Charlotte Hornets: Jeremy Lamb Showing Glimpses of His Potential

Mar 13, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lamb (3) shoots the ball over Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade (3) in the first half at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 13, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lamb (3) shoots the ball over Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade (3) in the first half at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports /

Even though the season has gone south for the Charlotte Hornets, Jeremy Lamb has been one bright spot for them as the year comes to a close.

Jeremy Lamb might be the most frustrating player on the Charlotte Hornets. Not because of his limited abilities but because he has loads of talent and athleticism that he rarely displays. When he’s on, he is arguably one of the team’s top four players and top three scorers. He just hasn’t put everything together consistently enough.

Lamb is one of only three players on the Hornets’ roster who can create their own shot along with Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum. Aside from those three, everyone else on the team struggles to score off of the dribble. This is why he is so important to the team’s success and why realizing his potential could really be a boost.

Not only does Charlotte lack scorers but their squad also lacks athleticism. Their 176 dunks (third lowest in the NBA) speaks to that lack of explosion. ( They just don’t have players who can get to the rim and explode or finish inside which is still important even in today’s three-point shooting-centric NBA.

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While Steve Clifford believes in Jeremy’s offensive game, he has struggled to trust him and play him consistently because of his poor defense. Unfortunately, Lamb’s downfall’s on the defensive end has made him not only hard to play but almost unplayable when his shots aren’t falling which happens far too often for someone with his skillset.

The former lottery pick in 2012 has never quite lived up to the hype that surrounded him. Plus, unfair expectations were placed on him before he was even ready to be a contributor in the NBA after being involved in the James Harden trade between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets. That being said, now in his fifth NBA season and lower expectations with the Hornets, it is time for Jeremy to realize his potential and become a consistent performer off of the bench.

You can see that Lamb has what it takes to be a solid sixth man whenever he scores off the dribble past a defender, throws down a monstrous dunk or knocks down a shot with an opponent closely defending him. Those glimpses of brilliance are a look at what Jeremy could be.

There has been some growth for the 24-year old shooting guard as he is averaging a career-high 9.7 points per game this season but his three-point shooting has been pretty poor this year at only 29.3%. Lamb’s recent game against the Chicago Bulls where he started, he scored a career-high 26 points on 10-17 shooting.

It was arguably the best game of his career and while the Hornets don’t need Jeremy to score 20+ points a night, they do need him to score around 15 points a game. He has the ability to do so but he needs to be more consistent. Even if he is a poor defender and Coach Clifford gives him plenty of flak for it, the fact of the matter is that Charlotte needs his scoring.

Hopefully, Lamb can continue his play over the final month of the season. His defense might not ever be what Steve Clifford wants but if he can help his team out by scoring 13+ points a night, it might not matter. Without a sixth man this season, Charlotte has really struggled as Jeremy wasn’t able to secure that role. Once the former UCONN Husky realizes his potential and puts it all together, he can be a solid NBA player and maybe even a sixth man of the year candidate but there is still a lot of room to improve before that happens.

Next: Now or Never for the Charlotte Hornets

There isn’t a lot of time for Lamb to turn the season around for the Hornets but there is still time for him to find his rhythm to close out the year. That could go a long way to earning more minutes next season, securing the sixth man role and giving him confidence going forward. After being involved in a lot of trade talks, making it known that he’s important to Charlotte could largely impact his future with the team.