And while the focus clearly must remain on this season while a championship remains the goal, you can’t ignore the intrigue of Lamb stepping in for Sefolosha, a free agent to be, and Adams supplanting Perkins, who has regressed.
“It’s a great opportunity,” said Thunder general manager Sam Presti. “We also know that there’s going to be ups and downs like any player. I think how you respond to the challenges and the adversities that will come your way will be the things that we’re most excited about. And I think those guys are prepared to learn from the opportunity, in addition to stabilizing the group and contribute.”
The Thunder wants Adams and Lamb to show that they can fit a role, whatever it might be, while managing inevitable adversity and developing and showing a consistent level of play. The organization knows it’s not easy playing alongside stars like Westbrook, Durant and Ibaka. So supplying steady contributions is more important than being sensational.
“Just get better. That’s it,” Durant said when asked what he’s looking for from Lamb and Adams during this stretch. “Not think about it too much. It’s easy for you to take your mind off your role when you’re worried about (the media) saying you can be a starter. But we just want them to stick with their roles, man. Keep playing hard. Keep doing what they have to do what the team first and we’ll see what happens after that.”