Kevin Martin won’t exchange James Harden’s beard, but as hyper-productive scoring guards go, it’s challenging to uncover a player with a better résumé than Martin. As just lately as 2010-eleven, Martin was 2nd to Kobe Bryant in factors for every minutes performed -- and was a lot more reliable than Bryant has at any time been.

And it really is not since defenses are forgetting about him. Prior to Kyle Lowry a few of seasons ago, the finest participant Martin has at any time played with before this period is Metta Entire world Peace, back again when he was Ron Artest in Sacramento. However in Sacramento and then in Houston, Martin managed to score a higher quantity of details with exceptional effectiveness -- not rather Harden amount, but equivalent to Dwyane Wade in terms of successful subject objective proportion.

How does he accomplish this kind of quantities? We dig into video and stats to take a look:

Deadly three-position capturing

Kevin Martin has a very low, off-kilter launch, but he receives it off quickly and it’s accurate as hell. At 6-seven, Martin can get the ball off with no significantly space. He is at least Harden’s equal as a flooring spacer, and he’s never ever played with anybody who can attract the protection away from him like Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. He really should have fantastic opportunities to income in when the Thunder engage in the three of them jointly.

Attacking the closeout

Martin’s quick and minimal launch lends by itself to a notably nasty shot-fake he only has to flinch and it appears like he's heading up. However he’s not especially imaginative off the dribble, he has a rapid 1st phase and is very great at attacking in straight lines to the rim. And since he stays properly balanced throughout his minimalist shot-faux, he can swiftly convert faux to strike. This calendar year, count on to see Martin cruising into the lane as his defender flails in the air driving him.

Isolation

In 2010-11, Martin ranked as the eighth-very best isolation scorer in the league in accordance to Synergy Sports activities. Off the bounce he has a deceptive crossover that he frequently employs to get free for a midrange shot and he attacks difficult when he has an angle to the rim. His fast launch sets up his very best isolation participate in, which comes out of his triple danger/jab phase sport. The Rockets favored to very clear out the left aspect of the ground earlier in the possession and give him a opportunity to go a single-on-one, which is something the Thunder must also contemplate, specially when Martin plays with no Westbrook or Durant.

Drawing fouls

Martin, like Harden, has a particular cynicism in his match in the way he appears to often perform for the foul on drives. Martin does not have Harden’s power when it will come to finishing with get in touch with at the rim, but he’s an superb free of charge toss shooter and is aware how to exploit any edge by driving his shoulder into his defender to create a foul. Sounds like regular things, but considering that 2006 Martin owns about three of the leading five seasons in no cost throws manufactured for each 36 minutes.

Fastbreak pressure

Martin isn’t especially explosive, but he’s speedy in the open up courtroom and operates the flooring effectively. He also tends to make sharp pass/shoot selections at entire pace and, like Harden, is incredibly intense attacking the rim and forcing the protection to foul or give up a near-variety shot. One more powerful point of Martin’s match is working to the 3-position line for changeover 3s.

Aspect select-and-rolls

Harden is just about as very good as they occur as a select-and-roll scorer, and the Thunder favored to give him a operating commence at a flat screen in the middle of the court docket. He was particularly fatal on early drag screens that permitted him to go one particular-on-a single with the aiding large gentleman. Which is not really Martin’s bag -- in the earlier he’s done his best work working from angles out of the triple menace fairly than with a live dribble.

Martin is especially adept at refusing the display and driving immediately to the rim or curling about the monitor and escaping for one of his funky floaters.

As a decide on-and-roll passer, Martin acquits himself just very good, although he is not especially innovative. He is aware the place his possibilities are on the weak facet, and will without doubt advantage from the luxurious of throwing the ball skyward for Serge Ibaka to finish -- he’s in no way truly played out with a very good decide on-and-roll finisher apart from floorboard-bound Luis Scola.

Defense?

Martin has one particular of the worst defensive reputations in the NBA, even if his figures don’t constantly bear that out. Opposing capturing guards averaged a 12.six For every against Martin last time and forty seven % efficient subject objective proportion, equally figures under league regular, in accordance to 82games.com. To the eye, Martin seems to be a physically unimposing defender who is doomed to be a turnstile on that conclude. His defensive hard work has been extensively criticized, but that's likely overblown, and definitely fixable. Also, it will not harm that he’ll most likely be checking backups. And with Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison and Kendrick Perkins driving him, Martin will be enjoying with the greatest defensive frontline of his job.

Nonetheless, it’s tough to think about Martin possessing the exact same defensive upside as the 23-12 months-aged Harden, whose mixture of barrel chest, rapid ft and 6-eleven wingspan offered hope he could become a plus defender.

A tough matchup

Russell Westbrook arrived into the league as a capturing guard, but the Thunder ended up decided he would participate in position guard and stuck with him at that position despite disastrous quick-time period final results. Westbrook is now the most physically imposing lead guard in the game, and numerous groups, like the Heat in final season’s finals, pick to protect him with their shooting guard.

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Martin’s measurement will make that adjustment a hard one when he performs along with Westbrook and Durant on the wings. He’ll often acquire the opposition’s third-finest wing defender, and if it is the stage guard, odds are Martin will be ready to shoot right over him. Martin also showed convenience in the put up during the preseason, and could be a menace to punish more compact guards from the block.

Whilst he will not replace Harden’s person playmaking, he will totally be in a position to capitalize on mismatches and options created by his explosive teammates. With Harden there was always the feeling that he was getting held back by advantage of the volume Westbrook taken care of the ball. Which is uncommon for a shooting guard, but then only Manu Ginobili and Kobe Bryant discuss Harden’s playmaking acumen as shooting guards.

In Kevin Martin, the Thunder have a significantly less vibrant player, but a great scorer. It will be on Eric Maynor, Westbrook and Durant to decide on up the playmaking slack.