Teammates also are stressing to Adams that communication is critical for his position.
“It's gonna come,” said Kendrick Perkins, who didn't play for the third straight game due to a dislocated finger. “He's a rookie. The biggest thing I try to teach him is that it's all right to talk. You're the last line of defense, so even when you're not in the play, just talking is intimidating.”
Thabeet, who started in place of Perkins, is the incumbent backup. But it seems Adams is quickly narrowing the gap, especially after Thabeet finished with two points, three rebounds and five fouls in 14 minutes.
When asked what's most important from the backup center spot, Brooks regurgitated a familiar refrain.
“Putting us in positions to win, making winning basketball plays,” he said. “Those are positions that we have to make winning plays.”
In the next breath Brooks rattled off a list of things, all of them things that Adams did Thursday night.
Setting screens … Diving on the floor … Blocking shots … Boxing out on the free throw.
“Those are important things that we talk about, paying attention to the details,” Brooks said. “And I think he's done a good job with that but, still, he has a lot to learn. But he's eager. He's willing to put the work in every day.”