For someone who loves basketball as much as I do, it may surprise you that I have absolutely no interest in college ball. Every year I’m told that’s what I should be watching, but I don’t. I love the NBA too much and unless Tracy McGrady decides that he needs a college degree, I won’t be watching it anytime soon. But in saying all that, every so often, a player comes around that I am particularly fond of and I try and watch as many of their games as I can. One year it was Villanova’s Scottie Reynolds. More recently, it was UCONN’s Kemba Walker.
Whilst Kemba stole the show all season long with his filthy game winners and 23.5 points per game, there was another player on the team who caught my eye and that just so happened to be current NBA rookie Jeremy Lamb – the player the Rockets drafted with the 12th overall pick this summer. For once, the team I follow with great pride had drafted someone I knew quite well. Although I didn’t watch any UCONN games in Lamb’s sophomore year, I checked up on his stats, watched the occasional highlight reel and thankfully, didn’t miss that monster dunk he had over Mark Cisco. So I was excited that Lamb had found a home in the Lone Star state, and I couldn’t wait to see how he’d fit into McHale’s system. But, lo and behold, he was traded before he could even play one game for the Rockets for James Harden (as much as I like Lamb, I’m sure you can imagine that I was quick to forgive Morey for pulling the trigger on that trade).
Even though Lamb is now playing for the Thunder, I’m just as excited as I was before to see how he develops. This kid (he’s only 20 years old) has stupid potential and he has a great opportunity to blossom under the supervision of Scott Brooks. But it’s going to take some time, and the first step towards tapping into that potential is a long stop at the D-League, where he has already played 11 games and is putting up 21.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. And last night (January 10th), Lamb had his best game to date, as he dropped 33 points (11-19 FG, 2-6 3PT, 9-10 FT), grabbed 8 boards and dished out his usual 3 assists.
Despite his ability to light it up with ease, Lamb will continue to spend time in the D-League. But that shouldn’t concern Thunder fans, as their team currently obtains the second best record in the Western Conference and are in a perfect position to bring home the Larry O’Brien trophy in June. But don’t worry because sixth man of the year candidate Kevin Martin’s contract is up at the end of this season which means one thing: the Jeremy Lamb show will soon be coming to NBA arena’s near you.