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Thunder chat: Darnell Mayberry talks OKC-San Antonio

Thunder writer Darnell Mayberry answered your Thunder-Spurs questions today on an overtime edition of the Power Lunch chat. Here's the full transcript:
by Darnell Mayberry Modified: May 20, 2014 at 9:12 am •  Published: May 20, 2014

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Darnell Mayberry 11:42 a.m. Yes. You're essentially trotting out a poor man's version of Ibaka and Perk, a weak side shot blocker and a strong positional defender. But when Collison started, it all but eliminated that possibility because of the way Brooks rotates players in.
Bubba 11:42 a.m. Do you think that the team is settling for too many jumpers instead of driving to the hoop?
Darnell Mayberry 11:42 a.m. At times. But I thought the Thunder, particularly Westbrook, did a great job of attacking the cup last night.
John 11:43 a.m. Do you think that Scott Brooks should play Jeremy Lamb more to help make up for Ibaka's loss on the offensive end of the court?
Darnell Mayberry 11:43 a.m. Yes. But Lamb has to prove that he can guard.
Guest MB 11:43 a.m. Asking Scott Brooks to do anything fancy is like asking a first grader to do calculus. Game one was a throw away game because Ibaka did not play. Game one would have been a great time to just go crazy. Bench Thabo or Perk start Adams, Jones or Butler. Just do something different all Brooks did was ask Collison to be Ibaka which we all know is not happening. I am just annoyed how we have 3 bigs that can give up 40 points in the paint in one half. When is this team going to play up to its potential? I think the Thunder still have enough players to when but not enough guidance from Brooks and his staff? your thoughts?
Darnell Mayberry 11:48 a.m. So if I have this right, you want Brooks to do something "fancy" and "just do something different." Doesn't sound like a solid strategy to me. Look, Brooks did a ton in Game 1. He tried something like 11 lineups. That's a lot at this stage. A ton. Could he have tried a few other things (Adams and Collison together, Perry Jones III)? Of course. But the Thunder didn't lose last night because Brooks didn't try things. I actually like what he did and I'd like to see him stick to the starting lineup for Game 2. He went into the series looking to see if what they practiced would work. In the first quarter, it didn't. In the third, it did. The question is which quarter is closer to the real Thunder?
Carron Butler 11:48 a.m. Is it just me, or do I seem to not offer much on either end of the court?
Darnell Mayberry 11:49 a.m. You're streaky. Very, very streaky.
harry man 11:49 a.m. all MVP humans should be playing good defense
Darnell Mayberry 11:49 a.m. I agree.
CC 11:49 a.m. will Brooks be around next season no matter what happens
Darnell Mayberry 11:49 a.m. I wouldn't go that far. But I think he's coaching the Thunder next season.
CC 11:50 a.m. Are the Thunder allowed to bring in someone to replace Ibaka or will that mess everything up
Darnell Mayberry 11:50 a.m. No.
3:10 to Yuma 11:51 a.m. I am not here to bash Scott Brooks but did you watch our clueless coach in action last night?. Just throwing in bodies in there hoping something would work. And when a certain lineup worked, he was still too slow to realize it and yanked them back out.
Darnell Mayberry 11:52 a.m. Again, I didn't agree with everything Brooks did in that game. But I can't fault him one bit for trying several things. His team got blitzed early and he didn't waste any time in trying to stop the bleeding.
Blaine 11:52 a.m. I really think Perry Jones could be useful in this series, especially in place of Sefolosha. His athleticism can be useful on the defensive end with deflections, and making it tough on defenders to shoot over him. Offensively, he gives you a little bit more than a standstill spot-up shooter. He can put the ball on the floor, he can play above the rim, and he gives the Thunder another explosive player in transition.
Darnell Mayberry 11:53 a.m. I agree, Blaine. While I don't think PJ3 is as good as some people make him out to be, I do know for a fact that his length and athleticism, two things the Spurs really struggle with against the Thunder, could pose problems.
Nick 11:53 a.m. Why won't brooks go with a Russ,Caron,KD,Nick and Perk lineup.
Darnell Mayberry 11:54 a.m. Who's to say he won't in one of these games? In fact, if Thabo continues to struggle, I think he will (not that Butler has been any better).
