Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Examining Doron Lamb's 2013-2014 Magic Season

Over the course of the Magic's offseason, leading up to the NBA Draft, I'll be analyzing all of the Orlando players that are still on the roster and how they did in their 2013-2014 campaign. I'll be going in ascending order based on games played. I won't be assigning grades or scores.

Previously in the series:

Jason Maxiell
Ronnie Price
Dewayne Dedmon

Let's take a look at Doron Lamb.

Doron is the only Magic man in this series that didn't start a game in '13-'14. Still, Lamb was able to display some promising ability in the 53 games he participated in his sophomore NBA season. The 22-year-old guard averaged a career-best 3.6 ppg. 0.8 rpg, 80.6 FT%, and 40.0 3PT%. D-Lamb posted season-highs of 14 points, 4 assists, and 5 rebounds. It's nothing spectacular, but it's a step in the correct direction.

Lamb was playing catch-up all season due to unlucky hustle injuries he picked up in Summer League as well as training camp that had the Kentucky guard missing out on the preseason as well as the first 8 regular season games. In fact, Doron has yet to have a healthy NBA offseason as he suffered a torn elbow ligament his rookie year. Looking at his shotchart though, I'd say Lamb did a solid job of salvaging his '13-'14 campaign. The only blemish is at the rim, and that can be corrected with building strength and repetition.

Doron has only had 8 games in his 100-game NBA career where he's tallied 10 or more points. Six of those occurred in the final four months of this season. Some of those came in key victories such as against Philly and Portland. Lamb's hard work in getting back into NBA shape paid off as he only sat out three games following the All-Star Break.

Lamb only participated in 28 contests before the All-Star Break. His averages then were 34.1 3PT% and 72.7 FT%. In the 25 games following the Break, you can see Doron was able to finally return to his healthy self with his 44.9 3PT% and 84.0 FT% averages in 16 minutes per contest. Those stats will keep you on the court more.

Doron following 01/31/14 win over Bucks:
"How we are right now I don't know when I'm going to get in, but when I do get in, I have to be ready and just provide for my teammates, make shots, and get my teammates involved."

If I had to choose between Doron Lamb and E'Twaun Moore as a long-term guard prospect, I'm taking D-Lamb. For one thing, Lamb is 22 years old while Moore is 25. I believe the tiebreaker is Doron's defensive advantages over E'Twaun. Also, both are listed at 6'4" but Doron plays up to his size advantage while Moore doesn't nearly as much. I expect the Magic to nab a point guard in the draft. That makes E'Twaun Moore much less valuable and you then have Doron who can play and defend 3 positions for brief stints.

Behind all the sock tweets is a very humble man who deserves to stay healthy for a full offseason to prove himself to fans and management. Doron wants to be in Orlando, as do I. Lamb is set to make a non-guaranteed $915,000 next season with a qualifying offer for '15-'16 at just over $1.1 million. That's a bargain. D-Lamb has displayed his potential to be a 3-point assassin and a defensive specialist. Those types of players are mighty valuable on playoff contenders, which is what Orlando will be sooner than later. Plus, Lamb is an NCAA champion.

If he's on the team come October, I expect more than 1.7 3-point attempts per game for Lamb next season. He shouldn't be the afterthought piece of last year's JJ Redick deal any longer, and I expect Lamb to have every opportunity to solidify his long-term future with this franchise.

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