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What Does Fisher Bring?
Coming off of a knee injury that forced him to leave the Dallas Mavericks, Derek Fisher was signed by the Oklahoma City Thunder this past Monday to fill in the third point guard position. Oklahoma City has been looking to fill the void since they traded Eric Maynor to the Portland Trailblazers right before the trade deadline.
Fisher played a conservative role for the Thunder in the 2012 playoffs, averaging 6.3 PPG, 1.3 APG and shooting over 37% from beyond the arc. Fisher’s biggest role for the Thunder was his veteran leadership. When Fisher wasn’t in the game, he was patrolling the side of the court, mentoring both Westbrook and Durant. This has always been one of Derek Fisher’s biggest attributes. Leadership doesn’t come naturally to many players in this league, which is why teams around this time of year always pick up playoff veterans.
The real question is what will Derek Fisher bring to the Thunder a second time around? No one doubts his veteran leadership and presence in a locker room, but one has to wonder how much he has left in the tank? Right before Fisher’s knee injury that ended his tenure with the Dallas Mavericks, he was averaging 8.6 PPG and 3.4 APG, which are near his career averages. Logic dictates that if he plays anywhere near the way he was playing in Dallas this past year, he will be a huge boost for the Thunder.
Oklahoma City hasn’t been the same team since the departure of James Harden. There are times when the Thunder lack complete offensive cohesiveness, not to mention focus and maturity. Kevin Durant has 11 technical fouls this season —more than he has had in the last five seasons combined. Why do you think this is? Durant is extremely frustrated. Bringing in a veteran presence such as Fisher’s might be a way of soothing the anxious bunch of young players.
This is a low risk, high reward situation for the Thunder. Signing Derek Fisher not only gives them a reliable 3rd option at point guard, but also another coach to mentor this team. Development is key with any team, especially one with such athletic and talented players like the Oklahoma City Thunder. Let’s only hope that bringing in Fisher does more good than harm.
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