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Will Kevin Martin Be Effective Vs. The Miami Heat On Christmas Day?
The Oklahoma City Thunder will travel to South Beach to take on the Miami Heat Tuesday, Christmas Day for a rematch of the NBA Finals.
The biggest change to the Thunder’s lineup this season is Kevin Martin replacing James Harden as the team’s sixth man.
Overall, the Thunder haven’t missed a beat with Martin instead of Harden. They have the best record in the league at 21-5 and just had a franchise-record 12-game winning streak ended last Thursday night.
Martin has exceeded expectations averaging 15.7 points per game while shooting 46.9 percent from the field, 45.8 percent from downtown and 93.5 percent from the free throw line.
He hasn’t been the playmaker Harden was but the Thunder aren’t asking him to be either.
One trend with Martin that is not encouraging however has been his poor performances against the top defenses in the league.
In a loss vs. Memphis earlier this year, he scored just seven points on 1-of-4 shooting. Then at Boston, he was held to just three points in a loss.
Martin didn’t play in the Thunder’s last game at Minnesota last Thursday that they lost.
OKC got only seven total points from their bench in that game as Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka clearly needed another scoring option from the bench to win the game.
by Andrew KennedyThunder