Jeremy Lamb has big shoes to fill.
And tons of questions from outsiders about whether he can fill them.
With guard Kevin Martin now in Minnesota, the role of bench shooter now falls to Lamb, the second-year guard out of UConn who appeared in just 23 games as a rookie. Lamb didn’t exactly quell questions with his performance in the Thunder’s first two preseason games. He missed 11 of his 12 attempts from 3-point range. Some rattled in and out. Others were air-balls.
But the Thunder plans to stick with Lamb.
“Jeremy hasn’t shot the ball well,” said Thunder coach Scott 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.”
It wasn’t just Lamb who struggled in the first two exhibition games. 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.”
Reggie Jackson, who is still in the process of refining his 3-point shot and went 1-for-7 from long range in the two games, said Lamb’s accuracy will come around.
“The ball just didn’t go in,” Jackson said. “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.”