After career games in the season finale against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night, Oklahoma City’s rookies Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones III found themselves in transit to Tulsa for the first round of the D-League Playoffs, as the 66ers take on the Rio Grande Vipers. While it’s unfortunate that the rooks won’t be in attendance for OKC’s first round matchup with the Houston Rockets -where they could have witnessed the playoffs first hand and possibly play some off the bench -it will be better for both players to gain some postseason experience, regardless of the level of competition.
Ironically enough, the Vipers are the D-League affiliate of the Houston Rockets, meaning that Lamb and Jones III will be squaring off against the “older brother’s” of the Thunder’s counterparts. Yet the rookies won’t have the opportunity to square off against heralded Houston Rockets prospect Royce White. White, who’s made headlines throughout the season for several aspects outside of the sport of basketball (discrepancies between he and the Rockets about his anxiety disorder, leaving and then returning to the Vipers for an unknown reason), is now making even more. Due to the playoff schedule that includes plenty of traveling, White didn’t want to distract the Vipers from their overall goal, so he decided to remain off the postseason roster.
The Vipers seemingly don’t need White’s assistance, however. Despite Lamb’s impressive performance (29 pts, 8 reb, 2 stl, 1 ast) and strong play down low from Jones III (10 pts, 5 reb, 1 ast, 1 blk), the 66ers fell to the Vipers 107-92. Game 2 of the three-game series will be held tomorrow night, April 21, at 6:00 p.m.
For continued coverage of the NBA’s rookies, keep visiting NBA Rookie Class. Also, stay tuned as we begin to look towards the next year of rookies and the 2013 NBA Draft!