Height/Weight: 6’6, 217 lbs.
Anthony Lamb is a beast in the middle which has led to him finishing north of 63% of his shots at the rim this season. He can use an array of moves to get him space from the defender, but the one that is so impressive is his spin move. Needless to say, it is NBA caliber.
The speed at which he uses it is through the floor jaw dropping. You rarely see a college player able to use it this effectively and to that level.
What goes along with that spin move is his strength. He can overpower opponents in the post or utilize it to his advantage when making a straight line drive to the basket to create space. That strength also allows for him to create space for himself given how relentless he is on the block.
For Anthony Lamb to succeed at the next level, he needs to be able to show that he can spread the floor with his shot and that he can put the ball down to get to the bucket. The post-game that he exhibits is all well and good, but the other parts of his game are the main factors in determining how he will fare in the NBA.
Let’s begin with the shooting. Anthony Lamb has shot the 3 point shot at an impressive rate this year. And while he mostly only takes them when coming off of a pick and pop, he has certainly shown the ability to make some when pulling up off of the dribble.
Now, with the attacking ability. He’s not as consistent with this ability and that has to do with the lack of athleticism he has. But, just as is in his pull-up game, we have seen flashes of his creation off of the dribble that have opened our eyes.
Anthony Lamb does so many things well at the college level. He’s a dynamic and efficient scorer, great free throw shooter, and does his job on defense. He isn’t going to make any eye popping defensive plays, but he is serviceable on that end. He can slide his feet well and keep up with opposing forwards and keeps up enough to rack up some blocks simply because he can contain the ball handler.
Lamb is an undersized 4. If he was even 2 or 3 inches taller, he’d be talked about as one of the better prospects in the NBA Draft. The problem is that isn’t a reality and we are left to try to determine what a 6’6 forward will be able to do at the next level. With the game becoming more and more position-less and with all of his offensive talent, he should be fine transitioning on offense. The defense is a different story.
Anthony doesn’t have quick enough feet to keep up with athletic guards in the league and just isn’t big enough to contain many forwards or big men in the post. Lamb has shown that he can sometimes keep up with guards in college, but that’s not always the case and has struggled against even some of the quicker ones at this level. He usually can do a solid job of keeping up, but his lack of length doesn’t allow for him to make up for that space that he lost.
He’s strong as mentioned and will be able to body many opponents, but the height is that issue. It’s a tall hill to climb when you are an undersized 4.
Another thing to monitor with Anthony Lamb’s defense is how often he bites on pump fakes. From the games we’ve seen of Lamb, he’ll bite on pump fakes behind the three point line far too often. That would certainly hurt him at the next level.
Just how unathletic is he? This is a conversation that we’ve had to have a good amount of with Anthony. He shows that he can get up for some nice dunks, but for the most part they are straight jumps. We came to the conclusion that Lamb does indeed lack even average athleticism. This could be fully proved at the draft combine if he gets an invite, but his game doesn’t reflect it.
The final weakness we’ll talk about with Lamb is his playmaking. He has vastly improved his passing ability this year, but he just isn’t an elite passer. He doesn’t force passes or turn it over often, but he’s just very safe. Now that isn’t the worst thing in the world for someone who is as good of a scorer that he is, but you’d like to see him make better reads. He’ll make the easy pass, but too often if he had waited longer to really scan the floor, he could’ve found an even more open man that would lead to an easier bucket.
Anthony Lamb has to be considered one of the most underrated players in the NBA Draft. He can shoot it, score in the post, play serviceable defense, and is an extremely smart player.
Now, to be clear, he’s just a junior so he may not elect to declare for the draft. But, if he does, don’t be surprised if a team takes a chance on him in the 2nd round and watches him blossom into a very solid role player in the NBA. We could see him becoming an above 40% shooter in the league from deep. Considering that coupled with his other plus qualities and you have a player that not many teams will want to pass on.