NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Jenni Carlson chat: Talking Thunder-Grizzlies Game 2

NewsOK Sports 9:52 a.m. It's never too early to talk Thunder. Get your questions in to Jenni Carlson, and she'll be on at 11 a.m. to start the conversation.
Jenni Carlson 10:43 a.m. All right, sports fans, we'll get started here in a bit, but you can send those questions in now. Thunder. Playoffs. Other stuff. I'm game for whatever warms your sports-loving hearts!
Jenni Carlson 11:00 a.m. Go time!!!
MB 11:00 a.m. The NBA and NHL playpffs go on forever . . . four consecutive series of up to seven games each with off and travel days in between. They are still playing these winter sports in June. Baseball makes more sense -- 10 teams in the post season, as compared to more than half of the NBA and NHL teams, with a one-game wild card playin in each league and a best of five division series before the seven-game league championship series before the world series. It's all over in about a month, keeping fan interest high. Really, sports leagues that admit more than half of their teams, including some with losing records on occasion, to a championship playoff system seem to cheapen it a bit.
Jenni Carlson 11:01 a.m. I get your point of view, but I totally disagree. I'm not that attune to the NHL playoffs, but I would argue that the NBA Playoffs might be the best thing going in all of sports. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:02 a.m. A few of us had this discussion on Twitter the other night. The NFL playoffs are great. Each game is an event. But the games are spread out and the excitement peters out a bit between games. With the NBA Playoffs, there are games every single night. And they are high-stakes, exciting games. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:03 a.m. The NBA Playoffs will keep a lot of people's interest from now until they end. The NHL playoffs are similar. The biggest difference is that way more people are interested in basketball in this country than in hockey. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:04 a.m. So, while the Super Bowl and the Final Four and those things might be better events, I argue that nothing is any better than the NBA Playoffs.
Guest 11:04 a.m. Brooks has got to match up better with their opponents and keep the right players on the court that contributes offensively. That 3rd quarter debacle with slow start and wild shots almost cost the game for the Thunder, your thoughts?
Jenni Carlson 11:05 a.m. Actually, Saturday night made me even more convinced that defensive matchups are the most important thing. The Thunder failed to get stops in the third quarter, and that cut waaaaay back on its ability run. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:05 a.m. When the Thunder gets in transition, it is almost always good for the Thunder and bad for the opponent. That is heightened vs. the Grizzlies. They aren't made to run. They are made to play a pound-it-out half-court game. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:07 a.m. So, the most important thing to me is getting the defense cranked up. That is where the game turned the other night. I don't think Scott Brooks is to blame necessarily either. Guys on the court stopped getting in front of the Grizzlies. No amount of coaching adjustment can help when the players out there stop playing good defense.
Guest 11:07 a.m. Something good about this year's Thunder was the playing of some time for the rookies, 2nd year players and the 3rd year players who are sometimes called upon to play with some starters in foul trouble, injured or something else, care to share your opinion on the matter?
Jenni Carlson 11:07 a.m. Being without Westbrook, Perk and Thabo forced some younger guys into more playing time, and yes, I think that gives the team a better idea of who can do what. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:09 a.m. But at the same time, I firmly believe Scott Brooks is going to go with the guys who he feels give his team the best chance to win. Right now, that means Butler, not Lamb. Fisher, not PJ3. Those young guys will be used, but the lion's share of minutes will go to the guys who are more known commodities.
Guest 11:09 a.m. Who among the Thunder still needs to step up their game to move to the next level?
Jenni Carlson 11:09 a.m. I'm not sure if the next level means the second round of the playoffs or what. But I'll try to answer. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:10 a.m. To me, a guy like Reggie Jackson could be a huge difference maker if he plays at an even higher level. He's another athletic, rangy guy who can make plays for himself off the dribble. There aren't a ton of guys in the league who can do what he does. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:11 a.m. He happens to play with two guys who can. Durant and Westbrook. So if Reggie can be another guy who gives defensive fits, that kicks the Thunder into an even higher gear.
Lance Holmes 11:11 a.m. How likely do you think it is that the Thunder will win game 2? Will Jeremy Lamb see any time at all?
Jenni Carlson 11:12 a.m. How likely? I'd say about a 90 percent chance. I'm picking the Thunder to win. I just don't think the Grizzlies have enough depth or athleticism to win. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:12 a.m. Lamb's playing time depends entirely on circumstance. If Butler gets into foul trouble. If the Thunder has a big lead. I just don't think Lamb is an automatic to get a bunch of playing time in the playoffs.
