Darnell Mayberry 11:17 a.m. Summer of 2016. I think Durant will have a ton of people in his ear. Jay-Z will be one of them. But he doesn't know what Durant knows about the Thunder and Oklahoma City.
Wil 11:17 a.m. Darnell, George Karl...thoughts?
Darnell Mayberry 11:18 a.m. What has he done in the last 12 years or so? No thanks. I'd love interviewing him every day, though. But I don't think he's getting you over the top.
Manu 11:18 a.m. Darnell, given how the series has played out - OKC is the better team. Game 1 was a wrap, all other games were essentially dominated by OKC. Do you think that OKC can, again, come out with that firepower today right from the start? Win by 15?
Darnell Mayberry 11:19 a.m. That's what I'm saying, Manu. I completely agree. OKC is the better team and has displayed that for the better part of 16 quarters.
Richie 11:19 a.m. How are the Thunder going to counter the Clippers small line up?
Darnell Mayberry 11:20 a.m. Either put a screen-setter like Perk, Adams or Collison out there to pick off Paul, or send cutters through the lane as outlets for a double-teamed KD, or Durant just making better reads and passing out faster. It's simple stuff really.
Guest 11:21 a.m. Just a comment, but I think it would've been hilarious if someone asked Russ post game if the clippers won the game or did the thunder lose it.
Darnell Mayberry 11:21 a.m. Hahaha.
Redneck Joe 11:21 a.m. Darnell, My take on Durant being hounded by a smaller player is this,,,,Put a thunder player his size to set a screen on Paul or any small very quick guards guarding Kevin. And by the way my real name is Joe and my Mom and Dad gave me a Red neck. Thunder UP!!!
Darnell Mayberry 11:22 a.m. OK. We're saying the same thing. We agree.
CC 11:22 a.m. Did the refs cost us game 4
Darnell Mayberry 11:22 a.m. Heck no.
Tim 11:22 a.m. Has the officiating been awful in these past few games, or is that just home bias?
Darnell Mayberry 11:22 a.m. The officiating has been pretty bad for a lot of the playoffs.
Olly 11:22 a.m. What do you think of letting KD bring up the ball in the 4th quarter? Seems like a lot of OKC's shot clock is wasted by Russ bringing it up and then waiting for KD to get free. Also if Paul is on Durant, don't you think Westbrook should be making the plays against Collison?
Darnell Mayberry 11:23 a.m. If Paul is on Durant, there's no way KD should bring it up. The Thunder tried that and Paul plucked him. Bad idea. And, yes, Russ should continue to exploit Collison on the block.
Wil 11:23 a.m. OKC mentally recover from G4?
Darnell Mayberry 11:24 a.m. I'm inside the morning shootaround now. Everybody looks pretty relaxed and confident to me. I think they've moved on.
Richie 11:24 a.m. Is Lamb going to get his chance to play and see how he goes against the Clippers by Brooks?
Darnell Mayberry 11:24 a.m. If he does I'd be surprised.
Joe 11:24 a.m. Who wins the series and in how many games? I feel we can win the next two.
Darnell Mayberry 11:24 a.m. I've got the Thunder winning in 7.
JROD 11:24 a.m. Oh man I wish you would've have said that. Crawford is wildly inconsistent, but this guy can take OVER a KD style..when he's on. Players like Crawford don't stay quiet forever. Why wait til he goes Ape S to start defending him?
Darnell Mayberry 11:25 a.m. I agree with that. It's only a matter of time with guys like Crawford. The sight of one shot going in can get players like him going.
Joel 11:25 a.m. Looking past game 4 collapse...Okc has been able to out physical and play much better defense this series. For these reasons I believe they'll take the next two games and move into the conference finals. do you agree, why or why not?
Darnell Mayberry 11:26 a.m. I think the Clippers will get Game 6. I don't think it's guaranteed. The Thunder definitely can win it. But I'm going with the Clippers in that one.
Darnell Mayberry 11:26 a.m. Kevin Durant is about to address the media. Let me listen to him. I'll be right back.
Darnell Mayberry 11:29 a.m. Well, that was interesting. Durant was a man of few words. He wasn't upset or anything. Just kept it short. Perk's up. Be right back.
