Jeremy Lamb getting hurt has been a huge blow for the Hornets as he was the team’s second leading scorer and second leading rebounder. The Hornets are 1-2 in his absence so we can only hope that he gets healthy soon. On the bright side, we’ve been able to get a longer look at rookie point guard, Devonte’ Graham, and he’s shown a lot of encouraging upside. He’s truly making his case to be in the rotation even when Jeremy Lamb returns.
The one thing that jumps off the screen when you watch Graham is his passing ability. He flashed it in summer league but it’s been nice to see that it has translated in real games. @RichieRandall on twitter did a great thread detailing his passing prowess:
In the game, Graham showcased his great pick and roll passing ability with a bunch of great finds to Bismack Biyombo. Graham was part of the reason that Biyombo had such a good game: he delivered crisp passes with perfect touch that put Biyombo in the best position to score. On the court, teams can always use a guy that makes the game easier and Devonte’ defintely does that. The Hornets rank in the bottom half in the league in passes per game and assists so there’s no doubt that Devonte’ can help in that department. He finished with eight assists against the Nuggets. With the Hornets not having any real scoring threat other than Kemba Walker, passing is the key to getting easy shots.
Graham takes care of the ball as well. He’s only played 251 minutes this year but he has 46 assists to only 13 turnovers. He fits the Hornets’ offense well as they are very low turnover. The other thing Graham brings is shooting. On the year, he is only shooting 33% from three but in the past three games, he’s shot 6/15 (40%) from behind the arc. I’m positive that he is a real shooter as he shot over 40% from three over his four year career at Kansas on a lot of attempts. Devonte’ is a high IQ guy that shoots the ball and passes well which makes him a really solid guy to have in the rotation.
Graham is only 6’2 so having him as your shooting guard defensively is a problem. However, in short stints, the Hornets should be able to get away with that when Lamb gets back. Devonte’ is a smart defender and tries hard, which is encouraging. In the past two games, the starting lineup with Graham in it has had an offensive rating of 107.8 and a defensive rating of 97.4 which gives a net rating of 10.4. It’s a very small sample size but we can see that the lineup with Graham is working well so far.
Graham probably shouldn’t start for the remainder of the season but he should definitely get minutes even when Lamb comes back from injury. Borrego should now be more comfortable resting veteran Tony Parker since he has a capable young PG in Graham.