With leading bench scorer James Harden
sidelined with a strained right hamstring, veteran forward Nick Collison
has begun to pick up some of the scoring through a more aggressive approach on the offensive end.
Collison, who is averaging 5.7 points this season, has scored 33 points on 15 of 22 shooting over the three games that Harden has missed. Before the past three games, Collison had averaged just 3.8 shot attempts in 56 games. His 15 points in Wednesday’s loss at Charlotte were the most since his season-high 18 points on Dec. 2 against Philadelphia.
"I don’t think it’s necessarily something, with James being out, that I’ve thought about,” Collison said. "I’ve just been trying to be more aggressive. My shot feels pretty good, and offensively I’ve been feeling better.”
Collison now strokes 15- to 17-footers without hesitation when the ball is swung his way. When Harden was in the lineup, Collison often passed up the mid-range shot and preferred to find his place under the rim for a potential rebound.
"I think it helps us,” Collison said. "I haven’t made a real conscious effort of it, but I’m trying to really look for offense when it’s available because I feel like I’m playing well offensively.”
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Thunder coach Scott Brooks
initially thought second-year shooting guard Kyle Weaver
passed up three to four shots against the Bobcats. But after watching the film, Brooks said Weaver only passed on one good opportunity and made a smart play on the other occasions.
"He made some good passes, and he was a ball mover. That’s what he does,” Brooks said. "You forget that’s what he’s really good at. He loves to pass the ball and move the ball.”
Weaver, who replaced Harden as the backup shooting guard, has failed to duplicate the rookie’s scoring so far.