And for the next six weeks or so, we’re going to get a sneak peek into how that will look.
Memphis comes to town Friday night with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph ready to throw down in the middle. Houston visits in a few weeks with Dwight Howard in the post, and few weeks after that, the Thunder goes to Chicago where Noah awaits. Those sorts of match-ups are tough for Perk, so you have to think Adams will have his hands full.
“The challenge for him,” Thunder veteran Nick Collison said of Adams, “is just being able to consistently be in the right place.”
Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Tuesday that Adams is still working to better understand schemes and opponents. That’s no knock on Adams; he’s only been in the NBA eight months, so there’s bound to be learning and growing to do.
Now, the learning and growing will happen on the fly.
But Adams is a tough dude. Strong. Tenacious. And he’s about as athletic as a 7-foot, 250-pound guy could be, so maybe that physical and mental combination makes up for any shortcomings that Adams has.
Maybe we’ll find out Adams already has what it takes to be a full-time starter.
But we know that Perk does.
Plenty of Perk haters would dispute that. They say he’s worthless and brutal and worse. They are wrong, but right now, they are giddy that Adams gets an extended opportunity to be part of the starting lineup.
The Thunder is winless in the three games it has played without Perk this season, and of the five current starters, the only one the Thunder has a losing record when playing without him is Perk. Eight games this team has played without him since he made his Thunder debut. Five of those games, it has lost.
For the Thunder’s sake, here’s hoping that winning percentage improves a bit in coming weeks.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni Carlson can be reached at 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.