Guest 11:13 a.m. What do you think will take for the Thunder to win it all this year and not wait for the future, is it the coach, the players or management?
Jenni Carlson 11:13 a.m. They have to stay healthy. They have to use their athleticism, length and speed. If those two things happen, I like their chances to beat anyone.
Guest 11:13 a.m. Do you agree what Skip Bayless saying, "That the Thunder will not win against San Antonio"?
Jenni Carlson 11:14 a.m. He said the Thunder "can't" beat the Spurs. Well, that's not true at all. The Thunder absolutely can beat the Spurs. In fact, we have evidence of that from the regular season. The Thunder went 4-0 against the Spurs this season, so OKC absolutely "can" beat the Spurs. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:14 a.m. Now, "will" the Thunder beat the Spurs? That's up for debate. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:15 a.m. I say OKC will beat San Antonio if they play in a series.
Lance Holmes 11:16 a.m. Any speculation on why Thabo is not getting many minutes?
Jenni Carlson 11:16 a.m. He played 16 the other night, which isn't many, but when he was out there, I didn't think he played badly. Not stellar but not awful or anything. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:17 a.m. I suspect Brooks liked what he was getting out of Butler and Fisher and stuck with them. Thabo is still a high-level defender, and I suspect there will be a game or two before this series is over where he is important.
Lance Holmes 11:17 a.m. Caron Butler had a steady performance. Think he will continue to come up big?
Jenni Carlson 11:17 a.m. Sure seems like it. The Thunder got Butler for games like the other night. A steady, proven player in the playoffs. He played fantastically, and I suspect he'll continue to play well.
Destin 11:17 a.m. Was it true that Memphis Security complained about how loud the music was at the 'Peake Saturday?
Jenni Carlson 11:18 a.m. Memphis security? I don't know what you mean by security. I didn't hear any complaints at all Saturday. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:18 a.m. Memphis coach Dave Joerger complained about the volume of the music during the regular season, but again, I heard no complaints Saturday.
Justin 11:18 a.m. I think Steven Adams does a great job on the memphis bigs. Think his minutes will go up?
Jenni Carlson 11:19 a.m. I don't know if his minutes will go up, but he's going to get minutes. No doubt about that. That's because Randolph and Gasol are going to draw fouls. We saw it the other night. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:20 a.m. That means Perk and Nick and Serge are going to have fouls and going to have to sit at different times. I don't see the Thunder getting through the series without Adams playing some important minutes, and against Memphis, he has done really well.
dooby 11:20 a.m. What are the chances Caron Butler becomes a multi year fixture in OKC? Can the Thunder duplicate Saturday's performance tonight, but this time make it more complete? Finally, will the Blazers bounce the cast full of cartoon characters known as the Rockets? Gawd I hope so!
Jenni Carlson 11:20 a.m. So many questions! ;) ...
Jenni Carlson 11:21 a.m. On Butler, how long he stays in OKC is probably up to him. He can't be a big contract guy in OKC. The Thunder just doesn't have the funds. So, is he willing to stay here and play for a little less? If so, I be the Thunder might be interested. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:22 a.m. On duplicating Saturday but improving it, I assume that's exactly what they hope to do. :) ...
Jenni Carlson 11:23 a.m. On the Blazers, man, you're not very nice to the Rockets! Looks like the Blazers have a chance to win that series. Definitely. Anytime you win one on the other guy's homecourt, all you have to do is hold homecourt on your end to win. Bet Portland will be rocking once that series gets back there.
Rumble 11:23 a.m. First!
Jenni Carlson 11:23 a.m. Nope.
Mark 11:23 a.m. Your thoughts on Jim Traber and how he never misses a moment to put you down?
Jenni Carlson 11:24 a.m. I don't listen, so it doesn't really affect me.
Tony 11:24 a.m. Think Lamb will see any real, meaningful minutes in this series or remaining (Possible) series?
Jenni Carlson 11:25 a.m. It's possible, but like I said before, it will be because of circumstances. Foul trouble. Blowout. Need of an infusion of energy. Something like that. Doesn't look to me like he's part of the rotation otherwise.
Daniel 11:25 a.m. Think the warriors will pull off the clippers upset?
