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Thunder gearing up for the playoffs

by Darnell Mayberry Published: February 27, 2011

/articleid/3544531/1/pictures/1376185">Photo - Oklahoma City's Nazr Mohammed (8),  Nate Robinson (3) and Kendrick Perkins (5) are introduced before the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011, at the Oklahoma City Arena.Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Nazr Mohammed (8), Nate Robinson (3) and Kendrick Perkins (5) are introduced before the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011, at the Oklahoma City Arena.Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Yawn.

As long as Perkins is back for the playoffs, that's all that seems to matter.

Since the trade, many have said the Thunder is now ready to challenge the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs for conference supremacy. Perkins is expected to have that much of an impact. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, following Sunday's contest, called Perkins the best low post defender in the game.

And with Nazr Mohammed coming over via trade with Charlotte, the Thunder now has two experienced centers to man the paint. When Perkins recovers, Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison will be able to spend most of their minutes at power forward, their more natural positions. Suddenly, the roster has more balance than ever before.

If Thunder coach Scott Brooks wants to play big and bully teams on the boards, he can. If he wants to go small and space the floor with shooters, he can do that, too.

The new versatility has transformed the Thunder into a very dangerous team for anyone to face in a seven-game series.

And at the end of the day, that's what matters most.

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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