MidTown Mac 11:54 a.m. SA flat wore out the Thunder...& how many times can RW hit the floor b4 that unduly risks the future of the franchise?
Darnell Mayberry 11:56 a.m. That's on Russ. He has to play smarter and with better pace. It's great now. But it's not sustainable over an entire career. I would have thought he would have incorporated more finesse into his game by now. But he hasn't.
kk 11:56 a.m. why did the spurs think we were lying about Serge's injury? Have you heard anything about Serge trying to play when the series comes back to OKC?
Darnell Mayberry 11:56 a.m. I have no idea. That was odd. But Serge is not returning folks.
harry man 11:57 a.m. game ONE. playing with out Ibaka make you a prepared team for game 2 I would think..but giving up 60 pts in the paint is terrible...but watching game film will help and oklahomans will see on wednesday night around 10:30 pm with the outcome
Darnell Mayberry 11:58 a.m. The problem with the Spurs is if you clog the paint, they burn you from beyond the arc. It's a pick-your-poison proposition. And I wouldn't be surprised to see the Spurs have even more success from 3-point range tomorrow night with the Thunder turning its attention to stopping paint scoring.
CC 11:58 a.m. Will the Thunder amensty Perk
Darnell Mayberry 11:58 a.m. Highly unlikely.
Guest MB 11:58 a.m. When is Perkins going to benched for Adams? Im am so tired of watching him do nothing on both ends of the court for such long periods of time?
Darnell Mayberry 11:59 a.m. Next year maybe? All I know is Adams needs to play more, not less. He wasn't great last night. But not playing with another big did him no favors. I'd like to see him out there with Collison.
Blaine 11:59 a.m. We've heard all postseason from the TNT and ESPN analysts that it's an issue to have to make lineup decisions based on certain OKC players being able to play D but not be a threat offensively or be able to score but not give you much else defensively. I keep hearing them say OKC will go over the top when they get a couple more true "two-way" players. Is that as big of a concern to you as it's made out to be?
Darnell Mayberry 12:01 p.m. No. I just think a few guys are underperforming. Thabo Sefolosha's shot disappeared this year. Durant, Westbrook and Jackson have been underwhelming defensively. Perk is what he is. Butler has been bad. If this team plays up to its potential, which we've seen before, I don't think we hear any of this two-way player talk.
Nick 12:01 p.m. Why did brooks stay small in the 4th?
Darnell Mayberry 12:02 p.m. At that point, he probably felt it gave them the best chance to win. And who knows? Had it not been for a few untimely, live-ball turnovers, it might have worked.
Carl 12:03 p.m. I think with the lineup SA runs, they should move KD to the 4 and start Butler at the 3. Also look into moving Russ to the 2 and start Reggie since he tends to play well against SA.
Darnell Mayberry 12:04 p.m. It's an intriguing idea. The problem is you essentially deplete your bench scoring. Staggering rotations is one solution. But it's something we've never seen Brooks do in six years. No sense in thinking he'll start in the middle of the West Finals.
3:10 to Yuma 12:04 p.m. Darnell, why is your Chat always as slow as Scott Brook's in-game adjustments? Berry Trammel's Chat moves twice as fast and he covers a lot of ground. You have slow internet connection or what?
Darnell Mayberry 12:05 p.m. It's not always slow. Never this slow. But we were taping a rather animated Thunder Buddies podcast at the start of the chat so it took my attention away more than anticipated. My apologies.
Steven 12:05 p.m. Do you think Brooks will use less of the smaller lineups after the Spurs dominated the paint last night?
Darnell Mayberry 12:05 p.m. I think he has to.
John 12:05 p.m. What kind of numbers do you think Steven Adams has the potential to put up for the Thunder in a couple of years? I'm thinking 12 points and 9 rebounds. What do you think?
Darnell Mayberry 12:08 p.m. I don't know about that. I have no doubt that he could. But on this team, he'll have a hard time. There's just too much talent. He'll never be a focal point on offense, and the way Westbrook, Durant and Ibaka rebound there aren't many to be had. Maybe he gets 12 and 9 simply off running the floor, catching and finishing and getting putbacks and free throws. But to average that over a season seems like a lot on this roster.
