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Thunder appears out of sorts

by Berry Tramel Modified: November 8, 2010 at 9:23 am •  Published: November 7, 2010

"It's the fifth game, sixth game, no need to panic," said Russell Westbrook, who dismissed my Pulp Fiction theory. "Last year, they thought we weren't going to make the playoffs. So you can't believe whoever they is.

"We're going to get it right."

OK. But Westbrook is indicative of the Thunder teeter-totter. West was alternately spectacular and awful Sunday. Bamboozled and undressed at times by Rajon Rondo, his point guard counterpart. Took over the game at other times.

Westbrook's line: 16 points on 6-of-16 shooting, 10 assists, four steals and eight turnovers (seemed like more). That's the Westbrook we figured to see last season; instead, we got the Westbrook who developed into a star.

Celtic coach Doc Rivers talked like a coach who still fears Oklahoma City.

"We came out in the first half and played as well as a team can play," Rivers said. "You can't let up, not with a team with Westbrook and (Kevin) Durant.

"They'll be fine. Everybody's gunning for them. They'll be right back up there at the end. They're so talented. They're well-coached. They'll be there. I'm glad we only see 'em twice."

Here in OKC, we see the Thunder 82 times. Hopefully soon we'll see the Thunder we saw a year ago.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@oklahoman.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.