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Thunder chat: Darnell Mayberry talks outside shooting, 'hero ball' and defending Westbrook

by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 22, 2014
NewsOK Sports 10:14 a.m. Here we go, folks. It's a real series out here.

Make sure to get your questions/gripes/panics/solutions in to Darnell Mayberry for the Power Lunch chat. He'll be on at 11 to start the conversation.
Darnell Mayberry 11:00 a.m. Greetings, ladies and gents.
thunderbob 11:02 a.m. when do game 5 tickets go on sale?
Darnell Mayberry 11:02 a.m. Not sure. I'll find out and let you know.
Guest 11:02 a.m. In Mel Bracht column, way too many replies from the readers agrees that Westbrook shoots too many shots and he is competeing with KD and he should support KD, just as barklet commented, you agree with the readers?
Darnell Mayberry 11:03 a.m. I would encourage all of those readers to go back and look at how many times Westbrook came down in overtime and made passing to Durant the priority. Also, look at how many times Durant couldn't get free from Tony Allen.
Guest 11:03 a.m. Some readers are also blaming Brooks because he has nothing lineup to counter what the grizzlies are operating on, is brooks basketball knowledge max out that he has no answers anymore?
Darnell Mayberry 11:04 a.m. That's a stretch.
Guest 11:04 a.m. It always appears that Brooks will never change his reliance on starters and veteran players, will it be the end for the Thunder's quest for the title this year and the management had enough of brooks to fire him?
Darnell Mayberry 11:05 a.m. The Thunder lost one game. Slow down.
Guest 11:05 a.m. Is the Thunder right now a hero ball type of team, with Brooks not letting it be known to every player, except his rookies, 2nd and 3rd players?
Guest 11:05 a.m. Brooks is just a small ball type of a coach that doesn't accept to be a big lineup team, is it because he is actually a short guy with small lineup knowledge?
Darnell Mayberry 11:06 a.m. Always have been. But most teams with great players are.
Darnell Mayberry 11:06 a.m. He's playing a big lineup plenty.
Guest 11:06 a.m. I have said it before that it appears that Westbrook is in competition with KD for being the top gun on the team, what's your take ?
Darnell Mayberry 11:06 a.m. Asked and answered. My take is that take is silly.
Guest 11:07 a.m. It is sad to have 2 good ballers and each one doesn't want to give in to the other, or its only Westbrook, but this is Durant's team, isn't it?
Darnell Mayberry 11:07 a.m. OK. At this point, I'm just going to assume you're the same person. Please sign in with a name, any name, if you're going to continue to go down that ridiculous road.
Guest 11:08 a.m. That big player coach of the Thunder, Mark Bryant is useless in developing the likes of Adams, Perry Jones, Thabeet and so with the other former big Thunder players who has been traded, any comment?
Darnell Mayberry 11:08 a.m. My comment is it's funny how Serge Ibaka is conveniently omitted from your comment.
Richard Sherman 11:08 a.m. Defense? What are the Thunder's chances of advancing past the first round with this kind of defensive effort? How about the second round? Is Charles correct in saying there are just too many long shot attempts?
Darnell Mayberry 11:09 a.m. I agree with Charles, although I didn't hear him say it last night. I assume it's what he's been saying for four years. But last night that was the case. And the Thunder played terrific defense and Game 1, horrible defense in Game 2. Let's see what happens in Game 3.
harry man 11:10 a.m. a lady by the name of jenni carlson was on the chat yesterday. harry man predicted GRIZZ 112-109 showed. my cat thunder up said why didn't THABEET play? he played saturday and they WON (thunder up)...tough game THABEET SOME
Darnell Mayberry 11:10 a.m. You finally got one right, huh? You know what they say about broken clocks. :)
Mike 11:10 a.m. I think its incredible that its 2014 and Kevin Durant still has not figured out Tony allen! Its really annoying! What do you make of this??
Darnell Mayberry 11:11 a.m. Durant needs to be more aggressive.
Guest 11:11 a.m. Found anything on what the Thunder's problem is in winning?
Darnell Mayberry 11:11 a.m. Not scoring more than the other team.
Guest 11:12 a.m. Can the grizzlies play as perfect as they did last night for 3 more games? That seems to be what it takes to beat the thunder..
Darnell Mayberry 11:13 a.m. They played extremely well. The troubling thing is they did on the road. You'd figure they would do that at home, which is where they're headed.
Mark 11:13 a.m. I really believe our defensive scheme is not good against the Griz. We are OVERHELPING too much. Definitely on pick and roll which is giving them big driving lanes when the ball is passed to Gasol or Randolph then Swung to a wing. I hate that defense
Darnell Mayberry 11:14 a.m. The over-helping has been a problem all season, not just in this series. The Ibaka play were Tony Allen drove and found Randolph all alone was the epitome of that.
Guest 11:14 a.m. what's the love affair with Brooks and the veterans and starters, why he hasn't used the young legs?
Guest 11:14 a.m. Brooks was beaten by the rookie coach of Memphis, has he not embarrassed himself?
man 11:14 a.m. Scott brooks is a horrible coach. He's blessed to have such a talented team. Thoughts?
