This is a first for me, but I'm giving up the microphone in this forum for a brief moment. In regards to today's piece about Kevin Martin and Reggie Theus, a reader dubbed "ekim4" had a good take in the comments section.
"Asking for Too Much May End Up With Nothing: As I understand it from expert commentary, Martin has the ability and slim physical frame to be the great scorer that he has shown himself to be, but his body will not withstand very long the demands of a more aggressive effort.
So I'm hoping Theus will settle for Martin's longer lasting ability to score big, and not gamble on asking the rising star's body to do more than it equipped to handle."
It's a valid point. The way I see it, there are much bigger problems on this team than whether or not Kevin Martin can make another giant leap as a player right this moment. His strides have already been incredible. And while he can maybe become the aggressive player Theus envisions in years to come, getting shots in the flow of the offense and not forcing matters - or dominating the ball - is the next best thing to Martin being the assist machine that he clearly is not. Ron Artest, for one, seemed to differ from Theus in his vision of Martin as a player.
"I think if he changes his game, it won't work for him," Artest said when asked about Martin needing to be more assertive offensively. "I think that's how he plays. That's how he made his name, playing off the team. Everyone knows he is so good and we want to win, so we give him the ball. Nobody has a problem with him shooting.
"If he takes one or even five bad shots, you know that the other 15 are good shots. He's not ballhogging at all, and (the shots) are probably going through most of the time."
The call for Martin and the other wing players to improve on the glass is a fair request in light of the team's collective rebounding woes. Theus chided Martin after Saturday's practice, saying he screwed up by grabbing seven rebounds in the first half on Friday against New York because his coach now knew he had that potential. Martin said he certainly pays more attention to rebounding when Theus goes with a small lineup.
"It's just a feel thing," Martin said. "If there are three bigs down there and it looks like they've got a rebound, then you probably want to start to get (down the floor) a little more. But (against the Knicks), Eddy Curry was down there and most of the time we had only one big man on the court. If he's boxing him out, then the guards can get the rebound."
Out of necessity, if nothing else.
"We just need it," Martin added. "Everybody's trying to do what we can do."
Lastly, for those of you who didn't see Theus' point in comparing Martin to the greats like Wilt, MJ etc..it was only in the context of his point that great players make their teammates better. It's a little simplistic to see those names and Martin's in the same story and cry as if the greats have been shamed. Look a little deeper, folks.
- Sam Amick