But now, many of those little things that few noticed Perkins providing could become big things if Adams is unable to figure them out.
“I think he’ll do a great job,” Collison said. “And I think with the minutes and the comfort level we’ll see him play a lot better. It’s tough to adjust to playing in the NBA, and it’s also tough to play with five minutes here, six minutes there. I think the extra time will help him.”
Rebounding is an area that Collison said Adams should be even better in due to additional minutes leading to more confidence. And that’s scary considering Adams averages 10.6 rebounds per 36 minutes, with nearly half of those coming on the offensive end.
“There’s a lot of balls that go off his hands that he’ll be able to snag with just that little bit more comfort level,” Collison said.
With Perkins sidelined, Adams will get ample opportunity to get comfortable.
And for a rookie who is clearly the future at the position, Adams being thrown into the fire for what could be a 20-game trial run might be a blessing in disguise.
“This is his first year. He’s learning just like everybody else had to learn,” said Westbrook. “Now he’s got put into the position where he has to communicate and has to talk so he’s going to learn.”
But the Thunder isn’t putting any additional pressure on the rookie.
Brooks said this stretch isn’t about Adams stepping up. It’s about the team doing it together.
“Even though we know we will miss Perk while he is out,” Brooks said, “we have a lot of pride in what we do…and we’re going to keep getting better.”