The versatility of the Thunder's roster gives coach Scott Brooks plenty of options during the upcoming absence of Kendrick Perkins.
But among those expected to see an increased role, Steven Adams' bump in minutes seems the most concrete.
Adams will “likely” get the start on Sunday against the Clippers, according to Brooks, and is the Thunder's biggest rotation player during a stretch when they're set to face some prolific low-post scorers.
“There's going to be games where we can go with smaller lineups, games we can go with different guys in that five spot,” Brooks said. “But I think (Adams) has done well in the minutes that he has had. It's going to be another opportunity for growth in his development.”
After an accelerated start to his rookie season, which included an eye-opening 17-point, 10-rebound game in Detroit, Adams cooled off.
His production went down and, steadily, so have his minutes.
Since the new year, he has only played more than 20 minutes in two games, both against Memphis' mammoth front line.
But Adams said that he is becoming a better defender. And it's that side of the ball where he will matter most in the coming weeks.
“That's all I'm working on,” Adams said. “I'm getting a lot more comfortable and noticing stuff before it happens, whereas the start of the season they'll be doing it right in front of me and I'd be like ‘What is that?' I still have a long way to go.”
His first test comes on Sunday against the Clippers' pick-and-roll heavy offense.