“Jeremy hasn't shot the ball well,” said Brooks. “But I believe in what he does. He continues to work on his game. Like all of our players, we're focusing on defense. But the shots will eventually fall for him. He works extremely hard on his game. He has missed some shots that he's going to continue to get. They're going to be open looks and he's going to be able to step up and stick them in. I believe in that. I think our guys do.”
Collectively, the Thunder made just eight of 41 3-pointers. Kevin Durant had half of them.
“It helps when we make 3-point shots, and we've been a great 3-point shooting team the last year,” Brooks said. “I still anticipate that.”
For that to happen, the Thunder will need Lamb.
“The ball just didn't go in,” Reggie Jackson said of Lamb's shots. “He's a confident shooter so he's just got to stay confident. That's what we need him to do. I mean, he can stretch the floor. Every shot he takes inside of halfcourt I believe the whole team thinks is going in. So we need him to stay aggressive. He can't have any self-doubt. That's probably the biggest thing we'll pitch to him, just keep shooting, keep trusting and once you get those open opportunities let it fly.”
Five writers polled by ESPN.com predicted the Thunder's season would come to an end in the Western Conference Finals.
If so, it would widely be considered a disappointment but it would also be the third time in four seasons that OKC has journeyed to at least the conference finals.
“The Thunder will win 50-plus games and steamroll in the opening of the playoffs,” wrote ESPN.com's Henry Abbott. “Once they're facing the Spurs or Clippers, though, whatever round that is, I believe they'll have a real fight on their hands. My hunch is the Clippers will make the Finals.”
BY DARNELL MAYBERRY