Kevin Martin taking a liking to the Oklahoma City Thunder – NBA Update
When James Harden was traded to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Kevin Martin and a few draft picks days before the 2012-13 NBA season began, there was a lot of murmur about how the Oklahoma City Thunder had lost their championship pedigree with the departure of the ‘bearded one’.
Eight games into the season, that notion has pretty much changed.
Martin, who had been a consistent scoring machine for the Houston Rockets in the last four years, adapted to his new role at Thunder pretty quickly and ensured that Harden’s absence was never felt in Oklahoma City. In 29.4 minutes per game, K-Mart has managed 17.1 points on a 48.1 percent shooting from the floor so far, including a 50 percent success rate from the land of three. He is also averaging 1.6 steals per games and has added the much needed depth to the OKC bench.
Numbers aside, the most important thing for Martin that his team is winning more often than not, a stark change from the scenarios he has been under for the first eight years of his NBA career. And he is making an effort to make full use of the opportunity that has landed his way;
“It is great,” Martin said while talking to HOOPSWORLD. “It’s been a long time waiting to play on a team like this. It is just a great group of guys from the organization to the players. Opportunities like this; you never know when you are going to get them so you have to take advantage of them.”
The Thunder finished as the runners up to Miami Heat in the NBA Finals last season, and that was primarily due to lack of experience and orientation at the big stage. They have taken the fall now, and still possess players like Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka, who are getting better by the day. If nothing, OKC is still the favourite to win the West, and Martin likes the way things operate;
“Four or five guys should have double figures every night,” Martin added. “There are great offensive players on this team and when we aren’t selfish or turning the ball over, that can happen on a nightly basis.”
So far in his career, Martin has been in the playoffs only once with the Sacramento Kings and that turned out to be pretty short journey as well. With Thunder, he is all set to go deep into the business end of the season and finally be at a place befitting of his talent.