Found November 09, 2012 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
He's not the reigning Sixth Man of the Year. Or even the reigning Player of the Week. Don't ask Kevin Martin to grow that beard.
Just ask him to score. That he can do.
"He's a terrific scorer," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "He scores in many ways. He's a 3-point shooter. He's a mover. He gets to the free throw line."
Martin arrived in Oklahoma City on the eve the season in a deal that rocked the NBA. Franchise cornerstone James Harden was hastily shipped to Houston along with Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward. The Thunder received Jeremy Lamb, two first-round draft choices and a second-round pick.
The defending Western Conference champs were immediately transformed and, in the minds of many, downgraded. Harden didn't help that perception by instantly blasting off. All the freshly-minted Rocket did was pace the league in scoring through the first week.
Martin, if you haven't noticed, hasn't been too shabby stepping into the sixth man role that Harden perfected over the previous three years. Through the first five Thunder games, Martin has fit right in, playing off Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and looking more comfortable with each passing minute.
"They're making it easy for me," Martin said. "Coach Brooks and his staff just gave me a playbook and told me to study it and the guys are finding me in my spots."
Martin averaging 18.4 points, shooting better than 50 from the floor and 60 from beyond the arc. Harden never averaged more than 16.8 points while in OKC.
Five games isn't anything close to a representative sample. It is, though, an early indication that Martin can still be a dangerous offensive option. He scored 28 in only his third game with the Thunder, hitting 8 of 11 shots, including 6 of 8 from deep.
"K-Mart is a guy that doesn't need the ball for him to score," Durant said after Martin's season high (for now) Sunday. "He was getting everything in the flow of offense."
Not that Martin has a complete understanding of a Thunder system predicated on defense. He didn't have the luxury of going through training camp with OKC, and his previous stops Houston and Sacramento weren't known for stops.
Brooks and Martin's new teammates are trying to make the transition as seamless as possible. Brooks does have a history with Martin, having been an assistant with the Kings early in Martin's career.
"We've definitely given him a speedy course of what we do and how we like to do it," Brooks said. "We have a good group of guys that are willing to show him and teach him and expedite that learning curve, but he knows how to play and he does a lot of good things that we can use and we do use in our offense.
"Defensively, when you score on a team that hasn't had a lot of success I think the natural thing to say is that he's not a defender, but he's done defensive things that we like and he's only going to get better as the rest of our group."
Make no mistake, Martin isn't Harden. There's a reason Harden is averaging 30.3 points through four games. Harden is also more of a distributer and playmaker. Martin prefers to work off the ball, getting open and flicking that jumper with a flick of the wrist.
"His shot is not the prettiest looking shot, but it goes in and that's all you worry about," Brooks said.
Martin plays with the second unit early in the game, teaming with Hasheem Thabeet, Eric Maynor and Nick Collison. In crunch time, though, Martin is on the floor, illustrating the Harden-like trust he's already earned.
Martin's future in Oklahoma City isn't guaranteed. He's on the last year of a contract paying a shade less than 13 million and don't expect his next deal to come close to that amount, at least not from the Thunder.
Luxury tax apprehension led to Harden's departure. OKC general manager Sam Presti hasn't tipped his hand about Martin's future with the Thunder, but that comes as no surprise considering the organization's M.O.
Martin, 29, isn't focusing on the long term just yet. He's finally on a title contender, filling a familiar role his way.
"We have a great team," Martin said. "We just want to keep on building chemistry."
Follow Art Garcia on Twitter: @ArtGarcia92
BEST OF MAXIM
Click here to view the embedded video.
Here’s Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant rapping at Fright Fest in Oklahoma City on October 26th, with party host James Harden practically attached to his hip. The video is a perfect snapshot of the closeness of the Thunder squad, capturing the Big Three’s very real camaraderie, while a full season’s worth of expectations danced...
Since the dawn of the NBA, players and local automotive companies have joined together to create promotional ads and commercials.The latest and greatest stars members of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Reggie Jackson, Thabo Sefalosha, Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison, and Kendrick Perkins) speaking on behalf of the folks at Norman Automotive.If we learn anything from the below clip, Kendrick...
OKLAHOMA CITY - Somewhere lost along the way of the James Harden talk and the chemistry and temperature of the Thunder, there are some real issues that need to be addressed.
Like when is this team going to start holding onto the ball?
But maybe it doesn't even matter.
Twenty turnovers against Atlanta, 17 against Toronto and a ridiculous average of more than 17 per game so...
Pictured above are Nick Collison, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka. What they’re wearing is Oklahoma City’s new, different, and completely unexciting navy blue alternate uniform. The uniform looks like something an unartistic child would design with MS Paint, and will make its unfortunate debut on Friday night.
The Thunder are just the latest of many teams...
The below video is a quick glimpse of Serge Ibaka blowing into Russell Westbrook’s ear. Enjoy.
video via @dailythunder
Article found on: Cosby Sweaters
Every morning, we will give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.
BREAKING: LAKERS FIRE MIKE BROWN
1: Durant does it again
Do I need to say anything more? Durant took over the final moments of the fourth quarter in Chicago, making several difficult shots to sink the Bulls and secure a win for the Thunder.
Kevin Durant scored eight of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Chicago Bulls 97-91 on Thursday night.
Durant iced the game with an off-balance jumper off one foot with 35.1 seconds to play.
Serge Ibaka scored 15 of his 21 points in the first half, and had a team-high nine rebounds for the Thunder, who beat the Bulls for the third time in...
CHICAGO (AP) -- Kevin Durant scored eight of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Chicago Bulls 97-91 on Thursday night.
Durant iced the game with an off-balance jumper off one foot with 35.1 seconds to play.
Serge Ibaka scored 15 of his 21 points in the first half, and had a team-high nine rebounds for the Thunder, who beat the Bulls for the...
Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder opened a four-game stretch against Central Division opponents with a comeback victory.
There may not be a need for heroics in the next one.
Durant and the Thunder have won six straight against the visiting Detroit Pistons, who will likely be hard-pressed to avoid their worst start in 33 years Friday night.
Oklahoma City (3-2) trailed...
Line of the Night: It’s amazing what Serge Ibaka (1.77) can do in 37 minutes on the court. Thunder Coach Scott Brooks shortened up his rotation against the Bulls last night (only going 9 deep) and the result was a season high in minutes for Ibaka and 21 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. It’s Ibaka’s best game so far this season and here is hoping the extra playing time...
OKLAHOMA CITY -- When a team is looking for its first win of the season, it needs a lot of things to go right. One of those is for its opponent to come out flat and disinterested. The Detroit Piston were not that lucky Friday when it took on the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder played down to its competition once already this year. It was not going to let it happen again. It...
OKLAHOMA CITY -- When a team is looking for its first win of the season, it needs a lot of things to go right. One of those is for its opponent to come out flat and disinterested. The Detroit Pistons were not that lucky Friday when they took on the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder played down to its competition once already this year. It was not going to let it happen again...
Game 6: vs. DETROIT W (105-94)
Fueled by a career, regular season-high 25 points from Serge Ibaka, the Oklahoma City Thunder knocked off the Detroit Pistons at the Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City Friday.
Slow Start For Durant and Westbrook
Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant each got off to a slow start in the first quarter, keeping the [...]