Three-time All-Star Russell Westbrook has now missed the last six games for the Oklahoma City Thunder after undergoing surgery on his right knee less than two weeks ago. Even with perennial MVP candidate Kevin Durant and solid post presence Serge Ibaka playing very well, the injury could have been a significant blow. So far, that has not been the case. Thanks in large part to the recent efforts of two talented young players, the team has managed a 4-2 record during this stretch.
After Westbrook went down, third-year pro Reggie Jackson was immediately inserted into the starting lineup by head coach Scott Brooks. Though he was already having a strong season as the sixth-man for the Thunder, Jackson has really turned it up a notch. Over the last half-dozen games, the 23-year-old point guard has put up 14 points, 4.7 assists and 4.2 rebounds while playing over 28 minutes per contest.
Now the top offensive threat off the bench in Oklahoma City, former University of Connecticut star Jeremy Lamb, has also stepped up his game as of late. Appearing very comfortable in his new role, the second-year swingman is shooting north of 49 percent from the field with averages of 12.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists. In addition, he has knocked down an impressive 8-of-19 three-point attempts.
Obviously, Durant leads the way for the Thunder. However, the NBA‘s leading scorer has definitely enjoyed the support recently received from both Jackson and Lamb. The energetic young duo should continue to produce in Tuesday’s bout with the lowly Utah Jazz. There is little evidence to suggest otherwise.