Earlier this month, Thunder coach Scott Brooks revealed his plan to play Jeremy Lamb around 15 minutes per game this season.
But in the past six games, here's Lamb's minute log: 26, 20, 20, 25, 20, 27.
Consider the plan squashed, and credit Brooks with the adjustment.
Lamb's recent play has warranted more opportunity, and the Thunder coach has provided it, including a big chunk of late-game runs in OKC's 113-112 overtime win over the Warriors on Friday.
“My teammates trust me, my coach trusts me,” Lamb said. “I have no choice but to get more comfortable and get more confident.”
And recently, he has looked the part.
On this current five-game run, Lamb is averaging 10.8 points in 22.4 minutes. But more importantly, he has done it efficiently, shooting nearly 55 percent from the field and 41 percent from 3-point territory.
“He's getting better,” Kevin Durant said of Lamb. “Experience is the best teacher. He's going to take his bumps and bruises, but he's a smart, smart player.”
And a pretty good defensive one, too, if given the right matchup.
He uses his rare athleticism (38-inch vertical) and length (6-foot-11 wingspan) to bother shooters and harass scorers.
And that's just what he did on Friday night, playing all 17 minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime, given the tough task of slowing down Golden State sharpshooters Klay Thompson, Steph Curry and the red-hot Harrison Barnes.
“I thought his length could affect shots,” Brooks said of his decision to go with Lamb. “He got beat one time on the baseline drive by Barnes, but I thought he did a great job of contesting Curry's shot on the three. I thought that was a big miss.”
Offensively, he was relatively quiet during the stretch. He made a big three early in the fourth, missed one late and deferred to Durant and Westbrook most of the time.
But just the fact that he was out there, playing stiff defense, tells you plenty about how far Lamb has come in the first month of his second professional season.
“He knows how to play within our system,” Durant said. “He's one of those guys that you tell him one time, and he's going to do it the next … I'm excited for (his future).”