Bill Russell 12:08 p.m. As far as starting Perk and SA- that's going to cause spacing issues.
Darnell Mayberry 12:08 p.m. Thanks, Bill.
John 12:08 p.m. Why doesn't Scott Brooks put Jeremy Lamb in to make up for some of the offense the Thunder lost with the Ibaka injury?
Darnell Mayberry 12:09 p.m. Questionable defense and inexperience would be my guess.
Omo OKC 12:09 p.m. It’s an embarrassment for the league to have OKC in the finals with such a chaotic and simple offense against well managed, system-oriented basketball clubs. Though I like OKC but it’s more of the thrill than anything else. Every expert seems to have betted against OKC in the last two series because deep down everybody knows OKC is not good enough and not well coached. To beat the Thunder is as simple as guarding KD and Russ only.
Darnell Mayberry 12:09 p.m. Yet so many teams can't do it.
MidTown Mac 12:10 p.m. Sef, Reggie, Butler...somebody's got to hit the 3....too often the possession ends with the fake to get under the defender that ran at them, then they settle for the 2 pt jumper...low % for these guys...why not a more aggressive play by the whole team to get inside...for a couple of seconds it's 5 on 4
Darnell Mayberry 12:11 p.m. You bring up a great point. Most teams strive to run players off the 3-point line. The Spurs did that a bunch to the Thunder last night and made streaky shooters step in and take preferred long 2s. It was not good strategy by the Thunder. A better option is to keep driving it to the rim or, better yet, swing it around again and make the defense keep working.
dj 12:12 p.m. I think Pop just discovered another Monster of his own in the New Zealander....Baynes?
Darnell Mayberry 12:12 p.m. Yeah, I read this morning that Steve Kerr said during the broadcast that Baynes changed the game with his energy and physicality. Something worth watching.
dj 12:13 p.m. How 'bout Hasheem in spurts? u never know
Darnell Mayberry 12:13 p.m. Like I said, he can't be worse than what we saw last night.
3:10 to Yuma 12:13 p.m. Yes starting Adams and Perk makes sense. The problem is a myopic coach who sees them both as 5's. Adams is athletic to play the 4 and will help Perk coming from his weak side to alter shots, rebound and put up points. ZBo and Marc Gasol are basically two centers and they do so well.
Darnell Mayberry 12:14 p.m. Z-Bo and Gasol have skills Perk and Adams do not.
CC 12:14 p.m. from the article I read you think ibaka will be back
Darnell Mayberry 12:14 p.m. No chance.
dj 12:15 p.m. Why am I cynical ......difficult to see Brooks play the game of chess with Pop. chance of an upset in this chess game, can't see it, can U?
Darnell Mayberry 12:15 p.m. Nope. That's why I picked the Spurs.
John 12:16 p.m. What kind of numbers do you see Steven Adams putting up two years from now, presuming we still have KD, Ibaka, and Westbrook (but no Perk)?
Darnell Mayberry 12:18 p.m. An earlier commenter said 12 and 9. Adams definitely has the potential to get those numbers. But for reasons I stated earlier, I think it'll be tough for him to average that over the course of a season on this roster. I think something like 8 and 8 is more reasonable. But I could be wrong and way off.
dj 12:18 p.m. Thabeet has the length to border Timmy or Splitter. and may be if we are lucky get an unexpected offense out of him, no?
Darnell Mayberry 12:18 p.m. In post-ups, sure. But what about when they put him in the pick and roll?
harry man 12:18 p.m. what does the daily oklahoman writers do when this series is OVER
Darnell Mayberry 12:19 p.m. Cover the Thunder in the Finals, duh!
John 12:19 p.m. Two questions not about the game last night.. How about it? What kind of numbers do you see Steven Adams putting up two years from now, presuming the Thunder still has KD, Ibaka, and Westbrook (put no Perk)? Also do you think KD will continue to put up the same numbers he put up this year for the next six or seven years?
harry man 12:20 p.m. what does the daily oklahoman writers do when this series is OVER
Darnell Mayberry 12:20 p.m. I don't think Durant's numbers are going to chance much for the rest of his career. He has a niche and it's scoring. He can get 25 anytime he steps on the court. And now he's rebounding better and passing more effectively.
