A common question since last week's trade has been how the Thunder's chemistry would be impacted by the loss of one of its three stars. But it's becoming clear that there hasn't been much of a drop off.
Martin has worked well early on with Durant and Nick Collison in particular on a two-man game. While not yet as crisp as the one Harden shared with Collison, there's obvious potential there. In each of the first two games, Martin made sharp cuts while reading and reacting to defenses and caught pinpoint passes from Durant and Collison. You can already see a backdoor play with Martin becoming a staple seen at least once a game.
“He's one of the best at cutting backdoor because his first step is as quick as anybody's in this league,” Brooks said. “And we want to utilize some of his strengths that he's shown in the past. When you play against a guy for many years, you know him. You see it and you talk about it in your scouting reports. And you get frustrated when he does get away with what he does very well. It's good to see that he's doing the same things that we got frustrated with him doing against us for many years.”
Martin knows it'll take time to iron out the wrinkles.
“It's just going to be like a mini-training camp for us this month,” he said.
But Martin pointed to Miami as an example of how long to expect the Thunder to figure it all out. The Heat, in its first season with LeBron James, got off to a slow start but soon came together and became a powerhouse.
“I feel like with the team that we have and guys that have been through a lot in this league, it could click in a week, two weeks, a month, you never know,” Martin said. “You kind of saw how Miami was. I think they started 8-9 and then they went to Cleveland and it just clicked for them from there.
“So we're just waiting for that one moment where everybody knows what to expect, and we'll just go out every night and compete until then.”