Darnell Mayberry 11:35 a.m. Perk just said the goal is to keep the Clippers under 100 points each game.
Darnell Mayberry 11:36 a.m. Also said the Thunder didn't execute its coverages properly in the fourth quarter so it's difficult to determine the breakdowns defensively.
Josh 11:36 a.m. Without any consistent production from the bench, no one is winning in this league. But the bench have to be included in the process. Durant and RW are playing too much iso/one-on-one for too many years now. is that on the coach (my guess) or the players have a big responsability too ?
Darnell Mayberry 11:37 a.m. The coach has to put in and stress a better system in my opinion.
Richie 11:37 a.m. Are the Thunder mentally tough enough to overcome this series and the coming opponents?
Darnell Mayberry 11:37 a.m. Of course.
Richie 11:38 a.m. Should Westbrook play as much playing time as Durant, why is he getting less time then?
Darnell Mayberry 11:38 a.m. It's hard for Westbrook to maintain his level of performance while playing as many minutes as Durant. His style of play takes a ton of energy.
harry man 11:39 a.m. scott brooks chat needs to cool about getting him fired or he cant win tbe big ones or loses big leads..relax OKIES
Darnell Mayberry 11:39 a.m. Until he does, the questions and criticisms will continue.
Mace 11:39 a.m. I know how crazy this sounds but this is just the thunder. This is what we've dealt with since they first got here. We get big leads and sometimes we'll keep that lead and skate away with a win. But most of the time we blow that lead and either barely pull out a win or lose by 2 when we led by at least 10 the whole game. I'm tired of it but at the same time, when you lead by that much for that long in a playoff game it gets tiring to keep that pace up. I think they went a little too hard the whole game, wore themselves out and forgot how to play the basketball that got them to that 22 point lead in the first place. Plus the clips were closing in so they started playing hero ball. I still think we'll win this series, but we should be closing it out tonight instead of going back to LA.
Darnell Mayberry 11:41 a.m. Everything you said is right. Blown leads have been a problem for this team in the past. But the old saying in the NBA is everybody makes a run. It's not just the Thunder that suffers from it.
Richie 11:41 a.m. Is Brooks going out if they lose to the Clippers?
Darnell Mayberry 11:41 a.m. I'm really not sure at this point.
Josh 11:41 a.m. Spacing have been a huge problem for OKC... Why is there now adjutements whatsoever during the game by Brooks ?
Darnell Mayberry 11:42 a.m. I think his adjustments are small and subtle. Because they're not generally personnel related or obvious tactical decisions, they often go unnoticed.
Josh 11:42 a.m. I miss your nuggets !
Darnell Mayberry 11:43 a.m. Thanks, Josh. We're still writing plenty in the paper.
Darnell Mayberry 11:43 a.m. And on
Richie 11:43 a.m. If Durant would only post up as Barkley says he needs to with smaller guard pestering him, he would come out a better, do you agree?
Darnell Mayberry 11:43 a.m. Yes
Joe 11:43 a.m. let me amend my previous question. you think there will be 7 games...who wins the series?
Darnell Mayberry 11:44 a.m. Yes. Thunder.
Josh 11:44 a.m. How Serge shoot just 5 shots in game 4 ? Does anybody on the coaching staff keep track of that and say "hu-ho, there a problem here !"
Darnell Mayberry 11:44 a.m. Doesn't appear that way.
Richie 11:45 a.m. Why has the Thunder deviated from the game 3 sure fire winner Is it Brooks who changed it?
Darnell Mayberry 11:46 a.m. I mean, this team was ahead by 22 points and 16 with nine minutes left in the fourth. So clearly they were doing something right.
Joel 11:46 a.m. Why are you convinced this series will I 7 games? Outside of 8 minutes in game 4 we would be looking at a 5 game series. LAC's lack of physicality and team defense that is much inferior to okc's. I can't see LAC winning another game.
Darnell Mayberry 11:47 a.m. I'm not convinced. I said the Thunder could take 5 and 6. I just think the series is going 7. The Clippers haven't played great. For example, their 3-point shooting in the last three games has been horrendous. All it takes is one more hot shooting night to make this a seven-game series.
