OKLAHOMA CITY – We all realize it's preseason, the games don't count and the pressure to win, preform and produce isn't like the actual season.
But you have to impressed with the Thunder's Steven Adams.
Oklahoma City drafted the center out of Pittsburgh and the immediate reaction was mixed at best. But the reaction after five preseason games isn't.
Adams has played well and has moved himself into the backup center role behind Kendrick Perkins.
Adams is averaging seven points and 7.8 rebounds and had 15 rebounds Thursday against New Orleans. Sunday against Utah, Adams had 10 rebounds. That gives him 41 in five games, and all of that in about 100 minutes of action. As far as shooting goes Adams is 15-of-25 from the field.
"He's been giving us good minutes," Brooks said. "He had another active game (against Utah). We have to keep working with him. We just have to come back the next day and work with him like we do with all of our players."
The production of Adams probably had a lot to do with Oklahoma City native Daniel Orton being cut from the team. Orton was trying for the backup spot as well. He spent last year with the Thunder, but had a hard time getting on the court. That moves leaves the Thunder with Perkins, Hasheem Thabeet and Adams. Perkins has played just a few minutes of one preseason game. He injured his finger early in the team's first game in Turkey.
Adams gives the Thunder a way better offensive presence than either Perkins or Thabeet. Don't expect Perkins to lose his starting job, but with his bad postseason the year before and a lack of offensive skills, Adams has to be considered a viable option.
Brooks has said a number of times the team doesn't need offense from the center position, so Adams won't be asked to score, but the difference is, he can. And that's something Thabeet and Perkins don’t do very often.