Thunder rookie Steven Adams had seen limited minutes in the first five games of the series against the Memphis Grizzlies.
That changed during Thursday’s Game 6 104-84 victory that forced a decisive Game 7 on Saturday night in Chesapeake Energy Arena as he played 20 minutes and blocked five shots.
He also hounded Memphis center Zach Randolph, even drawing a punch and a few choice words from the veteran that led to Randolph’s one-game suspension.
On Friday, the rookie talked about what he’s learned from playing Randolph and Marc Gasol along with playing in his first Game 7.
Q: How do you approach the matchups with Randolph and Gasol in this series?
A: “Me and Coach Mark Bryant over there, we do a lot of video on both of them. I’m just trying to take them out of their comfort and sweet spots. I’m trying to work harder than them and just to tire them out and stuff. That’s what I’m focused on.”
Have you picked up things from them you can use to expand your game?
“Yeah, Randolph just tries to bully dudes. That’s a good tip.”