Oklahoma City Thunder notebook: Thunder's 'Big Three' has company
Kevin Martin has replaced James Harden as a “Big Three” member with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant
Thunder newcomer Kevin Martin helps comprise the team's new “Big Three” alongside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, but Martin took great pleasure in six OKC players scoring between 19 and 10 points in a 108-88 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
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“Oh, you need nights like that,” Martin said. “You're not going to always be able to beat teams with three guys and Serge (Ibaka) stepped up and Eric (Maynor) played well.”
Four Thunder players currently average in double figures with Durant and Westbrook at 20.8 ppg, Martin at 19.3 and Ibaka at 10.5.
BIG ‘O,' BIGGER ‘D'
Hasheem Thabeet had an impressive outing against the Raptors, finishing with 10 points and five rebounds while shooting 6 for 6 from the free-throw line and 2 for 2 from the field before fouling out.
However, teammate Nick Collison said Thabeet excelling on defense is even more beneficial.
“I thought that was really good,” Collison said of Thabeet's shooting, “but I thought his defense, defensive awareness, being where he was supposed to be, being active, was really big for us. That's going to be important for him. It's great when you can get buckets, but for him to really be a force defensively for us is a really good sign.”
After shooting 27.8 percent (5 for 18) from the field the first two games, Ibaka has shot 77.8 percent (14 for 18) the last two games and now stands at 52.8 percent on the season. … Durant ranks fifth in the league in rebounding at 12.3 per game. … Martin has missed one free throw (22 for 23), but ranks 21st in the league. Twenty players have yet to miss from the line (minimum two attempts per game). … Thabo Sefolosha is tied for 10th in 3-point percentage at .625, while Martin is 13th at .619. … The Thunder entered the Toronto game ranked last in the league in steals at 4.0 per game, but got 10 steals from eight different players against the Raptors.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks on Thabeet: “He does a good job of keeping himself in the play, staying in the play. He protects the rim. He protects the paint, he's starting to really do a fine job of understanding what we do defensively. I give him a lot of credit. He's worked. He has a great attitude every day. I thought he was all over the floor tonight.”