OKC Thunder not looking to replace Kevin Martin

by Darnell Mayberry Published: September 28, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma City's Kevin Martin (23) celebrates during Game 1 in the second round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, May 5, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Kevin Martin (23) celebrates during Game 1 in the second round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, May 5, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Who will replace Kevin Martin?

That is the question many Thunder observers are asking at the start of the 2013-14 NBA season.

But the answer might be no one.

“I don't think we try to find somebody to slip into his slot or slip into that particular slot,” said Russell Westbrook. “The main problem, I personally think, is since James (Harden) left everybody thinks we need to fill that slot. We need a player to fill that slot. The slot doesn't have to be filled. We have a great team and if everybody does their job and does their role we'll be all right.”

Third-year guard Reggie Jackson and second-year guard Jeremy Lamb are expected to be looked to more for bench scoring this season. Starting power forward Serge Ibaka, who averaged a career-high 13.2 points last season, also is expected to get more opportunities on offense.

“My job is to find who is best for us on the floor,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “And the good thing about all of our players is they understand it's earned minutes.”

ALL SYSTEMS GO?

When scoring became such a struggle following the injury to Westbrook last season, the Thunder's offense came under fire. Many began to question the team's offensive philosophy, which has long been mostly about allowing Westbrook and Kevin Durant freedom to make plays.

It's a strategy that has fallen short in past postseasons even when Westbrook and Durant were healthy, but Westbrook's absence last year only exposed the plan even more.

Brooks, however, stood by his approach when asked if his team's postseason struggles last season would lead him to re-evaluate the offense.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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