Jeremy Lamb, SO CLUTCH. The Thunder were down 12 late in the fourth and stormed back to win something to something on a pretty Lamb step-back jumper with 6.3 seconds left. What a game! What a moment!
Here are five thoughts:
- After a 5-16 performance in the first game Jeremy Lamb followed that up with a 4-16 dud today. He did hit the game-winner, though, which was nice. I like the way Lamb looks, though. Calm, confident, smooth. But I’m quickly learning that if the ball doesn’t go in when he shoots it, he typically doesn’t score very well. That’s way over-simplistic, I realize, but with a scorer, you can’t let the fact you’re shooting it poorly stop you from putting points on the board. Lamb often seems to drift and is looking for those perimeter jumpers over putting the ball on the deck and attacking to get to the rim, and maybe to the line. Lamb likes to settle outside — he went 1-9 from 3 — and in a way, when he starts missing he can get a little overaggressive with jacking shots up. Like he’s trying to shoot himself back into it. Look, I know Jeremy Lamb can stroke it. I’ve watched him hit 18-of-20 from 3 over and over and over again in warmups. He has range for days. But there is something to be said in translating that to live action and keeping composure and bearings to make sure you’re in the right rhythm and taking the right shots. I think that might be the thing Lamb’s struggling with right now.
- Reggie Jackson played, going head to head with Victor Oladipo, didn’t play well at all. He had the spiffy dunk, but he went just 2-7 for four points with four assists and seven turnovers. And then he bashed into Daniel Orton and got a nasty cut above his left eye and left the game after only 17 minutes. Not the best day for Jackson.
- Grant Jerrett can definitely shoot a little bit. Following up his 4-5 from 3 performance in the opener, Jerrett hit 4-8 from 3 today. And he’s not shy about to cranking one up either. He loves that high pick-and-pop, rolling back to the top of the key to provide a release valve for the ball-handler. And Jerrett’s got a lightning quick release, which helps. Based on these two games, it looks like defense could be an issue for Jerrett, but there’s definitely a Channing Frye/Matt Bonner vibe to him. A 6-11 guy that can drop 3s like that has a place in the NBA, and probably, on the Thunder as well.
- It’s two games in Summer League it’s two games in Summer League it’s two games in Summer League. But Daniel Orton kind of looks terrific. At least compared to what he’s done previously. His activity is great, his energy solid and he’s finishing and rebounding extremely well. He only played 16 minutes because he bashed heads with Jackson, but he was extremely productive — nine points, seven rebounds and a block. Orton had big time talent when coming out of high school which made him a top recruit and then a first round pick despite limited playing time at Kentucky. He’s battled injuries and maybe he’s just now getting healthy.
- You can see a little of what made Andre Roberson an intriguing player for Sam Presti. He’s just an energy guy that doesn’t really have a ton of refined skill. But he’s always active. In 26 minutes he grabbed nine rebounds, had three steals and scored six points on 3-4 shooting. He scores basically only at the rim, but with his insane length and athleticism, he’s a pretty interesting prospect.
- One more thought on Lamb: He’s now 9-32 in two games so far. I’m already getting the tweets and messages expressing concern. It’s not been all that encouraging, but remember, Lamb absolutely shredded the Vegas Summer League last year. It’s not as much about the ball going in for Lamb. It’s more about the decisions he’s making, the defense he’s playing, the shots he’s taking and creating. Don’t concern yourself so much with the good looks that don’t drop for Lamb. Pay more attention to how he’s working off the ball, what he’s doing on the defensive end and if he’s making good choices with the ball.
A few leftovers:
- Tibor Pleiss was on the Thunder’s bench today. Not in uniform, but just there, sitting next to coach Mark Bryant. Who knows what’s going on with that.
- Steven Adams and DeAndre Liggins didn’t play today. They were being “rested” according to the team. I guess that opening game yesterday against the Pacers took a lot out of them.
- We almost got one of the all-time Summer League moments ever to finish today’s game: Andre Roberson and Jeremy Lamb combined for a steal with the Thunder up one and seconds left. Lamb kicked ahead to Kyle Kuric who could either dribble out the clock or go for a layup with a second or so left. Kuric, making the wrong decision to start with, decided to go for the layup and lost the ball on the way up. Keep in mind, Kuric was completely alone. So it gave the Magic the ball back down one, but with just 0.2 seconds left. Still, what a disaster by Kuric.