OKC Thunder: Derek Fisher is playing his best basketball since joining Thunder

Fisher's productive play has done more than enough to quell any doubts about whether he should be receiving minutes.
by Anthony Slater Published: February 12, 2014


photo - Oklahoma City’s Derek Fisher, who’s been in the league since the 1996-97 season, is the former president of the NBA players’ association.  Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City’s Derek Fisher, who’s been in the league since the 1996-97 season, is the former president of the NBA players’ association. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

When discussing Derek Fisher with those in the Thunder organization, it always turns to the intangibles.

A coach on the court. A leader in the locker room. A consummate pro who does all the little things.

You know, all those hard-to-quantify qualities that frustrate Thunder fans when used to validate Fisher's steady rotation role.

But not lately. The talk of the intangibles will remain there. But Fisher's productive play has done more than enough to quell any doubts about whether he should be receiving minutes.

In the past month, the 39-year-old is playing his best basketball since joining the Thunder. And, with Russell Westbrook's absence leaving Fisher as the only reserve point guard, it couldn't have come at a better time.

“He's playing great,” Thunder teammate Nick Collison said. “He brings a ton of value to this team.”

Lately, that's been particularly true on the perimeter.

Throughout the first half of the season, OKC was one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the NBA.

In the first month, everyone struggled. And Fisher might have been the biggest culprit, making only two of his first 18 attempts from deep.

But in each proceeding month, the Thunder's 3-point shooting has continued to rise. And by no coincidence, so has Fisher's: from 15 percent in November to 31 percent in December, from 42 percent in January to a scorching 52 percent in February.

Over the past 13 games, 11 of which have been Thunder wins, Fisher has lit it up from the outside, making 25 of his 43 threes (58 percent). He has made multiple threes in four straight games and seven of the past nine.

But it's not just the proficiency. It's the timing.

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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