So I recently watched the Thunder-Raptors game on my DVR. It wasn't exactly the most exciting game to go back and watch, but it's always important to see how players are progressing. The ordeal turned out to be a harrowing experience, as I suffered through a 1-9 shooting night from Jeremy Lamb. That terrible performance puts Lamb at 30.1% field goal shooting for the entire pre-season, along with 14.3% from beyond the arc.
Lamb's poor play extends beyond his offense, though. It's always hard to judge a scorer by such a small amount of games, but there's no doubt in my mind that Jeremy Lamb's defense needs serious work. Lamb's 6 fouls on Friday night could have told you that, but he gives up too many free points as well. It's actually pretty hard to tell why Jeremy Lamb is so dreadful defensively when you're watching the game live. He appears to stay with his man, but always seems to be just half a step behind.
Truth is, Lamb isn't too slow for his opponents. He's simply got an extremely poor defensive stance. Again, it's hard to see live, but it is possible to see if you slow the game down at the right time. I did just that, and the results are below.
Yep, that's six images of Jeremy Lamb standing sideways as his opponent receives the ball, as well as defending his opponents way too far beyond the three point line. All of these plays resulted in either an easy score or foul for the player Lamb was guarding.
The solution is simple: Lamb needs to lay off the pressure a bit and focus on stopping the drive. He could also stand to not show his hand so easily on defense by going for the steal a bit too often. There's just no sense in letting such a long player get scored on inside the three point line so easily.
Could this be the end for Jeremy Lamb? Given how far he was down in the rotation on Friday, I still wouldn't be surprised to see Lamb minuteless this year. With poor performances mounting, Coach Brooks has to see fewer reasons to continue giving Lamb chances.