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Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Martin is 'Mr. Efficiency'

The Thunder guard is one of the most efficient shooters in the NBA — and that's what Martin wanted to become.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: December 2, 2012
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Using those statistics (see chart), it becomes evident that the Thunder is now benefiting from Martin assembling his most efficient season as a scorer. Martin is averaging 16.1 points on just 10.3 shots. Only in his first two seasons did Martin attempt fewer shots. Martin also is shooting 47.7 percent from 3-point range and 92.8 percent from the foul line, both career highs.

“If you (study) 15 shots of his, you might get one or two that's a tough, contested shot,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “He's going to make open shots. He's going to be able to get to the free throw line. And his set-ups are really good. I think that's what really makes him very efficient.”

Martin is more of an old-school type who doesn't crunch new-school numbers. He appreciates advanced statistics but he only recently learned of them, even as he stood as one of the poster players for his sport's growing use of advanced statistical analytics.

“I never really knew too much about it,” Martin said. “Even the last couple of years I didn't know too much about the advanced stats and different things. People said I'm a great person to look into the advanced stats and all that. But it wasn't until I got to Houston when I got to Darryl Morey that I (learned) because he's a big advanced stats guy.”

Morey is Houston's general manager. When he acquired Martin from the Kings in 2010, Morey had plans on pairing Martin's efficiency with Yao Ming's inside effectiveness.

“He said he brought me there because he liked the way I scored the ball on the least amount of attempts,” Martin said. “He said the biggest contributor to that was getting to the line and shooting 3s.”

Martin credits his coaches from high school on for “teaching me how to play the right way.” But when it comes to his scoring efficiency, Martin doesn't boast. He doesn't consider himself any more special than his counterparts or the owner of some secret other players don't possess.

He just sees himself as a team player.

“Even in college I scored a lot but I just never was a ball dominant guy,” Martin said. “It just comes with being an unselfish guy.”

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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