In a nine-point win at Detroit on Friday, the bench was at its best. That unit scored 42 points with 20 rebounds, 11 assists, three steals, three blocked shots and only one turnover. Adams led the way with 17 points and 10 rebounds, his first career double-double.
In the first, second and third quarters, the bench either erased deficits and gave the Thunder the lead or maintained order while the starters got a break.
“Them guys are playing hard,” said Kevin Durant. “That's all we ask for.”
A key to the bench success, however, also has been its ability to play smart.
No one player tries to do too much. Unselfish basketball has led to equal opportunities and quality shots. As Fisher put it, no one goes into games with expectations or preconceived notions, particularly with regard to individual stats.
“I think everybody knows they have to rely on each other to be successful,” Fisher said.
As a result, Fisher, Lamb and Adams each have higher built higher Player Efficiency Ratings than starters Thabo Sefolosha, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins.
“Some nights it's going to be one guy's night to get a double-double. Another night it'll be somebody else,” Fisher said. “But we should play in a way that allows everybody to have that night. For guys on the bench, and even for the starters, if that's the mentality that we have where every night is different, it's not your night every night, it's the team's night every night, we'll be OK.”