OKC Thunder has best Lakers scout in Derek Fisher

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER -- Other than Kobe Bryant, no one has ever played more games in an L.A. Lakers uniform than Derek Fisher. So who better to help out with the scouting report for the Lakers than the Thunder's newest guard.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Modified: March 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm •  Published: March 28, 2012
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LOS ANGELES – In Derek Fisher, the Thunder have the greatest Los Angeles Lakers scout in America.

Fisher played point guard for the Lakers for more than 12½ seasons in his 16-year career.

He was the brains on the court for 915 career games, which was nine more than Magic Johnson. No one this side of Kobe Bryant knows the Lakers' objectives and tendencies better than Fisher.

"He knows Kobe's game better than anybody," OKC coach Scott Brooks said of Fisher.

No outsider is more qualified to scout the Lakers than Fisher, who on Thursday returns to Staples Center for the first time since signing as a free agent with OKC on March 21. Tipoff is at 9:40 p.m. on TNT.

"We definitely will talk to him and we have already," Brooks said.

Players who help scout their former team is nothing new, though the overall worth might be overstated.

"Teams know each other extremely well with advanced scouts and technology," said the 37-year-old Fisher, who has seen the league go high-tech since the Lakers drafted him 24th overall in 1996 out of Arkansas-Little Rock. "It doesn't necessarily make things easy, but at least some affirmation is accessible. I'll be able to add some things in terms of tendencies in personnel, but these coaches are great. They spend hour after hour studying guys. They probably know more than I do about the Lakers."

Fisher's transition to OKC has been remarkably smooth, particularly given the lack of practice time. Rarely has anyone needed to re-direct Fisher at either end of the court, though Kevin Durant did motion Fisher to the opposite side while running a play to close out a quarter.

The Thunder's spacing seems more effective when Fisher is on the court.

Primarily playing the role of backup shooting guard, Fisher is averaging 3.8 points and has committed just one turnover in 88:14 of playing time.

Shooting has been Fisher's shortcoming. He has shot just 22.7 percent (5 for 22) from the field and 25.0 percent (3 for 12) from 3-point range.

This includes a horrendous 2-for-11 shooting night in a double-overtime victory against Minnesota last Friday. Afterward, Fisher pointed out overtime wouldn't have been necessary had he shot better in regulation.

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THUNDER VS. LAKERS

When: 9:30 p.m.

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles

TV: TNT (Cox 31, HD Ch. 730)

Mobile: newsok.com/gameday

Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM

 Three things to know

* The Lakers are 20-4 at Staples Center this season, but have been defeated in two of their last three outings at home.

* The Thunder ranks second in field-goal percentage offense (.478) and seventh in field-goal percentage defense (.430).

* Through 50 games, OKC led the NBA in scoring by one point (5,187-5,186) over the Denver Nuggets at 103.7 per game.

PROJECTED STARTERS

Thunder (38-12)

Pos. - Player - Ht. - Pts. - Reb. - Ast.

G - Russell Westbrook - 6-3 - 24.2 - 4.5 - 5.5

G - Thabo Sefolosha - 6-7 - 5.0 - 2.5 - 0.9

F - Kevin Durant - 6-9 - 27.8 - 8.1 - 3.5

F - Serge Ibaka - 6-10 - 9.0 - 7.9 - 3.3-x

C - Kendrick Perkins - 6-10 - 4.7 - 6.2 - 1.2-x

Lakers (31-19)

G - Kobe Bryant - 6-6 - 28.3 - 5.5 - 4.7

G - Ramon Sessions - 6-3 - 10.9 - 3.2 - 5.4

F - Pau Gasol - 7-0 - 16.8 - 10.6 - 3.3

F - Metta World Peace - 6-7 - 6.0 - 3.1 - 2.1

C - Andrew Bynum - 7-0 - 18.2 - 12.2 - 2.0-x

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