Brooks has been so pleased with Martin's progress, he even complimented Martin's defense, for which he often had been maligned before arriving in OKC.
“When you're a two-way player, you give yourself a chance,” Brooks said. “Kevin's been good on defense. He hasn't been known for that, but he's been very solid defensively. Offensively, he's very efficient.”
Martin smiled, but wasn't buying it, however.
“I think he's fooling you a little bit,” Martin said of Brooks.
Before Monday's game, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich described the Thunder's transition from Harden to Martin as follows: “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.”
As he often does, Martin took a topic directed specifically at him and re-directed the focus toward his team. He turned “he” into “we.”
“We don't want to stop here,” Martin said. “We just want to keep getting better.
“I think it's going to be a work in progress until the playoffs. As a team, we're nowhere near our ceiling of where we want to be. I think over time, we'll get better offensively and defensively and just knowing each other. It's only been five or six weeks. In the NBA, you can't get familiar with each other in that short of a time.”