It’s no secret that Jeremy Lamb has a lot of potential. That’s why the Houston Rockets selected him with the 12th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. He had a stellar offseason in the NBA Summer League, a great camp and nice start in the preseason. But over the last few games in the preseason he has tailed off a bit.
I’m not shocked by the up and down play by such a young player. Lamb is only 20 years old. Things like this are going to happen. But the hard reality is the Rockets have a lot of talent at his position. Guys like Carlos Delfino, Shaun Livingston, Gary Forbes, Marcus Morris and others are looking to rack up some playing time. These guys have the skills to be legitimate rotation players. So Lamb can’t afford to lag behind or he could be crawling closer to the end of the bench.
Jeremy has had a couple of decent games so far. He’s put up some nice averages of 7 points on 39% shooting, 3.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1 steal in 18 minutes a game. But his play has taken a dip in the last two games. He played in just a total of 25 minutes, scoring just 7 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists and 1 steal all together. He’s only taken 6 shots in the last two games as well.
Kevin McHale is not the type of coach who is going to play his players until they figure it out. The best players are going to play. And right now Lamb is not the best backup to Kevin Martin.
Livingston has a lot more playmaking ability, and if Toney Douglas beats him out as the backup point guard he could see time at the wing position. He has great length and is a above average passer. He can post up and do many other things McHale likes.
Marcus Morris has played in just one game, but has the skills to crack a rotation. He seems to have finally figured out the NBA style of play a bit and McHale has given him a shot at proving himself. He’s missed most of the preseason so far but he should be back soon. Morris has the ability to play both wing positions if the Rockets want to go bigger.
Gary Forbes has done a lot of nice things when he’s gotten a chance to play. He’s a nice outside shooter and fits in with his teammates really well. He can play three different positions, coaches love that out of him.
Delfino is a lock to get some playing time at the wing. His shooting ability is off the charts, not to mention he’s already a leader for this young team.
The Rockets know Delfino will be one of the players they will call to play a wing position off the bench, but who will be the other to step up? This last game will be crucial for these guys, especially Lamb. McHale shoved Morris to the end of the bench and even the D-League last season. Lamb could be next if he doesn’t step up his play and take that wing spot.