By LARRY VAUGHT
Patrick Patterson just completed his ninth NBA season and has now played in a combined 622 games for Houston, Sacramento, Toronto and Oklahoma City.
The former University of Kentucky standout has played in 145 games the last two seasons for the Thunder but this year his role decreased a bit. He averaged only 3.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 13.7 minutes per game.
He has now scored 4, 293 points, grabbed 2,573 rebounds, handed out 666 assists, made 347 steals and blocked 285 shots.
After Oklahoma City was eliminated in the first round of the NBA playoffs, Patterson reflected on what would be required of him this summer to cope with the way the game is changing where teams are spreading the floor more offensively to make bigger players like Patterson have to defend more space.
“I think a lot of it is just any time you’re in a workout one-on-one or a five-on-five, three-on-three, two-on-two setting, just trying to be around guards as much as possible, focus on isolation, on not having to rely so much on help,” Patterson said.
“If you do get beat to the basket, focus on your timing in order to block the shot and alter it without getting the foul.
“When you’re out there on the perimeter, you’re pretty much in the guards’ world That’s what they’re known for — handling the ball, shooting the ball, trying to create a shot for themselves, but once they get into the paint, you can use your length to your advantage to block the shot and alter the shot towards the rim.
“So I think for me in the future, it’s just playing a lot of competitive basketball with guards, challenging myself to try to stay in front of them, and not back too far off to where they feel comfortable shooting the shot.”