Despite retiring at the end of the season, Derek Fisher has been on a tear of late and has been a key piece in Oklahoma City’s run to the top of the NBA.
When Derek Fisher joined the Oklahoma City Thunder, he immediately announced his retirement at the end of the season. Thunder fans understood that Oklahoma City would use him as an emergency point guard.
Then Westbrook went down with a third surgery.
Things change. Fisher was thrust into the line up. He was all of a sudden, a back up point guard, playing quality minutes on a championship caliber team as Reggie Jackson was the starter.
Should Oklahoma City pursue a trade? Should they trust Fisher? Maybe play Jeremy Lamb at the backup point guard spot? We know how Thunder coach Scott Brooks loves Fisher’s play. The players love Fisher. Finally, the fans do love Fisher, for the most part.
Fish has been clutch throughout his career in the playoffs. He was very instrumental in Oklahoma City beating Houston. He was a constant force in the Thunder making a run to the Finals the year before. So, now you’re going to give a player with the “clutch gene” a more important role in the rotation.
That’s where getting a training camp under your belt comes in handy.
The past two seasons have been a tough start for Fisher, in terms of getting your legs underneath you. You can train throughout the season, but getting your NBA legs back is a little different. He sat out almost two weeks when traded between the Lakers-Rockets and signing with the Thunder. Then no training camp with the Mavericks and was out almost 3 months between the signing from Dallas and Oklahoma City.
This season, Fisher was signed in July and still struggled early in the season. Still trying to find his groove, and his spot. With Westbrook coming back then going out, it’s tough to find your rhythm throughout all that.
However, Fisher has done that. This season, Fisher has shot 38.1 percent from three-point range. He’s especially good this time of the year. In his last 20 games, Fisher is hitting 46.1 percent from three-point range. If you want to look at more recent games, Fisher is shooting 51.2 percent over his last 10 games.
He’s starting to make teams pay for leaving him open.
As Oklahoma City makes their push for the playoffs, the Thunder will use Fisher to spur on the long ball, keeping opponent’s honest in the paint. With Jackson and Westbrook much improved from three-point range, the Thunder are starting to become a real threat from the three-point line.
With Westbrook returning, don’t just assume that Fisher will go back to a third point guard role and not play, he played on average of 13 minutes per game when Westbrook was in the lineup. He’s averaged 19 minutes in games without Westbrook. So, Fisher will get his minutes in the game.
He’ll have to keep up his three-point shooting if he’s going to be a key piece in this rotation. Brooks has shown his ability to change rotations if a player doesn’t perform well enough.