Thunder has to set the table for Kevin Martin

OKC's new sixth man thrives when he's set up by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. As evidence, Martin scored 27 points against the Hornets.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: November 17, 2012

“We didn't get him that involved in the game against Memphis,” Durant said. “If we just tried to find him and run plays for him, he could have really, really helped us and we maybe could have won that game. So that's over with. We learned from it.”

With the Thunder, a staggering 66 percent of Martin's scores have been assisted, by far a career high, according to hoopdata.com. You won't find better evidence of how the Thunder needs to emphasize feeding Martin, and how Martin, at this point in his career, works best when the table is set for him.

“I cannot demand the ball because I'm not going to be a guy where I'm taking horrible shots and killing our offense,” Martin said. “Everybody else has to play their part because I'm not going to be a guy that brings the ball down every time and try to create something. So with me on the court, a lot of it is going to be in the point guard's hands as well, actually being a point guard.”

Hours after sitting in that cushy courtside seat Friday morning — almost anxiously awaiting tip-off to see whether Wednesday was indeed an anomaly — Martin proved what a difference passing can make. He scored 27 points, including 22 in the first half, in a 15-point win over the Hornets. After taking just four shots two nights earlier, Martin needed just five minutes to launch four shots Friday. In six fewer minutes, Martin managed to hoist 13 more shots, ultimately making nine of his 17 attempts.

It was no surprise that 20 of his 27 points came off assists.

The Thunder's ball movement at New Orleans was the best it has been all year, as evidenced by OKC dishing a season-high 31 assists. The rapid passing forced the defense to rotate and often left Martin all alone for uncontested 3-pointers. He made 6 of 11 from downtown, finishing one shy of tying his career high in made 3s.

“It's a fun game when basketball is played that way,” Martin said. “We were up 30 at halftime, and that was the big thing. They couldn't stop our ball movement and everybody was unselfish and we got great results.”

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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Thunder vs. Golden State

When: 6 p.m. Sunday

Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena

TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma (Cox 37/HD 722, DirecTV 679, Dish 416, U-Verse 754/HD 1754)

Radio: WWLS-FM 98.1, WWLS-AM 640

Three things to know

* The Thunder went 3-0 against the Warriors last season and has won six straight overall against them.

* Golden State is coming off a 106-98 victory at Minnesota, where it outscored Wolves 58-22 in the paint.

* This is OKC's third straight Sunday home game. The Thunder has previously lost to Atlanta and beat Cleveland.

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