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Chris: Not to point fingers, but the Oklahoma City Thunder’s struggles can be blamed by directing two extended index fingers at the team physician and the team pharmacist. The pharmacist is culpable for not deciphering the physician’s handwriting on the team prescription, and the physician is culpable for not having better penmanship and failing to hand out complimentary suckers after the team’s recent checkup. Should Kevin Durant play point guard? Should Durant never pass the ball? Should Durant drop the “T” in his last name and form a band? No one can read the team physician’s handwriting.
Brad: He can't be the only scorer. The players need to get into a groove where they can get the ball moving and score. He can't feel bad about things like demanding too much from Reggie Jackson.
Ralphie: He's going to have to start being more vocal now that Westbrook is out for the rest of the season. Being more of a team player will be really important.
Brad: He is a good player but he needs to trust his teammates and stop monopolizing the ball.
Chris: The next commercial with Durant will include scenes of him taking voice lessons from Bobcat Goldthwait, attending Miss Manners seminars taught by Alec Baldwin and squirting his mom in the eyes with a water gun before games. The slogan could be “Not Only is Kevin Durant Not Nice, He’s Starting to Act Somewhat Rudely.”
Ralphie: I think he's a really good player and has a lot of pressure put on him in games because of it. I think Westbrook is more of the real leader, but now, Durant is going to have to step up.
Brad: Westbrook knows he is good and knows he is only as good as his teammates working together. He realizes the importance of each player individually, as well as their part in the game.
Chris: The Thunder’s options at point guard consist of Jackson and a 17-veteran who believes Dallas is too far from Los Angeles to live but Oklahoma City is not. One possible option may be using former point guards Scott Brooks and Maurice Cheeks, though this would require finding inappropriately short shorts for the coaches to wear. Unfortunately, Durant’s best option may be to model himself after Kobe Bryant. Though I should be clear that I’m referring to on the court, lest Durant book a trip to Eagle, Colo., or send his mom a Mother’s Day card that includes a court summons.
Ralphie: I'd like to see Durant be more like LeBron. Giving the other players a chance to get involved will make their opponents have to guess who's going to get the ball. I think it would be a good strategy.
Brad: I would like to see him find an even level between both LeBron and Kobe.
Chris: If the Thunder fail to beat Houston, once Coach Brooks loses his job, I would like to extend an invitation for him to write for our site. He could use the penname “Citizen Brooks.” In fact, Phil Jackson may have already submitted his resume for the coaching position, seeing as how it meets his standards of only coaching teams with two of the best players in the league who are primed to win championships.
Ralphie: Well, they definitely won't do as well as they would have if Westbrook had been playing.
Brad: I don't see them doing as well as they could with Westbrook. They just don't seem to be able to keep up to the pace they are used to with Westbrook.
Chris: Whenever the Thunder lose, whether it be to the Rockets or in the NBA Finals, blaming his coach and causing him to receive unemployment benefits would surely cement Durant’s Nike marketing scheme persona. I just said “persona.” Durant could also consider taking out a full page ad in a local newspaper, notifying fans that: 1) the Thunder need new uniforms so much that he actually prefers denim overalls rather than their current jerseys, 2) Russell Westbrook has horrific body odor, which causes Durant not to demand the ball from him, 3) Coach Brooks’ hair would look better on a 12-year-old boy and 4) drinking the wrong flavor of Gatorade is the reason Dwyane Wade dunked on him in his dream.
Ralphie: I think they would have had trouble beating the Heat in the finals, even if Westbrook had been playing.
Brad: I think they could have put up a good fight, but I think the Heat are unstoppable.
Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.