Josh 11:48 a.m. I think OKC is gonna be fine, because they are so talented... but after that, it might be hard. Even though they matchup pretty well against the Spurs. But not at all against the Heat.
Darnell Mayberry 11:48 a.m. Yeah, it's going to be tough for this team to win a title. A lot of growing up has to be done before this team wins a championship.
Josh 11:49 a.m. Funny how Van Gundy and many coaches said they would have foul late in the game with no time outs left. And Brooks didn't do it. Griffin bailed him out though. But it was lot of fun.
Darnell Mayberry 11:50 a.m. Yeah, and that's happened twice in these playoffs. I don't understand why Brooks does it. He said yesterday that the plan was to try to speed up the Clippers and force them into a turnover or a quick shot and if they got the ball to someone the Thunder felt comfortable fouling that would have been the plan. But none of that played out on the court.
Wil 11:50 a.m. KD needs to exploit the double team (like LBJ) - OKC has enough knock down shooters (especially Ibaka's mid-range).
Darnell Mayberry 11:50 a.m. True.
Mel 11:50 a.m. What has to happen for the Thunder to stay locked in for an entire game? Haven't seen that in a while.
Darnell Mayberry 11:51 a.m. I don't think anything has to happen. I think it just happens or it doesn't.
Joel 11:51 a.m. Russell is completely unguardable right now...any thoughts on KD sitting back and watching RW school the entire clipper team? He could go for 50 one of these next 2 games
Darnell Mayberry 11:51 a.m. I don't like the idea of KD "sitting back." No thank you.
Mace 11:51 a.m. Thunder in 6! They really need the rest after these 2 grueling series.
Darnell Mayberry 11:51 a.m. You thinking with your head or your heart?
Mace 11:52 a.m. Also, I met them at the airport the other night, and while they walked up to the fence to say hi to everyone, they looked defeated as hell.
Darnell Mayberry 11:52 a.m. That was a grueling series.
Darnell Mayberry 11:52 a.m. Or are you talking about after Game 4?
Guest 11:52 a.m. Should the Thunder play physical with all their opponenets, as the Heat and Spurs and now Clippers don't like, your take on it?
Darnell Mayberry 11:52 a.m. I think the Thunder tries to with Ibaka, Perk and Sefolosha. Westbrook is physical, too.
Guest MB 11:52 a.m. That last game was the perfect example of all of the Thunder woes of the last four years. A blown lead, lack of ball movement and shaky defense during crunch time, suspect coaching, turn overs at the worst time and the next game they play like all stars. Why is this team so inconsistent from top to bottom?
Darnell Mayberry 11:53 a.m. I don't think this team is nearly as inconsistent as we make it out to be.
Guest 11:53 a.m. When the thunder play the heat in the finals if we don't sweep them will game 7 be in OKC?
Darnell Mayberry 11:53 a.m. Yes. And way to shoot for the stars, by the way.
Guest MB 11:54 a.m. I do not like when the playoffs start your bench automatically gets shortened. All those players helped you get to where you are and they deserve to play. Lamb hit a huge shot in LA a few months back to seal a win. I am not saying give them automatic minutes but when you play the same team over and over maybe the other team may have a harder time to adjust mainly because the Thunder offense is so predictable. What do you think?
Darnell Mayberry 11:57 a.m. I'd like to Brooks continue to use certain bench players, too. Portland went to it out of desperation last night and it worked. Houston went to it in the first round and watched it result in a win. It works at times. But the challenge, as always, is who you gonna sit? If you're giving Lamb or Roberson minutes, that means somebody else who is probably better will have to go to the bench. And more often than not, you're going to lose something on one side of the ball.
Matt 11:57 a.m. It seems CP gets away with a lot of jawing to the officials. Why does he get such a long leash? It's maddening.
Darnell Mayberry 11:58 a.m. I don't know. But you're right. Westbrook on several occasions has told the refs, 'But if I did that..." as if to say he'd be given a technical foul.
Guest 11:58 a.m. My thoughts on Brooks...with him I think the Thunder can bumble their way to a title(s), but with a better coach they could breeze their way through these lesser teams
Darnell Mayberry 12:00 p.m. Breeze might be a bit much. But I don't think we see double digit leads in the fourth quarters of playoff games turn into losses like we have.
