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OKC Thunder: Chalk up another one for Steven Adams

The 12th overall selection out of Pittsburgh continued his impressive preseason by starting in place of Kendrick Perkins and dominating Enes Kanter for the 18 minutes they were matched up.
by Darnell Mayberry Modified: October 20, 2013 at 11:06 pm •  Published: October 20, 2013

Even crazier is Adams is performing on pure instincts.

“I don't actually know all the players and who's considered skilled and whatnot,” said Adams, perhaps explaining why he pulled up a chair and spent his pregame sitting in the middle of the locker room, directly in front of the projection screen studying tape of the Jazz.

Late in Sunday's game, Adams had similar success against Derrick Favors, also a No. 3 overall pick but from the 2010 class.

“The main thing is, even with our team, we don't really play to (the opponent),” Adams explained. “No matter who it is, we're going to play how we play. So that's the mindset I take. I don't care who I'm facing, I'm just going to play how I play, which is run, get rebounds and play defense.”

Adams' ability to provide extra possessions by securing offensive rebounds jumps out at you. But so does his screen-setting. He allowed Reggie Jackson (team-high 18 points) to squirt free for one scoring opportunity after another thanks to screens that totally swallowed up John Lucas III and took him out of numerous plays.

“I knew he was good,” Jackson said. “But I didn't know he was this good and this hungry. He's just determined to get better. His approach to the game, he's a sponge. He just wants to work hard.”

With the passing of each game, Adams also is proving his performances are not a fluke.

“I do feel like I'm improving,” he said.

Asked his favorite aspect of the game, Adams matter-of-factly said winning. When pressed to point out a specific area that leads to that goal, Adams turned giddy over execution of offensive and defensive plays, when the entire team does something properly to either score or stop the opponent from scoring.

Then Adams was asked if he is satisfied with his preseason showing thus far.

“I'm never pleased,” Adams said. “I always try to stay hungry.”