Don't Punt Capel and KD Could be Tired

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 1:34 pm
By: News 9

Originally Published: Mar 7, 2011 10:39 AM CDT

Barring unexpected NCAA problems, Jeff Capel should not be fired.<br/><br/>Look for OU AD Joe Castiglione to back his coach. His biggest concerns are empty seats and NCAA violations. Joe C and David Boren are straight shooters and image conscience. They don&rsquo;t like phone calls or mail from Indy. <br/><br/>Only winning and staying clean will help Capel keep his job.<br/><br/>He must be a better judgment of character. It&rsquo;s cost him hiring at least one coach and several players who turned out to be bad apples.<br/><br/>Tiny Gallon and Tommie Mason-Griffin made the coach look like a master recruiter to a guy willing to mortgage his future on a pair of immature, me-first guys sans common sense. Revolving door of players is not a good luck. Coach has to take responsibility on that one too. It will be a formidable challenge in 2011-12 to say the least. <br/><br/>Transfer Romero Osby had better be as good as advertised and several others better than expected. Good chance its Capel&rsquo;s Farewell Tour. Bet his agent will be working double-time seeking a new&#160; suitor. Tough sell right now. How quickly things change. 365 x 2. Penthouse to outhouse. From pay raise to hoping to get paid. <br/><br/>It would cost OU something in the neighborhood of two mill to cut ties with the Dukester. I say make a deal with him. Double or nothing. Make the NCAAs next year and two turns to four. Miss out, and call it even. And hope that agent found someone on the other end. <br/>THUNDERING AHEAD:<br/><br/>Impressive win over surging Suns Sunday night at The Thunder Dome.<br/><br/>It&rsquo;s a great sign heading into the playoffs that they are so tough in close games, including games that go to OT. Winning after trading two starters and getting zilch from the new guys is doubly impressive.<br/><br/>Look for Kendrick Perkins to debut when the Thunder open their six-game home stand on the 18th. Perk must get in playing shape and in the groove quickly. Playing 12 games since Game 6 of the Finals is not much. I&rsquo;d think that being a veteran and watching practice and tape on how Scott Brooks does things.<br/><br/>Only problem is the Thunder are faced with what they&rsquo;d hope for but never had. They need to learn to play with a force inside. <br/><br/>Bright vet Nick Collison will shorten the learning curve for the Texan-turned-Bostonian-turned-flat Earther. Perk will probably have a lot of input into the nuances of how he was used in Boston to go along from learning what the coaches expect. The Thunder needs to widen the gap between themselves and the trailers for home court advantage because the adjustment period might result in a few losses. <br/><br/>Thirty seven made free throws for OKC compared to fourteen attempts for the Suns. Phoenix lives and dies by the outside shot and got beat after making 14 of them last night. So they aren&rsquo;t going to go to the line as much as an aggressive bunch like the Thunder. But the disparity in free throws is something that would have had Thunder fans screaming if the situation were reversed. <br/><br/>Rusty Westbrook is 33rd in turnovers per game among point guards. Very hard to do with 30 teams in the Association. His assist to turnover ratio is better than last season when he set records for futility. But it must improve for OKC to get to the West Finals.&#160; <br/><br/>Is KD getting worn down from playing year-round? The World&rsquo;s was exhausting. He&rsquo;s still a stud but frankly having a disappointing season.Yes, I said disappointing. He would agree. And any objective analysis would tell you that, despite the fact he&rsquo;ll win the scoring title again and the fact he&rsquo;s become the leader of a team that could challenge in the playoffs. <br/><br/>He&rsquo;s struggling with last second shots and not knocking down three&rsquo;s the way even he expects. Savvy vet Grant Hill again slowed him Sunday holding him to 3-of-14 shooting, including yet another missed potential game winner. Still love him though. How can you not. Unselfish team-first guy, rare trait for any superstar.&#160; <br/><br/>Jury out on James Harden&rsquo;s new look. Scissor hands can do you up better than that and talk you silly at the same time. If Smoothie was not beginning to turn the corner and become what the Thunder had hoped, we&rsquo;d be all thumbs down on the Mohawk. He got it backwardsnot unusual for a lefty. Shoulda shaved down the beard and left the curls and not done the opposite. Playing like he is now and the guy could go to a pony tail for all I care. <br/><br/>Thunder is 6-1 in OT despite being horrible in getting off good looks in last-shot situations. It would not be crowded if Scott Brooks held a clinic with coaches who struggled more than OKC in must-make situations. Erik Spoelstra and Scotty. Crazy thing about it is they have three of the greatest players alive in LeBron, D Wade and KD. Throw in Westbrook and Bosh and it&rsquo;s hard to believe how OKC and Miami struggle so much. <br/><br/>Next up? Those pesky Griz. Don&rsquo;t like our chances, which is normally a good thing. I&rsquo;ve got Griz by 8.<br/>Follow me on Twitter @DeanBlevins<br/>