Darnell Mayberry 11:15 a.m. You good? Got that out of your system yet?
Mace 11:15 a.m. Perk saved our butts last night, but he should not have been playing 27 minutes when in game one, nick and Adams combined for 4 blocks and held gasol and Zebo to 15-31 shooting. I'm not blaming it all on him but still. And the fact we played so bad and we still almost own is promising.
Darnell Mayberry 11:16 a.m. Not sure if you saw Perk's defense on Randolph from the start, but I'd argue that Perk should have played more, not less. He was one of the few Thunder players that showed up to play defensively. Sefolosha and Ibaka were the others.
harry man 11:16 a.m. playing in the playoffs as a rookie can back fire..Adams did not show up last night. alittle over 2 minutes and nothing on the score board but ZERO'S..Please tell coach Brooks to play THABEET a few minutes..harry man loves the veterans like THABEET...thanks
Darnell Mayberry 11:17 a.m. Man, I'm not telling Brooks to play Thabeet.
JRod 11:17 a.m. Now why again is it that Lamb doesn't play? Oh yeah, because Butler is experienced and steady. However, when your offense is completely stagnant and you're relying on 2 players to chuck 25 footers (one of which sucks at 25 footers), seems like you MIGHT want to insert a guy that has some ability to break down a defense by being able to both shoot the deep ball and penetrate and score. Right?
Darnell Mayberry 11:18 a.m. I agree. But the flip side is how many more points might Mike Miller have scored with Lamb on him? That's a question we don't know the answer to but one we might not want to know.
Guest 11:18 a.m. Do you believe there should have been another offensive threat at the end of regulation and in OT last night? Butler, RJ, Fsiher, Lamb (i know...not realistic). How can they balance this crunch time issue moving forward?
Darnell Mayberry 11:19 a.m. They needed to get stops. So I didn't mind the lineup. But basic ball movement can help them not be so guardable.
Guest 11:19 a.m. So why are the #2 seed losing to the #7 seed with 2 stars?
Darnell Mayberry 11:19 a.m. Last I checked the series is tied, 1-1.
harry man 11:19 a.m. Your friend Barkley was not happy with russell westbrook...
Darnell Mayberry 11:21 a.m. What else is new? Westbrook's an easy target. Did he make perfect decisions as the point guard? No. Did he take some ill-advised shots? Of course. But everything he did was in the name of trying to help his team win. You can't complain about his effort. Well, maybe defensively. But I'd be shocked if Chuck mentioned defense.
jaynacks 11:21 a.m. Would you like to have seen Adams get some more burn earlier in the game when the Grizzlies were getting to the rim with ease?
Darnell Mayberry 11:22 a.m. No. I would have liked to see Westbrook, Jackson and Durant step up and stay in front of their men.
Guest 11:22 a.m. If the Thunder loses in round one, what will it take you to agree?
Darnell Mayberry 11:25 a.m. More than that.
Darnell Mayberry 11:25 a.m. Brooks has helped lead the team to a ton of success. He has his flaws. But he's a top 10 coach and he is getting better every year.
Dale 11:25 a.m. If felt like we regressed to 2011 last night, offensively. Too much dribbling, settling for jump shots early in the shot clock, not enough ball movement, and our means of getting the ball to KD turned into lob passes behind the 3 point line. Is that Russell being stubborn, KD being worn out, or not having a good offensive system? Memphis played great defense, but we played right into their hands. We'll turn it around, but that was frustrating.
Darnell Mayberry 11:27 a.m. I don't think Westbrook was stubborn. I do think Durant was too passive. And I think the philosophy of force-feeding Durant against the Grizzlies is a poor strategy.
tom 11:27 a.m. ARRGHHHH!!!! Did no one watch this game last night???? How many times did KD go to the top of the key and sit there, double teamed, and not get himself open??? How is that Russ's fault????
Darnell Mayberry 11:28 a.m. Thanks a lot Tom. Glad you paid attention.
Guest 11:28 a.m. How quickly we forget what life without Westbrook was.. Already with the debates about Westbrook taking too many shots.. No complaints if he would have Made the game winning 3.
Darnell Mayberry 11:28 a.m. Bingo.
Guest 11:28 a.m. Right now some things might be silly to you, but if the Thunder loses 1st round, who will say silly?
Darnell Mayberry 11:29 a.m. And if the Thunder wins the next three games?
Scott 11:29 a.m. Is it just me, or have the Thunder reverted heading into the playoffs? It seems that most possessions are basically a Westbrook or Durant Isolation ending in a contested shot. When they can't get easy buckets in transition and Durant's shot isn't falling(hasn't for weeks now), this strategy won't work.
Darnell Mayberry 11:29 a.m. Again, Game 1 was a great game. Game 2 was a stinker. Let's not overreact and panic game to game. Let's see how it plays out.
Chris 11:29 a.m. I still like the Thunder and think they're a good team. Do I get a prize for that?
Darnell Mayberry 11:30 a.m. Yeah. Comment of the Day award goes to you!
Darnell Mayberry 11:31 a.m. Thanks for joining us today. Wish I could get to more comments but I've got to run. Look for a new Thunder Buddies podcast later today.
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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