The Thunder on Thursday assigned rookie guard Jeremy Lamb to its Developmental League team in Tulsa, where he will join fellow assignees Daniel Orton and DeAndre Liggins with the 66ers.
Lamb was acquired along with guard Kevin Martin in the trade that sent James Harden to Houston. Lamb has appeared in eight games with the Thunder and is averaging 2.1 points in 4.3 minutes. He swished two 3-pointers in front of the Rockets' bench in Wednesday night's 120-98 victory over his former team.
“I think it's going to be great for him to get on the court and play,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of Lamb, who will be in uniform Friday night in Tulsa against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. “That's the great advantage that we have in Tulsa. It's right down the road ... And (coach) Darko (Rajakovic) does a great job. I've seen him in action, so (Lamb's) going to get great work on the practice floor and game floor.”
Brooks said he likes what Lamb has shown. “He definitely needs to continue to develop his body and his game, but that's a great position for him to be in.”
The Thunder and 66ers both play five games in the next 10 days.
Houston Rockets interim coach Kelvin Sampson said there are several reasons the OKC offense clicks, including the post position.
“Their best post player is their point guard,” Sampson said, not kidding.
Russell Westbrook, who turned 24 years old on Nov. 12, came back a little bigger this season and said he wanted to use the added bulk to post up opposing point guards more frequently.
“Russell has improved every year in the post,” Brooks said. “I think he's more comfortable this year. I think it's also natural that he's been working on it three or four years now. I still think we can get him down there more. He has the ability to make plays for himself and his teammates and they're easy plays for him.”
The 6-foot-3, 187-pound Westbrook said he has permission to call his own number down on the post. There also are set plays called out by Brooks.
“It's a combination,” Brooks said of who makes the decision. “He has the ability to go down there and post up or set a low pick-and-roll. … He's strong, he's athletic, he's quick, and he has good moves down there. He also can make passes to our perimeter shooters.”
Has Westbrook got down low enough? “Not enough,” Westbrook said. “I will, though. I've just got to find a way to get down there.”
Even after an off night against Houston that saw Westbrook miss his first three free-throw attempts, OKC's success rate at the line is on a record-setting pace.
The Thunder is shooting a league-best 84.5 percent as a team, which is nearly 4 percent better than runner-up Memphis (80.6). OKC also leads the league in made free throws at 23.2 per game and is second in attempts at 27.4.
The NBA season record for highest free-throw percentage is Boston at 83.2. OKC has led the NBA in free-throw shooting the last two seasons and finished second three seasons ago.
OKC also ranks first in scoring (105.4), second in field-goal percentage (. 483) and third in 3-point percentage (. 416).
BY JOHN ROHDE