Charlotte Hornets: Jeremy Lamb has Sixth Man of the Year upside

Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Lamb (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Lamb (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Jeremy Lamb has been a force off the bench for the Charlotte Hornets, and would be a Sixth Man of the Year candidate if he played the role exclusively.

Watching Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lamb‘s improvement throughout this season has been one of my personal favorite developments to watch this year.

Lamb looks like a different player this season, and has really stepped up as the second leading scorer for this team. He’s in a contract year, so maybe that has something to do with his improved play, but regardless, Lamb has looked really good this season.

Recently, James Borrego made a big change, sending Lamb to the bench and inserting rookie Miles Bridges into the starting lineup. Borrego hoped that the move would allow Lamb to give the bench an offensive punch, and it certainly has.

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In five games while coming off the bench, Lamb has averaged 15.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

Bridges is averaging 8.2 points and 4.4 rebounds as a starter. His numbers don’t jump out at you, but moving him into the starting lineup was more of a defensive move.

Lamb has given the Hornets a steady go-to option off the bench, and it’s worked pretty well. If Lamb had played in this role all season long, I believe that he would be in the running for the Sixth Man of the Year Award.

I’m not saying that he would win the award, but he would certainly be a candidate. Lou Williams and Domantas Sabonis are currently the two main front runners to win the award, with Montrezl Harrell also making a strong case.

Lamb’s 15.2 point scoring average would put him sixth among bench players scoring average in the league, right behind Dennis Schroder (15.5) and right in front of Bogdan Bogdanovic (14.9).

We all know that Lamb is a talented offensive player. He can hit the three-point shot, he has a feathery touch in the mid-range, and is getting better at getting to the free-throw line. However, he does other things too.

He is a really good rebounder for his position, and he always makes smart decisions. Lamb has always had a good basketball IQ, and you can see that on the court. He doesn’t force anything, and always takes good shots within the offense.

Bringing your second best player off the bench gives that second unit a major pop. Plus, Tony Parker, a future Hall of Famer, is also playing a key role off the bench. Charlotte has a tough bench unit that is going to trouble teams down the stretch of the season.

It looks like Lamb will finish the regular season coming off the bench, but it’s going to be interesting to see if his role changes at all if the Hornets make the playoffs. Lamb is a guy that Charlotte will need on the floor for the majority of the game during the postseason.

It’s easy to forget that Lamb is still just 26 years old. He has plenty left in the tank, and will only get better. If he continues to come off the bench throughout his career, he could flourish and be a Sixth Man of the Year candidate for many seasons to come.

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Lamb has played his way into what will be a really good contract this summer. He’s going to get paid a lot of money, and whether it’s with the Hornets or another team, he has proven that he is effective as both a starter and sixth man.