Jan 6, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) talks to forward Serge Ibaka (9) and guard Reggie Jackson (15) against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. The Thunder beat the Raptors 104-92. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

David Thorpe says OKC Thunder 4th best in Western Conference

David Thorpe is a hater! He didn’t say only nice things about the Thunder! Just kidding and as always, Thorpe had interesting things to say.

First off, Thorpe picked the Thunder to win the West last year because he loves Kevin Martin. So it should be no surprise that the Thunder losing Martin and gaining nothing really will have Thorpe down on OKC.

But fourth in the West? Come on, that’s a little low. Not saying it isn’t possible but while the Thunder may seem to be taking a step back, what team is really looking like one that will be better than them?

Thorpe says he doesn’t believe Jeremy Lamb is ready yet to step into Martin’s shoes. This makes total sense since Lamb hardly played last year.

I remember Thorpe breaking down Lamb right after the 2012 NBA Draft. He raved about his ability to come off screens and his midrange game and scoring ability. But he said Lamb wouldn’t necessarily be a good pick-and-roll player, something the Thunder do as much as any team in the league.

Lamb has looked impressive even in the pick-and-roll in his D-League highlights and appears to have the ability to be a big time player in the league.

I would like it if the Thunder don’t use Lamb as the pick-and-roll ball handler much, and I don’t think they will. If they instead try and use him off the ball, and with Kevin Durant as well, it will make the Thunder’s offense less predictable.

Once again, it feels like all of the pressure is on Lamb to produce next season. Let’s just hope Scott Brooks gives him the chance to.

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