Oklahoma City Thunder: Why Derek Fisher?
When you ask Scotty Brooks why Derek Fisher is playing, the Thunder coach will give you a lot of abstractions. Leadership, knowledge, experience. All things true.
But here’s the better question. What exactly does Fisher do on the court? What does he tangibly bring to the Thunder hardwood? We all can agree what he brings to the locker room and the bench. Everyone loves having Fish around. But sometimes you have to ask, can the guy still play?
Monday night in San Antonio, Brooks played Fisher 12 minutes, 17 seconds. That’s basically a full quarter, which in truth was the first half of the second quarter and the first half of the fourth quarter. During that time, the Spurs outscored the Thunder 35-14. That is not a misprint. Fisher’s futility was not the worst raw plus/minus in the box score. Kevin Martin was -22, in 20:28. Nick Collison was -24, in 16:44. But per-minute, Fisher was the worst and was about as worse as you can get. The Thunder was outscored 1.7 points per minute with Fisher on the court. Collison 1.4. Martin 1.1.
Plus, we know Collison can play. Things usually get better when he’s on the court. Martin, we know is a valuable scorer. He’s no James Harden, but he’s handy to have around.
Fisher, exactly what does he do? He’s not really a point guard anymore. Wasn’t last season for the Thunder. Isn’t this season for the Thunder. Offensively, he’s a standstill shooter, and he’s not bad. Six of 15 on 3-pointers with the Thunder so far. But it’s a legitimate question of whether he can guard anyone anymore.
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