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OKC Thunder: Steven Adams shows his skills in preseason loss

With 10 points and a game-high 15 rebounds in the Thunder's 105-102 preseason loss to New Orleans inside a sold out BOK Center, Adams showed fans what the future might hold.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: October 17, 2013

TULSA — It's been nearly a year since we've seen a Thunder center do what Steven Adams did Thursday night.

That was, as coach Scott Brooks put it, post All-Star numbers.

The exact date was Nov. 26, so long ago you probably don't remember it.

But that's when Hasheem Thabeet recorded a double-double. His 13 points and 10 rebounds that night came in a 45-point blowout of the Charlotte Bobcats.

It was the only double-double by a Thunder center all season.

But with 10 points and a game-high 15 rebounds in the Thunder's 105-102 preseason loss to New Orleans inside a sold out BOK Center, Adams showed fans what the future might hold.

The rookie out of Pittsburgh was as impressive as we've seen him this exhibition season, and by night's end Adams' performance left everyone pondering how much regular-season playing time could be in store for the 12th overall selection.

“He had a great game,” Brooks said. “It's going to be hard to duplicate 10 points, 15 rebounds. Those are All-Star numbers.”

When you consider how none of the Thunder's centers last season could post such figures, it stands to reason that Adams deserves the chance to try.

It's taken just four preseason games for Adams to stand out as the team's best offensive option at center. He consistently catches drop-off passes, lobs and bullets fired out of pick-and-rolls, finishing each with regularity. And he has a soft touch around the rim, which, coupled with his athleticism, makes him a threat at all times in the paint.

Against the Pelicans, Adams again showed his offensive-rebounding ability, snagging a game-high six, including one near jaw-dropping putback attempt that missed only when the forcefulness of his attempt caused it to ricochet off the rim.

“He's very active,” Brooks said. “He clogs the paint defensively and he rebounds the basketball. Those are the things we like about him.”

The defensive end is where Adams seemingly must develop before garnering consistent minutes. He shows good awareness in pick-and-roll situations, cutting off the ballhandler before retreating to his man. But consistency is an issue, as he still gets lost at times, like he did on one fourth-quarter possession when he lingered in front of Pelicans reserve point guard Brian Roberts far too long and allowed his man to catch a pass just outside the paint. As soon as Adams recovered, the ball swung to the opposite side of the lane for an easy dunk.

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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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