Last year, Steven Adams developed a bit of a reputation for being able to draw technical fouls against players really easily. As far as I can remember, we never really looked for a method to his madness. As far as we all knew, Adams was just a low key guy that played hard, right?
Wrong. Steven Adams is a gamer, straight up. Need evidence? Check this out....
It's Sunday's game against the Suns. Halfway through the first quarter, the Thunder are up 21-15. It's a lead, but not a dominant one by any stretch of the imagination. The Thunder are clearly looking like the better team, but Gerald Green is beginning to find his stride. Green has just hit two threes in the last two minutes, taking advantage of a mismatch and one slightly too late closeout by Roberson. With Green threatening to explode as he did on us last year, something needed to be done.
In steps Steven Adams. As Green ran back down the floor, Adams made it a point to bump into him. Here's the proof:
But the hassling doesn't stop there. The Thunder set up the play, and Adams is called upon to screen. Adams obliges, setting an egregiously illegal screen on Gerald Green. No call. (For the record, your feet are not supposed to be wider than the width of your shoulders.)
The abuse continues, as Adams makes sure to get his hand in Green's way immediately after the screen.
Adams finishes things off with the cherry on top: A subtle shove to Green's shoulder, completely unnoticed by the ref.
At this point, the deed is done. Green is called for the foul on Westbrook, and started yelling expletives. The officials, assuming he was complaining about the shooting foul, give him a technical. Green is immediately yanked from the game by Hornacek, and in comes Goodwin. Goodwin does little more than miss a layup, while Westbrook nails the technical and the Thunder win the rest of the quarter 20-14. OKC would go on to win the game 112-88, but this was definitely a key moment in terms of momentum that could have changed things early.
I can see how this might be seen as kind of a naughty thing to do, but let's be real. This is the NBA. There are 10 grown men on the floor who can handle themselves, and three officials. If Gerald Green is so mentally weak that he'll get himself ejected over a little shove and Steven Adams is clever enough to sneak the contact past 3 extremely well-trained officials, then what's the problem? Nothing, I say.
That is, until someone loses an eye. Be careful, Steven!
Do you like our beloved Kiwi's dirty tactics? Drop a comment and let us know!