Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Martin has fit in with the Thunder quite nicely
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said: “Obviously, it's fit pretty seamlessly. They've done a great job fitting him (Martin) into the program. So now they're off to the races and doing a great job.”
Thunder coach Scott Brooks continues to insist the evolution of Kevin Martin as the team's sixth man remains a work in progress.
After yet another breathtaking performance from Martin, exactly how much more progress should be expected?
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In a 107-93 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night, Martin scored 20 points while shooting 7 for 10 from the field, 3 for 5 from 3-point range, 3 for 3 from the free-throw line and committed just one turnover in 32 minutes of play.
Martin has been a key component to OKC jumping out to a 20-4 start and extending its winning streak to 11.
All this has transpired despite Martin being with his new teammates just 7½ weeks since the Thunder obtained him in an Oct. 27 trade for reigning Sixth Man of the Year James Harden.
Martin entered with 5:21 left in the first quarter against the Spurs and promptly scored eight points, shooting 3 for 3 from the field while nailing two 3-pointers.
He scored 13 points in 17 first-half minutes.
When the Spurs had cut an 18-point fourth-quarter lead in half with 5½ minutes to play (93-84), it was Martin's 3-pointer from the left wing that stopped the bleeding and got the Thunder's lead back to double-digits for good.
“Kevin's been terrific,” Brooks said afterward. “He's bought in to what we do.”
And in the process, Martin continues to become “everybody's friend.”
“When you have a guy who does not demand the basketball and he can still score on a low numbers of shots, he's going to be everybody's friend,” Brooks explained.
No argument from Martin.
“I like to be my point guard's best friend,” Martin said. “I don't like to take the ball out of my point guard's hands and shoot 20 times a game, especially a talented point guard that we have here in Russell (Westbrook). He deserves the ball in his hands every chance he gets.”
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