By the end of the month, the Oklahoma City Thunder expects to have a stronger bond.
If so, the team will know exactly why.
“I think we had so many home games and we've played so well this season that this month is going to build a lot of relationships that none of us really have had,” said guard Kevin Martin. “Being on the road so much and being in other environments, we'll have to go through some times with these guys on the road and it should build a lot of camaraderie.”
Sunday's win at Toronto was the start of a stretch in which the Thunder will play 11 of 13 away from Chesapeake Energy Arena. Up next for OKC is the league-worst Washington Wizards in D.C. on the second night of a back-to-back.
“I think it's going to be good for all of us, especially since it's a new group,” Martin said. “At home, you're pretty comfortable with going to the gym and right afterward going home. But after practices on the road you've got bus rides and guys go out to eat. So I feel like, in my situation, I'm going to get more comfortable with these guys over this next month on the road. That's one thing I'm looking forward to, just keep on building our relationships which will help us on the court.”
HOCKEY IS BACK
In Canada, the Thunder-Raptors game took a backseat to news that broke early Sunday about the NHL coming to an agreement on a new labor deal, effectively ending a 113-day lockout.
In the Thunder's locker room, players obviously could relate to what their hockey counterparts might be feeling.
“I haven't really been following it, but I hope they got the deal they wanted,” said Russell Westbrook. “I don't really know how the hockey thing works, how much players get paid and things like that. But I'm pretty sure when somebody loses their job or are out of work it hurts.”
ANDERSON GETS HOT
The Thunder found itself locked in a battle when Raptors reserve guard Alan Anderson scored 19 points in the second quarter to pump life into his Toronto teammates and the crowd.