Charlotte Hornets: Lamb to the Slaughter


With all of the new additions to the Charlotte Hornets this year, one of the most underrated and overly criticized players happens to be our new 6’5 shooting guard. Hailing from Norcross GA, 2011 NCAA National Champion with the Connecticut Huskies, 1st round pick, 3 Year NBA Bench Man… Jeremy Lamb…

Nov 7, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Jeremy Lamb (11) warms up prior to action against the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

But in all seriousness, this guy can ball.

Deemed a shooter for his gifted shot, Lamb managed a to shoot the 3-ball at a 34% clip last year with OKC, while also shooting at 41% from inside the arc as well as 89% from the free throw line. Numbers like that do suggest potential, but let’s remember that he was buried alive inside the Thunder’s monstrous rotation. During the same year he managed 6.3 points per game and almost 1 assist per game in about 13 minutes. This means two things for now. 1. He’s already better than most of the Hornets SG’s, and 2. He can score given the opportunity.

To put it simple, this guy had a rough time in OKC. Trying to fight for minutes against the talent that OKC has would be tough for anybody, so to put the pressure of having to fill James Harden’s “traveling” shoes is improbable. However, filling someone like Gerald Henderson or Lance Stephenson’s shoes… maybe a bit easier. I won’t bore you with the numbers for Henderson or Stephenson because honestly, Stephenson was about as helpful as Sean May and Adam Morrison, and Henderson was at best a great bench man trying to prove to himself that he should start. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all positives with Lamb, his one-on-one defense needs work, he gets caught up on picks, and sometimes he relies on his shot too much. But guys, one thing you’ll learn from me is that I won’t focus on negatives of a player. Besides, all of these things can and will be fixed in what could be his make or break year.

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Let’s take a look at Jeremy’s new supporting cast. You have Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lin, P.J. Hairston, Troy Daniels, Nicolas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marvin Williams, Frank Kaminsky, Cody Zeller, Spencer Hawes, and big Al Jefferson. Offensively, this team has holes, but potential. Defensively, considering the team is healthy, can be a top 10 defense with room to get better. But the question is where does Jeremy fit in this group? What would give him the edge to succeed on this team? Well here are 3 legitimate reasons, and I’ll explain.

Reason 1. Kemba Walker

Jan 10, 2015; New York, NY, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker (15). Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Do you know who won the NCAA Championship in 2011? Do you know who the star of the Winning team was? Lastly, do who know who started along side of that star player? If you’re answers were UConn Huskies, Kemba Walker, and (you guessed it) Jeremy Lamb, then you’re as awesome as you are smart. Kemba and Jeremy led the Huskies to an unbelievable season that ended with a National Championship and after the dust settled Kemba declared for the draft and was picked in the first round by the Charlotte Bobcats. Jeremy would stay for another year before declaring for stardom and also being picked in the first round, but by the Houston Rockets. One thing led to another and Jeremy was then essentially traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for James Harden, where he spent 3 nice years learning and watching Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Yada Yada Yada. Fast forward, and now Kemba and Jeremy are back together after roughly two seasons of rumored failed deals. These two thrived together as a unit in college and it’s only right to at least give this combo a try on the pro level. Rich Cho and the Hornets have failed for 4 seasons to find a compliment to Kemba in the backcourt, so logical thinking might have led them to think that Lamb was their man since there was already history and chemistry between the two. And to think that Kemba wouldn’t welcome and guide his old teammate and friend to his new home and city would be naïve. I firmly believe Kemba will help him learn not only his playbook, but also his role, teammates, coaches, and ultimately to help him find his groove.

Reason 2. Ability

Nov 16, 2014; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Jeremy Lamb (11) blocks a shot attempt by Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

If you didn’t know, Jeremy Lamb has literally made his career from shooting 3s, but what if I told you that he also has close to a 7 foot wing-span to block shots and steal the ball. Could a leap like MKG (maybe better) be on the horizon for Lamb? And not to mention that he is also fast enough to start and finish fast breaks. This guy is all that and more. If you want to see, click on your YouTube app and search for Jeremy Lamb highlights. I’ll wait..

Reason 3. Placement

Lamb is in a really unique situation with having the owner of the team being arguably the best player in NBA history, a great coaching staff (Clifford, Ewing, Price, Silas), and teammates who will push him to be better on every practice and game. Players like MKG, Kemba, Batum, Jefferson, Lin, and Hansbrough who will constantly be aggressive and not for one minute let him give up, but instead make him fight for opportunity and growth. But what do you guys think? Is Jeremy a “Lamb” to the slaughter or is he a possibility on a rebuilding Charlotte franchise with dreams of the playoffs? Comment and explain whether you’re for or against Jeremy Lamb as a bona-fide Hornet. I look forward to reading your comments and thoughts, and see you guys later.