Blaine 12:00 p.m. We've seen coaches like Pop/Phil/Doc get in your face and/or sit you down if you're not playing the right way in their eyes. Do KD and Russell need that type of coaching to maximize their outstanding talents? We've seen a lot of (and you and Slater have rightfully pointed it out) unnecessary threes, bad shots, and careless turnovers happen consistently with no repercussions. I love Scott Brooks but I question his fit with a veteran team with championship expectations. He is too buddy/buddy with his players and that undisciplined nature costs them more games than it should. And then after bad and undisciplined games he always says the same thing: "I liked the shots our guys took. We need Kevin and Russell to be aggressive. We will go back and look at the tape." In your opinion, do you think if they fail to win it all it's time for a more disciplined, structured coach who will demonstrate tough love style coaching to win championships?
Darnell Mayberry 12:02 p.m. I think that is sorely needed for this team. And I don't know if Brooks can be that guy. Hard for a coach to change his ways after doing it a certain way for so many years. The only problem is who among the available options is clearly better?
Guest 12:02 p.m. How can Westbrook and Durant eliminate their turn overs, its outright killing their output in scores and putting it on the other side?
Darnell Mayberry 12:02 p.m. Just be smarter.
MidTown Mac 12:02 p.m. How much more can the Thunder learn as a team? One thing might be a good milk-the-clock active motion set, with an aggressive two-man game on a clear out option, to protect a lead. The current KD or RW iso, fine in the regular season I suppose, gives a good contender type team a chance to catch up.
Darnell Mayberry 12:04 p.m. A lot is the answer to your question. And I think the players know what they need to do. I just think they haven't committed to playing the right way consistently. They're so talented that they can get away with dips in effort, energy or execution. And I think they know it.
Guest 12:04 p.m. any word on Caron's gum of choice?
Darnell Mayberry 12:04 p.m. He's chewing on straws.
Josh 12:04 p.m. Who wins in a fist fight? KD or Jay-Z?
Darnell Mayberry 12:04 p.m. My money's on Solange.
Josh 12:04 p.m. Thanks for allowing fair criticism to be part of the debate.
Darnell Mayberry 12:04 p.m. Always.
Guest 12:04 p.m. Why is it that Brooks cannot see what is happening in real time and he needs to look at film to get it?
Darnell Mayberry 12:05 p.m. I think that's just a cop out. I think he knows exactly what happens but isn't going to throw his players under the bus.
Blaine 12:05 p.m. A few podcasts ago, you and Slater were talking about the interesting dynamic going on between retaining Brooks and KD's contract situation; Basically said that if they keep him after this season, they have to keep him for two more years because you can't bring a new coach in during KD's final season of his contract and say it's championship or bust. I think that was a great point. Can you talk about how critical that decision and the entire dynamic is?
Darnell Mayberry 12:06 p.m. Maybe on an upcoming podcast, Blaine. It's something we need to continue to watch
Guest 12:06 p.m. Do you think there will at least be shake ups of assistants this offseason if the Thunder don't win a chip?
Darnell Mayberry 12:06 p.m. That's a likely alternative to axing Brooks.
Guest 12:07 p.m. One of the readers here wrote that he overheard Brooks tell Durant to take over the game, is that what a coach suppose to tell his team and haven't Brooks noticed that it just does not work, as every coach what they need to stop KD?
Darnell Mayberry 12:07 p.m. When you have the second best player in the world, I'm sure there is a natural tendency to lean on him as much as possible and ride him to wins. Brooks, however, might lean on it too much.
Guest 12:07 p.m. What's worse: losing that game on Sunday or wanting Chick-Fil-A on a Sunday?
Darnell Mayberry 12:08 p.m. Oh man. That's a tough one.
Guest 12:08 p.m. If you say no to Stan Van, I agree with you on Karl (really get rid of Brooks who does have a good playoff record for Karl who can't even get out of the first round. Who would you replace Brooks with if you were Presti?
Darnell Mayberry 12:08 p.m. Gregg Popovich.
Darnell Mayberry 12:09 p.m. That's it for today. Thanks for joining us. Enjoy the game tonight. Should be a good one.
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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