Charlotte Hornets: Jeremy Lamb is the second option behind Kemba Walker

Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Lamb (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Lamb (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Kemba Walker has scored 103 points in two games for the Charlotte Hornets. He scored more points in the loss to the 76ers (60 PTS) than the other ten players combined (59 PTS). Walker followed up his 60 PTS performance with 43 PTS in last nights win over Boston. We know Kemba can’t keep up this insane scoring pace so who can step up and become the Hornets second option? That guy is Jeremy Lamb.

If you’re a Charlotte Hornets fan, you were going to see the loss to the 1-11 Cleveland Cavaliers (113-89) in your nightmares for weeks to come. It was an awful performance from the team, who came out slow, lazy and continued to settle for jumper after jumper when nothing would fall.

We were treated to an amazing performance from Kemba in the following game versus the 76ers in our 2nd Classic Night of the season. The 30th Anniversary Team was honored at half-time, and the Spectrum Center was rocking. We lost another close one, but the loss to the Cavs started to feel slightly more distant.

A solid victory against the Boston Celtics at home and another 40+ night from Kemba Walker officially put the loss against Cleveland out of our minds. Kemba Walker is being featured on one of the hottest NBA sites, and people are FINALLY giving him the national credit he deserves.

Kemba Walker is Charlotte’s MVP and is certainly on his way (if he is not already) to being the best player in franchise history. All the MVP talks aside, more than ten other players have gotten minutes this season, and other people have to score the basketball.

My friend, Giovanni Spillman, wrote an article listing potential trade targets; looking for our second scoring threat. I do not think that we have to trade for any of those players. I believe Jeremy Lamb is that second scoring option and I will explain why.

Past vs. Present

Until this season, Jeremy Lamb most games started in a season was 18 games (last season). Barring a huge injury, Lamb is on pace to start the most games of his career this season. He currently sits at 16 games played, and 16 games started.

Earlier there were rumblings from last years first round pick, Malik Monk, to break into the starting lineup. But, with Malik Monk only playing 7 minutes in last nights win over Boston while not hitting a 3PT shot in his previous four games (0-16), Jeremy has had a golden opportunity to solidify his place in the rotation, and he has capitalized on his chance.

Until Lamb got to Charlotte, he had only started eight games in 148 games played while he was in Oklahoma City. He averaged a modest 7 PTS a game while averaging 15.7 MPG in his three years in OKC.

While in Charlotte, Lamb has averaged about six more minutes of game time and has started triple the games he did while in OKC, in a little over three seasons playing in The Spectrum Center.

This season though, he has started all 16 games and more minutes per game, than any season he has in his career. Without looking at production, you can see that he is getting the most opportunity this season, then he has in his entire career to this point.

Early Holiday Gifts

Kemba Walker has been the man in Charlotte, and it has been most notable in the games of November. He has had two historic performances in our last two games. He has all the headlines which he deserves, but something that is going under-the-radar is the play of Jeremy Lamb.

In November, Lamb is averaging 16.3 PPG, shooting 46% from the field while playing 27 minutes a game. All of these numbers are better than his stats in the first month of the season.

He has scored in double-figures in all eight games in the month of November. He is passing the ball more, shooting the ball more and rebounding the ball better than he did in October.

Hopefully, he can continue this play and hold onto his starting spot throughout the coldest months of the NBA season.

The Verdict

It was impossible through the month of October to find consistency from anyone but Kemba Walker, scoring wise for Charlotte. Most playoff teams look towards a strict #2 and #3 scorer behind their obvious #1’s. On any given night, the Charlotte Hornets need to rely on someone night-in and night-out to put the ball in the basket that is not named Kemba Walker.

I followed UCONN men’s basketball for years, watching the likes of Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lamb, Andre Drummond, and Shabazz Napier, and was elated to watch them win the National Championship twice in my young life.

Having seen Jeremy progress from his days at UCONN, his years in OKC and now his time with the Charlotte Hornets has been amazing. Lamb’s numbers in November certainly match that of a solid second scorer. Throughout the season I have seen Lamb improve his decision making on when to give the ball up, swing the ball and when to drive versus when to pull up and shoot the three.

Last night, in the middle of the 4th quarter I watched the team miss a couple of shots on back to back possessions. Lamb missed a three-point attempt, and on the next possession after getting the rebound, he took it directly to the hole and got his points.

Lambs ability to create his own shots, and decide when to drive to the lane has really improved over the season so far. As he confidence grows, it is going to be awesome to see how good he can be and how good he can get while in Charlotte.

Related Story. The Team Needs Another Scoring Threat. light

Bradley Beal is supposedly now available via trade, and I would highly recommend that Lamb is taken out of any trade talks the Charlotte Hornets have with any other franchise. I think we have found our definitive, second scorer behind The Captain, Kemba Walker.