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Oklahoma City Thunder: How OKC's Steven Adams will get triple the experience with Kendrick Perkins out

Steven Adams understands he has a lot to learn. But when he looks at how far he’s come since November, he’s satisfied with his development and sounds ready for a stiffer challenge.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: February 25, 2014

Most of those things didn’t matter as much before. Adams was playing limited minutes while coming off the bench as part of a second unit that played a different style than the starters.

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.”

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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