Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Something I mentioned earlier is that it's usually for the better not to make any dramatic changes when you are dealing with a championship contending team. This idea has definitely come into play for Scott Brooks and Oklahoma City this season, as he has been very slow to work in any of the young talent recently acquired by the Thunder.
Coming into this season, OKC picked up two young players with loads of potential in Perry Jones III and Jeremy Lamb. While both may have cracked their way into some solid minutes in the rotation of an average team, Brooks knew what he wanted in his rotation and has decided to use the rookies scarcely save for some garbage time minutes.
It's not a bad idea by Brooks, who would much rather ease his talent into the team's system rather than thrusting them in there where big mistakes could be made, leading to a lot of discouragement and discontent for the rookies.
Lamb, who came over in the Houston deal for James Harden, is being considered as a possible option to be the starting shooting guard for the Thunder down the line as Kevin Martin and Thabo Sefolosha start to age. Though he has massive potential, Brooks realizes that he shouldn't be taking away any noticeable playing time from Martin or Sefolosha, who are two main contributors in the Thunder's offensive and defensive schemes.
Jones is another guy with loads of potential, but he too is very raw at this point in his career. Brooks has definitely used him more than Lamb, but his seven minutes per game shows that he is still taking it easy, especially with the red flags about Jones' health going into the draft last summer.
Still, Brooks has demonstrated through Reggie Jackson that he is withholding these young guys for their own good and that, while this season may not be the most fruitful for the rookies, that it is all part of a larger plan for the team.