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Jeremy Lamb is off to a cold start for Oklahoma City

Oct 11, 2013, 11:27 AM EDT

James Metecan Birsen, Jeremy Lamb AP

Two preseason games is far too early to draw any sweeping conclusions about anything NBA related. But it might be enough to start to raise some concern in Oklahoma City.

The Thunder need a sixth man who can come in off the bench and light it up. That was the Kevin Martin role (and before him James Harden’s role), now the Thunder are looking for someone to step up as a third scoring option. They need that role filled if they are going to return to the Finals as they intend (and they need him to be a second scoring option until Russell Westbrook returns).

Jeremy Lamb was supposed to be that guy (along with Reggie Jackson).

So far Lamb is more a reason for concern. He got his shots Tuesday — he played 25 minutes against the Pacers and got 11 shots off from outside the paint, hitting just one of them and going 0-of-8 from three. In the Thunder’s first preseason game against Istanbul he was 2-of-6 on jumpers and 1-of-4 from three.

What may be most concerning is this continues a trend. At Summer League in Las Vegas Lamb shot 39.1 percent overall and 27.3 percent from three. Last season Lamb shot chart was not pretty (unless you love the color red).

source:

Scott Brooks is doing the right thing in trying to pump up Lamb publicly, as he did to the Oklahoman.

“Jeremy hasn’t shot the ball well,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “But I believe in what he does. He continues to work on his game. Like all of our players, we’re focusing on defense. But the shots will eventually fall for him. He works extremely hard on his game. He has missed some shots that he’s going to continue to get. They’re going to be open looks and he’s going to be able to step up and stick them in. I believe in that. I think our guys do.”

Lamb is going to get those looks and opponents will encourage him to take them until he makes them pay. It’s a cycle — he has a tendency to fall in love with that shot and not attack, and as long as he’s not hitting teams will give him the jumper and try to cut off driving lanes.

He shot a more respectable 35 percent from three in the D-League last season. He can do it. And to reiterate — it is FAR to early to say how this story is going to end.

But if Thunder fans are a little concerned, you can understand why.

  1. churchillone - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    He better turn this around soon or he’ll be on the bench. He’s shoot awful from Trey-Land, and if he can’t hit a 15-foot jumper, then it’s benchwarming time. Everything else about his game is great, boards, assists, (but his turnovers are very high; strange, he’s usually pretty good at this).

  2. churchillone - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    How about the Thunder getting the Laker’s Nick Young? He’s a stone-cold gunner; and he’s burned the Thunder twice in one season, first with the Wizards, then he was traded and he burned the Thunder from the then-awful Clippers. I want him. GET NICK YOUNG

    • 00maltliquor - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:48 PM

      Get your paws off our Young! lol

    • spursareold - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      The terminology for a player who takes a ton of shots and shoots a poor/average percentage is a “chucker”, and that is Nick Young to a T. A “gunner” actually makes a high percentage, even if he shoots too much.

  3. sportsfan18 - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    I didn’t like it when they traded Harden but I understood it. Getting Martin as a replacement was good as no one was going to replace Harden so no one should have been looking for all of that.

    While Kevin Martin is no superstar, he is one of the best shooters in the NBA, history that is.

    Currently, Martin is in 20th place ALL TIME on the list of all time true shooting percentage leaders and that includes 2 pt, 3 pt and free throws. I mean Durant is #25 right now and rising by the way…

    So Martin was a good third banana behind Durant and Westbrook. No, he isn’t the greatest defender but he shot well and scored well for a #3 option.

    Now, they let Martin walk and I’m worried. This was a team right on the cusp. Miami is tough. The Thunder were very close. Westbrook’s injury definitely hurt them last yr in the playoffs and now they don’t have Martin at all and Westbrook will be sidelined for a while.

    The Thunder should be glad that the Spurs are even older and not the team they were a few yrs ago and they should also be happy that the Laker’s are in a down period too…

    We might look back in a few yrs and realize that the Thunder’s window closed around this time… Unless they are able to upgrade their roster in the next season or two…

  4. jj871 - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Really? We’re going to start criticizing the kid after 2 pre season games?

    When was the last time this blog produced a Thunder based article that didn’t have a negative slant to it? The Anti-Thunder bias on here is incredible.

    • 00maltliquor - Oct 11, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      J Lamb’s gonna be just fine. Watch.

    • strategicprocrastinator - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      Anti-Thunder bias? You kidding? There isn’t much to write about at this point in the season. The author said it’s, “far too early to draw any sweeping conclusions”, and,”if Thunder fans are a little concerned, you can understand why.”
      This isn’t bias. He is not saying Lamb sucks. He’s just saying it’s a cold start.

      • strategicprocrastinator - Oct 13, 2013 at 11:39 AM

        Michael Jordan could have had the same start as well.

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