Houston Rockets Rookie Jeremy Lamb Says He's Ready for the NBA
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Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant reported that Lamb was at the Hoop Dreams Camp (a nonprofit camp that also awards scholarships to high school students).
His father, Rolando Lamb, a motivation speaker and also a pastor, was also there. Jeremy's positive upbringing was evident as he spoke to the kids.
"I just want to get the message across to keep God first and work hard," Jeremy said. "I'm an example that hard work pays off. It may not always seem like it's paying off, but you keep working, it will pay off."
That hard work did pay off.
During his freshman season at UConn, he was the second scoring option behind Kemba Walker. In his sophomore season, he averaged 17.7 points while maintaining a 47.8 percent field-goal percentage.
His productivity and potential led to him being taken 12th overall in the draft by the Rockets.
“I’d never seen my dad cry before, the day I was drafted, my dad cried.” Jeremy explained that it wasn't the draft pick that caused the emotions. “He cried because when I was picked I thanked God.”
Lamb's words of praising God reminded me of Jeremy Lin—the recently acquired point guard from the New York Knicks.
While with the Knicks, Lin had a great connection with another religious player on that team, Landry Fields. The duo displayed numerous highlights, cuts to the basket and alley-oops last season. Lin was also famous for crashing on his couch before Linsanity really took off.
Jeremy Lin is known as being a hard worker (after all, he was an NBA journeyman before finally sticking with the Knicks). For Lamb, working hard was something his father had instilled in him early on.
While in high school, he would wake up at 5:30 a.m. to ensure he got an hour of practice in. That continued at UConn, as coach Jim Calhoun constantly pressured him to practice and work hard.
Although Lamb has a relaxed attitude by nature, he was really able to step up once Big East play began in the Huskies' 2010-11 NCAA championship season.
Listed at 6'5'', Lamb has a wingspan around 7'1''. Combined with his natural athleticism, he creates problems for others when he's playing defense.
A potent scorer, Lamb can create opportunities for himself as well as read defenses well. He has an accurate floater and his go-to shot—the one-dribble pull-up jumper—is very tough to defend.
Because he can shoot so well, sometimes he doesn't attack the rim as often as he should. When he does get to the line, however, he shoots over 80 percent.
Listed at 180 pounds, he will need to put on some muscle in the NBA. He has gained weight since his freshman year at UConn, so he has the ability to bulk up. He could also use some work on his passing skills, which are not up to par yet for the NBA level.
Having Lin running point in Houston should make life easier for Lamb.
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During the recent Greater Hartford Pro-Am on July 31st, his coach echoed similar thoughts:
"I think Lamb will grow to have a good, trusting on-court relationship with Lin. There is great potential for Jeremy (Lamb) to benefit from the court vision that Lin excels at. Since Jeremy can find his spots on the floor beautifully as evidenced in the NBA Summer League and what I saw (at the Pro-Am), a skilled player like Lin can get him the ball in shooting position and within the flow of the game."
In the summer league, Lamb averaged 20 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. In a losing effort against the Washington Wizards, he scored 26 points.
Although seemingly apathetic by nature, when surrounded by the right people, he has shown that he can be a very motivated player. This should continue with coach Kevin McHale and Jeremy Lin in Houston.
Lamb will back up Houston starter Kevin Martin at the shooting guard position, but I believe it'll only be a matter of time before he'll be a quality starter.
When asked about his future, Lamb commented:
"I'm going to be ready, not necessarily because of the Summer League, because I know the competition is going to be a lot tougher. But I'm ready to work hard."
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