Mobar 12:20 p.m. What are the odds that sefelosha is back with the team next year....butler too?
Darnell Mayberry 12:21 p.m. After what we've seen out of them, I can't see either of them returning. The Thunder loves continuity. But you've got to think there are better options out there at this point.
dj 12:21 p.m. Spurs were never uncomfortable,even when we had the lead, the game just looked easier for them and we worked for every point, anyone else got that feeling?
Darnell Mayberry 12:22 p.m. Oh, they were uncomfortable in the third quarter.
Omo OKC 12:22 p.m. Do you know what the turnovers per game is for superstars like Lebron. How does Durant fair.
dj 12:22 p.m. Which is better :losing to Spurs or enhancing a Miami's 3peat?
Darnell Mayberry 12:22 p.m. Most stars turn it over a lot. Durant and Westbrook are right there with others.
Darnell Mayberry 12:23 p.m. Losing is losing.
Guest 12:23 p.m. After learning Ibaka out the rest of the playoffs, I surmised: The Thunder athletic advantage eliminated.
Darnell Mayberry 12:24 p.m. They've still got Westbrook. But that's it. Kawhi Leonard almost neutralizes Durant's athleticism. That's why I think Lamb, Adams and PJ3 need to get more burn.
Jon from atl 12:24 p.m. If Adams isn't fouled out or resting he should be on the floor as much as possible... Agree or disagree?
Darnell Mayberry 12:24 p.m. I'll add one more. If he isn't getting exposed defensively in the pick and roll.
Guest 12:25 p.m. Butler looks like a liability on the Defensive end, and the ball stops when it gets into his hand on the offensive end. Unless he is shooting well I think we have to limit his minutes and play fish/PJ3 more.
Darnell Mayberry 12:26 p.m. Unfortunately, I think this might be one of those situations where the coach sticks with the veteran figuring he'll come through more often than not as opposed to going to the youngin who might just make more of an impact but have more mistakes mixed in as well.
ThundazZ 12:26 p.m. Are we doomed?
Darnell Mayberry 12:26 p.m. To me, that's a question of whether the Thunder will win the championship. And I don't think this version of OKC can. So, yes.
Aaron 12:27 p.m. Not really a question here but... 105 points is enough to win a game, playoffs or not. People can gripe about individual players and their scoring abilities all they want but it comes down to stopping the other guy or at least limiting their 2nd chance points. Perk, and Russ seemed to be the only guys willing to lay it all on the line on defense last night. Bringing in Lamb doesn't solve issues on D, it enhances them.
Darnell Mayberry 12:27 p.m. I like your comment. I didn't like Russ' defense effort in the first half.
John 12:27 p.m. I appreciate you answering one of my questions! Made my day!
Darnell Mayberry 12:28 p.m. Thanks for joining us, John. Sorry if it took a while to get to it.
Jon from atl 12:28 p.m. If stone cold takes all of I alas minutes and keeps a foot in the paint at all times wouldn't it dramatically reduce the 76% shooting points in the paint?
Darnell Mayberry 12:29 p.m. You would think it would help. But I don't think it's that simple. The Spurs are a smart team, folks. They're going to put Adams in the pick and roll and not just let him sit back and do one of the things he does best.
Glenda 12:29 p.m. After learning Ibaka out the remainder of the playoffs: I surmised: the Thunder athletic advantage eliminated, the Thunder older, which plays into the hands of the older, better skilled Spurs. And younger Thunder players hadn't been prepared in the regular season to produce in the playoffs. Yesterday and the day before I predicted the Spurs in five if the Spurs relaxed in a game. Would you now argue my prediction?
Darnell Mayberry 12:30 p.m. I think I answered this already.
Robin in Tulsa 12:30 p.m. If Ibaka really wants to play, how much say-so does he have in that decision?
Darnell Mayberry 12:30 p.m. I would say not much.
Jon from atl 12:30 p.m. T some point you have picked OKC to lose every series so far, why? Aren't you a beat writer for OKC!
Darnell Mayberry 12:32 p.m. Two questions: 1) who is T? 2) Do you know what being a beat writer means?
