Thunder Rumblings


West playoff update (Feb. 20)

by Michael Baldwin Modified: April 12, 2013 at 5:51 pm •  Published: February 20, 2010

Kevin Martin will make his Houston debut tonight when the Rockets host Indiana. One reason Sacramento was willing to trade Martin, who has averaged 22.4 points the past 31/2 seasons with the Kings, is some in Sacramento believe Martin isn’t a good fit with Tyreke Evans, the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year.

The two knocks on Martin, a high-scoring shooting guard, is he’s a below average defender and has been injury prone. Martin has missed at least 20 games the last three seasons, including 32 this season after suffering a broken wrist early in November.

It will be interesting to see how Martin fits in with the Rockets and how much the loss of forward Carl Landry will affect Houston. The Pacers aren’t a big test. But upcoming games this next week will provide insight on the possible impact the trade might have and whether the Rockets can turn the West race into nine teams fighting for eight berths.

In other Western Conference news, Brandon Roy feared a hamstring injury that has sidelined him 14 of the past 16 games might hamper him the remainder of the season after scoring just four points Wednesday night in a win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Roy, though, said the injury improved on Thursday. Roy played Friday night in a lopsided home loss to the Celtics. Roy still didn’t look like the All-Star caliber star the Trail Blazers need if they’re to challenge for a higher seed.

Center Marcus Camby, who the Trail Blazers acquired in a trade earlier in the week, also made his debut with so-so results.

Portland has gone 6-8 while Roy has been sidelined 12 of the past 14 games and was ineffecitve in the other two. If Roy’s hamstring doesn’t improve soon the Trail Blazers could be in danger of staying in the No. 8 spot, possibly having to battle Houston for the final playoff spot.

Having played more games than any team in the West, the Trail Blazers already have 25 losses.

To put that in perspective as many as six teams, including the Thunder, have a shot at 50 wins. Portland will have to go 18-7 the final two months to reach half a hundred.

by Michael Baldwin
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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