The Milwaukee Bucks made a solid choice drafting Kentucky shooting guard Doron Lamb in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft. Milwaukee went all out on defense drafting arguably the best shot blocker in the draft in power forward John Henson and then got better defensively at the guard position by selecting Lamb.
The 6-foot-4, 199-pound Lamb is the second best shooter in the draft behind only John Jenkins. In Kentucky’s National Championship season last year, Lamb averaged 13.7 points, 1.5 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 0.5 steals, and 1.1 turnovers per game while shooting 47.4% from the field and 46.6% from beyond the arc in 31.2 minutes of game time. If you do not think those scoring numbers are impressive, then you are about to. Lamb’s 13.7 points came from an average of nine field goal attempts while only converting four of them per game.
Lamb is everything Milwaukee point guard Brandon Jennings is not, which is why the Bucks drafted him. He is a solid shooter, does not turn the ball over, and can play aggressive defense by preventing both guard positions from entering the paint. Over the past two seasons, Jennings has done the complete opposite of those things. His shooting numbers have been horrific, he turns the ball over in critical moments in the game (such as dribbling off his foot when the Bucks are down by one point), and plays arguably the worst defense of any point guard in the NBA.
Lamb is known as a sniper for being able to hit shots from all over the court. He is most comfortable while shooting mid-range jump shots but is clearly capable of raining down 3-pointers. His jump shot mechanics are solid and because he is a high-percentage shooter, he is able to put the ball on the court and make plays around the basket. For that reason, he will get to the free throw line four to five times a game. He is also highly effective coming off screens and pulling up immediately to convert the shot.
For all the good attributes Lamb has, like Henson, he must hit the weight room. He does not have superior ball-handling skills to play the point guard position and is not yet strong enough to defend NBA shooting guards. He is not an explosive or overly quick guard which is why he settles for the jump shot more times than not.
Regardless of his criticisms, the Bucks made an outstanding selection by drafting Lamb with the No. 42 pick. In my opinion, Lamb is a first-round talent in which some mock drafts had him going in the late 20’s. He is an efficient scorer and hard-nosed defender who knows what it takes to be a winner. He may not be overly vocal but that is because he talks with his game. It will be interesting to watch Lamb play in the backcourt with Monta Ellis and Jennings next season. I give the Bucks an ‘A’ for drafting Lamb in the second round.