When you think about the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are the first players that come into your mind?
They’re probably Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony.
But one more player is starting to get more recognition and he may be one of those household names in the future — Steven Adams.
Adams is currently averaging 13.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks this season. But not everything can be seen in the numbers.
Adams has given the Thunder a formidable inside presence, giving the Big 3 some pick-and-roll opportunities and forcing opponents to take lower-percentage shots away from the basket.
It can even be said that Adams is the glue that makes the Big 3 work. Westbrook gets additional assists with pick-and-roll opportunities with Adams. George and Anthony enjoys more shots as Adams gets rebounds.
But what is Adams’ secret? What makes him so effective on the inside? Is it the long hair and the beard?
According to Royce Young of ESPN, Steven Adams doesn’t even think that he is stronger than other players. Adams thinks that it is not always about raw strength. Sometimes, it’s about finesse.
And that’s why his secret is the application of jiu-jitsu principles to find leverage against other players.
The West is a blood bath right now. The Golden State Warriors are as formidable as ever. The Houston Rockets are shooting lights out with Chris Paul. The San Antonio Spurs have a resurgent LaMarcus Aldridge. Even the Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to compete for the top spots in the West.
If the Thunder want to increase their chances against the teams in their powerful conference, they have to maximize all the help they can get. And that may mean more jiu-jitsu for Adams.
There’s been a lot of talk about the All-Star voting lately. Most of them are serious issues, like whether the draft involved in the new format of the All-Star game should be televised or not.
It’s a breath of fresh air to get news that are not so serious.
Fred Katz of Thunder After Dark shares Steven Adams’ feelings about Enes Kanter, after Kanter supposedly voted for Adams as All-Star.
“What a douchebag. What a d—. He’s being a d—.”
It’s obviously something not to be taken seriously. They’ve been teammates on the Oklahoma City Thunder until last off-season, when the Thunder traded Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second-round draft pick to the New York Knicks for Carmelo Anthony.
The trade looks like it’s for the better for Adams and Kanter.
Adams is getting a lot of attention despite having Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Anthony on the same court. He is averaging 13.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and one assist per game. He is also having a good pick-and-roll setup with Westbrook and rebounding the ball to give more offensive chances for George and Anthony.
On the other hand, Kanter is slowly building his name with the Knicks. When the trade occurred, everybody was talking about Anthony and the Thunder. Nobody was talking about Kanter and the Knicks. But Kanter is getting his minutes and proving himself to be a player that the Thunder can miss. He is averaging 13.4 points, 10 rebounds, and 1.3 assists.
Despite going their separate ways, it’s good to see that Adams and Kanter still seem to get along.