In week two of Steven Adams' starting role, he played two games. He averaged over 5 points, over 5 rebounds, and over 1 block. He was even more dominant on defense and showed improvement on the offensive side. Though, the highlights of his week were offensive rebounds. In two games, the big man rebounded 11 times overall, 6 times offensively. These offensive rebounds lead to foul shots, second chance shots, and the slowing down of the tempo. Another highlight were blocks. Adams displayed numerous swats, creating an intimidation factor in the paint. Overall, it was a good week for the Kiwi.
In the big man's third consecutive start, Adams displayed a performance that we haven't seen in a while. He finally showed some confidence on offense, scoring 7 points, and got sent to the free throw line 4 times. Adams shot well from the line; 5 of his 7 points came off of foul shots. But Adams' impact came mostly on defense. He recorded two blocks, one on fellow rookie Nick Calathes. Adams was tightly guarding Zach Randolph, shifted to help defense to aid Reggie Jackson, who lost his man on the drive. Adams got a piece of the ball which resulted in a monster swat. Before the game, Adams' suffered from flu-like symptoms but decided to play. Good thing he did because he had one of his better games of the season.
Despite Adams' solid game, Hasheem Thabeet stepped up as well, which may minimize Adams' minutes in the next matchup against Charlotte.
After the game, a New Zealand reporter went to interview the Kiwi and after several questions, the reporter said,
"Nice dunk you had in the 1st half." Adams replied with an obvious but simple,
"Yep. Two points." Then the interview was over...
Thunder vs. Bobcats March 2nd
Tonight, we saw the Steven Adams that we want to see. A center who can rebound aggressively and do some offensive work as well. Adams also had another solid rebounding night, especially offensively where he had 2 of his 6 rebounds being on the offensive side of the ball. Even in just 19 minutes of play, Adams was able to contribute on both ends of the court. Though, his minutes were minimized due to his constant foul trouble. Serge Ibaka played center at times and Hasheem Thabeet shared minutes with Adams. Despite the drop in minutes, Adams has excelled in his time as a starter and is finally adjusting to the new role.
In this upcoming week, I expect to see a new man. I would like to see his offensive stats improve and his rebounding numbers to keep going up. As for the defensive presence, he is doing a solid job but with his size and blocking abilities, players should be scared to enter the paint. In these upcoming games, Steven will not have such tough competitors.. He will be sizing up against players like Henry Sims of Philadelphia, Miles Plumlee of Phoenix, and either Pau Gasol or Robert Sacre of Los Angeles. Hopefully, in this upcoming week, he will take his game to the next level.