Darnell Mayberry 12:32 p.m. And for the record, I picked the Thunder over the Grizzlies and Clippers.
CC 12:32 p.m. who would the thunder get as coach anyways, a not name or Rex (asst, coach)
Darnell Mayberry 12:34 p.m. That's the million dollar question. I don't think the Thunder can go with an unproven assistant at this point. And the guys who are out there might not be clearly better than Brooks. They might have some things Brooks doesn't have. But they also could lack in some areas Brooks is incredible strong in.
Joey 12:34 p.m. How did you like that PJ for 3 at the end of the game? He's trying to get noticed. I think the thunder can play small against the spurs but with PJ3 you can play small without sacrificing length and rim defense.
Darnell Mayberry 12:34 p.m. Made that point earlier.
Aaron 12:34 p.m. I feel like we wasted a solid night from Fisher. Can't expect too many of those.
Darnell Mayberry 12:35 p.m. Said that last night. When Fish gets you 16, you need to win the game. Fish outscored three starters by 11 points. That's unbelievable.
Tongue-in-cheek 12:35 p.m. I wish we still had Harden. He could have defended the rim last night. If only Presti and Brooks listened to us.
Darnell Mayberry 12:35 p.m. What do those guys know anyway?
John 12:35 p.m. I think KD plays good defense. Brooks is just asking too much of him to guard one of the greatest power forwards in history (that also outweighs him by probably 70 pounds). KD is one of the best defensive small forwards in the league in my opinion. Plus I don't think Lebron would ever step up and guard Duncan.. Do you Darnell?
Darnell Mayberry 12:36 p.m. I actually do. I wouldn't rule it out with LeBron. But fortunately for the Heat, they have Bosh and Birdman and Haslem so Bron doesn't have to.
Joel 12:37 p.m. Just my obvservations: OKC needs to start KD, Russ, Jackson, Adams and Collison. KD and Russ need to play almost the entire game (pretty much the entire 48 minutes). They need to turn the game into one of transition because OKC's halfcourt offense sucks and the Spurs is great. Oh...and NO MORE LAYUPS!! I don't care if they have to take somebody's head more layups.
Darnell Mayberry 12:38 p.m. You're asking a lot, Joel. The stars to play all 48 minutes and run, run and run some more? That's a little much.
Joey 12:38 p.m. Did you hear bleacher report saying something about Serge will come back if the thunder make the finals? Could that actually happen?
Darnell Mayberry 12:38 p.m. I doubt it.
Keyana 12:38 p.m. I like Nick Collison coming off the bench. What do you think?
Darnell Mayberry 12:38 p.m. If it means he's with Steven Adams more, yes.
3:10 to Yuma 12:38 p.m. Just go ahead and start Reggie instead of Thabo already!
Darnell Mayberry 12:40 p.m. That's one thing I don't think we'll ever see. This might sound crazy, but follow me. Brooks looks at Reggie like he did Harden. And we know Jackson is nowhere near Harden's level offensively. So if Brooks didn't do it with Harden, there's no way he's doing it with Jackson. He wants to keep Jackson on the bench more to give him an opportunity to be featured more often.
MadMax 12:40 p.m. Do you agree with Steve Kerr that the Thunder might have more success by staying big? I do, just think they have to keep at least three scorers on the Court while doing it.
Darnell Mayberry 12:40 p.m. Yes. We saw it in the third quarter when they got with it.
Matt 12:40 p.m. What is the most effective lineup out of the 11 Brooks went with last night and do you think he was trying to figure out the best one for game two?
Darnell Mayberry 12:41 p.m. I haven't studied it. But based on what I saw last night, the starters in the third quarter.
Darnell Mayberry 12:41 p.m. The small lineup midway through the first quarter was pretty good, too.
DH 12:41 p.m. Isn't it interesting that in college football crazy state, we put losses on players and not coaches but with our Thunder, we always put them on the coach and rarely the players??
Darnell Mayberry 12:42 p.m. Fans are way too attached to professional athletes, in my humble opinion.
Darnell Mayberry 12:43 p.m. Got to run. Thanks to everyone for joining me today. Slater will be up on Thursday to break down Game 2. Have a great 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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