The Golden State Warriors may have returned two key players to the lineup in Andrew Wiggins and Andre Iguodala on Saturday, but the night still ended on a particularly sour note. For the second conseuctive game to close out their homestand, the Dubs lost to a team chasing ping pong balls, this time falling to Magic in blowout fashion.
However, there was at least one positive development to occur amid the setback. Specifically, two-way forward Anthony Lamb having the game of his professional life.
Lamb logged 33 minutes against Paolo Banchero and Co., scoring a career-best 26 points in the process. The 24-year-old also added a season-high eight rebounds to go along with four assists, two steals and zero turnovers in the contest.
After the game, though, Lamb made it clear that there’s at least one major step he still has to take before he can realize his dream of becoming a full-time NBA player.
Anthony Lamb Is Hyped Over His Recent Progression, But…
Lamb noted after the loss that he’s shown an ability to get off to good starts for the Warriors. And that was definitely the case against Orlando, as 22 of his 26 points came during the contest’s first 24 minutes. He’s not satisfied with just being the good-start guy, however.
He wants head coach Steve Kerr to be able to call upon him in the clutch. And, more importantly, he wants to deliver when he gets those opportunities.
“I’ve had great first halves, had a bunch of great first halves over that last stretch, but being able to lock in and finish the game I think is going to be a progression evolution,” Lamb said.
“For me personally, to be able to put a whole game together. I have a bunch of guys who lead by example, that can play a whole game. They hit a bunch of big shots down the stretch and being able to watch them or find whatever it is I need to be able to do here.”
The baller was just 1-of-6 from the floor (and 0-of-4 from deep) in 18 second-half minutes. Moreover, the Warriors were outscored by seven points when he was on the court over that stretch.
Said Lamb: “To get over that hump myself is going to be big, because if you’re the guy shooting the shots and hitting the open ones in the first half, they’re gonna be looking for you in the second half and I got a bunch of opens, but I just didn’t hit them the same way I did in the first.”
A Team-First Mentality
Having already logged 32 appearances for Golden State — and with two-way signees limited to 50 active, main-roster games before teams have to make some kind of decision on them — Lamb isn’t just working to get better, he’s still fighting for a roster spot.
But when he was asked about his recent success in relation to securing a standard NBA deal, Lamb made a point to redirect the conversation to the team’s goals.
“For me, it’s not even really about proving myself,” Lamb said. “The biggest thing in playing for the Warriors, I view the Warriors as the best team in the NBA. I grew up, I’m watching the Warriors and they’re the best team in the NBA. So that’s not what our record (20-20) shows right now, so I want to help in whatever facet I can to make us get to that point.
“Whatever role that is with the guys who play 10 minutes, five minutes, no minutes — whatever I can do to make us get back to that point where we’re the best team in the NBA, that’s what I want to do. Rather than prove myself, that’s gonna happen through the work towards winning. I know at the end of the day it’s going to be whether the coaches, the front office see how much I’ve impacted winning and that’s what I want to do.”