Thunder rookie guard Kyle Weaver goes by the motto: first one to the arena, last one to leave; first one to practice, last one to leave. "I’ve always tried to catch the coach’s eye,” Weaver said. "Coming from a small town (Beloit, Wis.), I never had the hype. I’ve always been a work in progress. My route just to get here was to work hard at every level.
"Being on this team is very similar to what I went through in college. My freshman year, I didn’t play much. It’s almost identical. Early on, I had to do whatever I could in practice.” A second-round draft pick out of Washington State, Weaver played little the first two months. Now, he’s a regular in the rotation and has started 15 games. Known more for his defense, Weaver’s offensive game is underrated. In a win over Dallas last week, Weaver scored 18 points, including a momentum-changing eight points the last six minutes when the offense was sagging without injured stars Kevin Durant and Jeff Green. Oklahoma City is 4-1 the past five games without Durant. Weaver has played a key role during the hot streak, averaging 12.8 points the past eight games after averaging 3.6 the first three months. "He’s a good shooter. The league doesn’t know that, yet,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "I’m glad they’re leaving him open. He’s knocking down open shots. He’s a ball mover and does a terrific job of getting other guys involved.” That’s quite a contrast to a month ago, when Weaver first cracked the starting lineup. On back-to-back possessions, teammates on the bench screamed at Weaver to shoot after he turned down open shots. He has played his best basketball the past two weeks after the Thunder acquired Thabo Sefolosha in a trade.