Wilkins maintains positive outlook
Published 2:07 pm Friday, December 5, 2008
By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
CHARLOTTE — It’s been an up-and-down season to say the least for Damien Wilkins.
The fifth-year NBA veteran, a native of Washington, found himself on the bench through the first 11 games of the season. In fact, the 6-6, 225-pound guard/forward didn’t play at all in four of those games, and played just 10 seconds and 82 seconds in two others.
A coaching change has benefited Wilkins. When Scott Brooks replaced P.J. Carlesimo, the new Thunder coach inserted Wilkins into his starting lineup. Wilkins has started every game since, starting his sixth straight in Wednesday’s 103-97 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Wilkins, who wears No. 21, is trying to find some consistency with his game. He played 18 minutes, 37 seconds Wednesday and finished with 8 points. Wilkins canned three of his six shots, including both of his 3-point attempts, while also slamming one home early in the game.
The loss wasn’t an easy one to take for Wilkins, but being around family softened the blow. His mother, Sonia Windley, was in the stands Wednesday evening along with other family members and friends.
While Wilkins is happy to be starting, he’d like to see more minutes. He’s averaging just under 18 minutes a game.
Wilkins averaged just over 24 minutes per game last year while finishing with career-highs in points (9.2 per game), rebounds (3.2 per game) and assists (2.0 per game).
Wilkins, who is now averaging 5.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game, wants to see better results from himself and his team. The Thunder is just 2-17 this year.
Oklahoma City snapped a 14-game skid with a 111-103 win over Memphis prior to its game with Charlotte.
Despite the losing ways, Wilkins said he has a good time every second he’s on the court.
The Thunder return to action Friday at the Orlando Magic.