5 Tricks OKC Thunder's Jeremy Lamb Should Learn from Kevin Durant
USA TODAY Sports
He’s already the on-court leader for the Thunder, but he’ll need to step up to the plate as an off-court mentor for the younger players on the roster as well.
To make its championship dreams a reality, Oklahoma City is counting on the rapid development of some of its young talent. None of those players are more crucial to the success of the team than Jeremy Lamb.
Lamb will be counted on to provide an offensive punch off the bench to replace Kevin Martin, but Oklahoma City’s depth will be severely compromised if Lamb can’t deliver the goods.
He’s a lanky wing with long arms and natural scoring instincts. Sound familiar? It should. His game bears some similarities to Durant. If Lamb is going to contribute to the team in the upcoming season, he could stand to learn a few things from his teammate.
Here are five of Kevin Durant's signature moves that Lamb should try to incorporate into his game.
Normally, post-up players use their strength to fight for good position and go to work down low. Durant isn’t the strongest player, but he is incredibly effective in the post because of his extreme length and superb shooting.
Durant elevates over defenders and his release point is so high that his shot is practically unblockable.
Lamb has similar length, and he was an excellent mid-range shooter at UConn. If he can learn some effective post moves, he could take advantage of mismatches and score off high-percentage shots.
This is a post move, but it is a very difficult shot that Durant has honed to perfection, so it has its own slide.
Shooting off one leg alters your balance, but it also creates space for your shot and gives you a clean look at the rim. Of all Durant’s post moves, this is the one that Lamb should learn because it is unguardable.
If Lamb can utilize it, it would give him a go-to move very early in his career.
While Kevin Durant is a ridiculously good shooter, there are many excellent shooters in the NBA. What sets him apart is his ability to break defenders down with the dribble and get to his spots on the floor.
Durant possesses a nasty crossover which he uses to gain separation for his jump shot or even to get all the way to the rim.
Lamb doesn’t have great handles at this point, but he needs to develop them so that he can create his own offense in the NBA. The crossover is a simple yet effective move that can generate space, and it’s a necessary weapon in any scorer’s arsenal.
When you shoot over 90 percent from the free-throw line, you need to find ways to get to the charity stripe. That’s what Durant found with his rip-through move.
He was so devastating with it that the NBA altered its rules regarding the move to make it a non-shooting foul.
Lamb was a good free-throw shooter in college, and getting to the foul line is an important skill in the NBA. Luckily for him, he shares a practice facility with one of the best in the game at drawing fouls.
This is Kevin Durant’s bread and butter, and it’s one of the most difficult shots in the game. Lamb will need to improve his three-point shooting before he takes on this move, but it’s a useful skill to have in the Thunder’s fast-paced offense.
If Lamb can become a knock-down shooter from beyond the arc, it will give Durant and Russell Westbrook space to attack the rim and open up the entire offense.