Jenni Carlson 11:25 a.m. Again, once a team wins on the other team's home court, it makes a win much more possible. So, sure, the Warriors could pull the upset. I'll still go with the Clippers, but I was definitely surprised to see them go down on Saturday.
Jenni Carlson 11:26 a.m. Um, that's kind of his deal. The Scowl. Tough guy. All that. But off the court, he's a nice dude.
harry man 11:26 a.m. can the thunder up do it tonight? with mr. Prince back. NO GRIZZ 112 thunder up 109...
Jenni Carlson 11:26 a.m. Tayshawn Prince is your difference maker, Harry Man? Wow, digging down deep aren't you?
harry man 11:26 a.m. hey they had a 24 pt lead with the best player THABEET (54-30) and took him out. grizzle faught back but came up short. coach brooks needs to play him more or bad things will happen. THABEET
Jenni Carlson 11:27 a.m. I also don't think Hasheem is a difference maker in this series, Harry Man. If he is, the Thunder is probably in trouble.
harry man 11:27 a.m. did you get YOUR taxes done like tramel did? I did.
Jenni Carlson 11:27 a.m. Yes, thanks for asking. You're so concerned about us, Harry Man!
harry man 11:28 a.m. how many daily oklahoman sports writers be at the game tonight
Jenni Carlson 11:28 a.m. Four, I think.
Guest 11:28 a.m. Jenni, didn't the thunder have their best of the best defenders playing in the 3 qtr? You know Thabo and Perk? Are you ever going to except Perk is overrated and way over paid?
Jenni Carlson 11:28 a.m. Is he overpaid? Probably. Is he overrated? Nope. Just the opposite. He's totally underrated. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:29 a.m. Did the Thunder struggle defensively in the third? You bet. But the biggest problem was perimeter defense. You have to stay in front of Mike Conley, and Westbrook and Jackson weren't doing that at all. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:30 a.m. That doesn't make them bad defenders. Just means they were bad in that situation. Same goes for Perk. He occasionally has bad stretches, but overall, he's really good around the rim. Really good.
Guest 11:30 a.m. Was Blake Griffin as immature at OU as he is now? The latest; tossing water on the fan the other day was low-class. And the complaning and flopping..... wow.
Jenni Carlson 11:30 a.m. He was actually very MATURE. He got karate flipped at one point and totally walked away from it. He handled very rough play and never reacted. Not sure what the deal was with the water. Not good, though.
dooby 11:30 a.m. do you disagree that the rockets would make a good cast for a cartoon? they all have personalities that would rival Daffy Duck and appearances worse than Yosemite Sams.
Jenni Carlson 11:31 a.m. I didn't disagree. I just said you were being harsh. :)
Guest 11:31 a.m. Harry Man sure is funky...
Jenni Carlson 11:31 a.m. But we love him!
Guest 11:31 a.m. What do you think of Adams blocking 3 shots in his first 5 min. of play? You think Perk was watching?
Jenni Carlson 11:31 a.m. Since he was on the bench about 60 feet away, I assume he was watching. What else do you think he was doing? Playing cards? Knitting?
Jerry 11:32 a.m. Your paper says Portland Leads the series 1-0, but Houston won the game 122-120 OT. I did not stay up. I guess Portland won? Your prediction for series of Rockets-Trail Blazers?
Jenni Carlson 11:32 a.m. Portland won and does lead the series 1-0. I still say the Rockets win the series, but last night was a bad end for Houston. Harden not good down the stretch. Howard HORRIBLE from the line.
Guest 11:32 a.m. If you were in charge, would you want Fisher or Steve Kerr coaching the Knicks?
Jenni Carlson 11:33 a.m. Hmmm, good question. Frankly, I'm still not convinced that the Knicks aren't the most dysfunctional franchise in sports, so I'm not sure I'd wish the coaching job on anyone. ...
Jenni Carlson 11:33 a.m. But Derek Fisher definitely strikes me as coaching material. I think he could be a good one.
Jenni Carlson 11:35 a.m. All right, folks, I've got to run. Busy week here at Oklahoman world headquarters. But there's more live chat fun coming up. We've got an Energy FC chat coming up at noon, then Thunder beat writer Darnell Mayberry will have your Power Lunch tomorrow.

{/literal}{include file="blk:carlsonblog_bottom"}{literal} {/literal}{include file="blk:carlsonblog_rail"}{literal}
Jenni Carlson

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football... Read more ›