Marks: Kevin Martin quietly helping Thunder make more noise

PHILADELPHIA – Attention K-Mart Shoppers.  The 30-day warranty on your recent purchase is  about to run out.

Despite a couple of mechanical failures over the weekend, the buyer has no plans to return the merchandise for the foreseeable future.  In fact, the buyer is convinced it won’t be too long until the public is just as enamored with the new product as the old one.

Translated, that means the Oklahoma City Thunder is thrilled having nine-year veteran and career 18.3 point scorer Kevin Martin around.  No, he is not nor is he pretending to be James Harden, the bearded wonder who seemed to captivate folks in OKC – at least until he came up virtually empty in the NBA Finals.

But 29-year-old K-Mart has fit almost seamlessly into the Thunder’s potent arsenal, alongside superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.  That’s taken much of the sting out of the decision to send Harden packing when he became too money-grubbing for owner Sam Presti’s liking, the Thunder choosing to act now rather than ever let Harden get to free agency.

After the initial hubbub around Harden – his max contract, his backcourt pairing with Jeremy Lin, his 82 points in his first two games – the ground has stopped moving. The Rockets are fighting to float around .500, while the Thunder are tied for the league lead in wins.

And not even a clunker like Saturday night’s 116-109 overtime road win over the Philadelphia 76ers – who are still dealing with the harsh reality that hell may freeze over before Andrew Bynum ever plays for them – can take away from the mutual joy Martin feels playing for OKC and the Thunder feel for him.

After scoring just six points on 2-of-9 shooting in 37 minutes – coming on the heels of going 1-of-7 for three points in Friday’s loss to Boston – K-Mart was able to laugh it off.

“I think I left my offense in Oklahoma City,”  smiled Martin, who did make a key 3-pointer that helped OKC break it open in overtime. “I’ll go back tomorrow morning and get it out of my locker.

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