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Tuesday Bolts – 2.5.13

Tuesday Bolts – 2.5.13

Bradford Doolittle of ESPN Insider: “Martin is not as good as Harden, and it’s not really close. However, he’s filled his role on the Thunder this season almost as well as Harden did for last season’s squad. Close enough, anyway, to avoid offsetting the improvements OKC has made elsewhere. Harden averaged 19.3 points per 36 minutes, and had a .660 true shooting percentage on a .216 usage rate. Martin comes pretty close: 18.2 points per 36, .617 true shooting, .209 usage. The bottom line is that Oklahoma City is outscoring opponents by 11.2 points for every 100 possessions Martin is on the court. That number for Harden last season was 9.9. The question now is whether Martin can maintain that effect in the playoffs.”

Jack Winter of Warriors World in a 5-on-5 on a made-up J.J. Redick deal: “Redick to the Thunder for Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones III and Eric Maynor. Orlando is in full rebuilding mode but is devoid of young players with star potential. Andrew Nicholson and Moe Harkless will obviously build on solid rookie seasons, but neither has the ceiling of Lamb or Jones III. In a league where superstars reign supreme, a small-market team like the Magic needs to roll the dice when they can. The Thunder aren’t playing either rookie anyway, and Redick would be a lethal floor-spacer for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.”

Darnell Mayberry: “KD was in obvious pain and discomfort both in the second half of Saturday’s loss at Cleveland and after the game. He looked to be in such bad shape after sustaining a right rib contusion that it didn’t seem possible he’d play tonight. After the team landed late Saturday night, Durant was taken to the hospital to get examined. The results confirmed the contusion. Durant, however, was cleared to play though still suffering through considerable discomfort.”

Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider on Kevin Garnett’s potential destinations: “The Oklahoma City Thunder are the most intriguing destination. Upgrading from Kendrick Perkins in the middle would make the Thunder the overwhelming favorite to win the title, and Oklahoma City has enough young assets (including rookies Perry Jones III and Jeremy Lamb and the rights to Toronto’s protected first-round pick) to make a deal like this without overhauling its rotation.”

Joe Kaiser of ESPN Insider on how Westbrook can be better in transition: “Westbrook is one of the NBA’s most electrifying players and a big reason behind OKC’s success in recent seasons. Despite his poor shooting numbers this season, his player efficiency rating is still No. 11 in the league. His value to the Thunder can’t be underestimated. That isn’t to say that he’s a finished product, however, and there are several approaches he can take to make strides in the transition game. The easiest, most immediate change he can make this season as the Thunder make another run at an NBA title is to take fewer jumpers and drive to the basket more often. The end result could very well be a foul and a trip to the line. Or better yet, another poster in the making.”

Marc Stein has OKC No. 2: “OKC has always insisted outsiders make a bigger deal about Russell Westbrook’s blowups than his teammates and coaches do. Not quite sure how RW can be mad at anyone but himself given how poorly he’s shot the ball lately, but we’re taking a wait-and-see stance after this last outburst.”

John Schuhmann has OKC No. 2: “What a week for Russell Westbrook. He recovered from his road-trip shooting struggles, but threw an in-game tantrum in Thursday’s win over the Grizzlies and followed it up with a bizarre postgame interview. Then he lost a one-on-one duel to Kyrie Irving on Saturday. The Thunder are 3-4 in their last seven games, allowing a brutal 110 points per 100 possessions in the four losses.”

Jeremy Lamb was selected to the D-League All-Star team.

From Elias: “Kevin Durant scored 19 points in the Thunder’s win against the Mavericks. That ended his streak of 12 straight games with at least 20 points versus Dallas. It was the longest run of 20-point games against Mark Cuban’s club since Zach Randolph had a dozen in a row from 2006 to 2010.”