Monday, March 18, 2013
Martin needs to step up
By Nick Borges
The Oklahoma City Thunder took a major hit when they were forced to trade James Harden due to future luxury tax concerns. Kevin Martin did a good job as the sixth-man for a good portion of the season, but as of late his production has decreased and he needs to up his game for the final stretch of the regular season.
Jeff Caplan of NBA.com writes: "In the games Martin has scored fewer than 10 points, the Thunder are 7-8. They’re 42-8 otherwise. ... It begs the question whether OKC can survive three rounds in the West if Martin is not a consistent scoring threat, especially from beyond the arc? During this 2-5 spell when Martin scores in single figures, he is 6-for-20 from 3-point range (30 percent), well below his excellent 42.5 percent on the season. In the 15 games (10 against playoffs teams plus Utah in which OKC is 3-7) he’s just 11-for-56 (19.6 percent)."
Harden played a major role for the Thunder the last two years and while Martin can't match that, he must get better or OKC has no chance to get back to the NBA Finals.
Martin is averaging 24.7 minutes and 11.1 points in March and he's shooting just 38.7 percent from the floor. For the season he's averaging 28.2 minutes and 14.3 points. He's hitting 44.7 percent of his shots, including 42.3 percent from behind the three-point line.