Steven Adams last year turned a lot of heads not only for his sick mustache and long hair, but his aggressive play style. He is one of the more interesting players to look at as a “Making the Leap” candidate.
Adams payed one year at the University of Pittsburgh before being drafted 12th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2013 NBA Draft. In his rookie season, he was just a role player that was able to give you a few shots and clog up the lane on defense. He improved in his second season but last season he made the biggest jump, especially when the Thunder were in the postseason.
After an impressive postseason run, Steven Adams looks to improve more in his forth year (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images).
Steven Adams 2015-2016 stat line: 8.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 1.1 blocks while shooting 61%. Started in all 80 games he played in.
Adams was a full-time starting center under Billy Donovan last season. When the postseason began Adams became a different player. He was becoming a more low post scorer and teammates were looking at him to be a scoring option at times.
While his shooting percentage remained at 61 percent, his scoring average went up to 10.1 points per game. He became a key members during the OKC Thunders deep postseason run. During those seven games against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, Adams showed everyone that he will be an important piece in the Thunders future.
So what will happen in year four? I really think that the Steven Adams you saw in the postseason is the Steven Adams you’ll get during this upcoming regular season. He is a big body down low with a now developed post game. He’ll still give you those offensive putbacks but can now do much more. On the defensive side, he is a big body in the paint that can block a few shots and make players think twice about driving down the lane.
With the Kevin Durant era over, Adams will be one of the few guys the team will look at to carry the load behind Russell Westbrook. The 7-footer will show that those postseason games were not just a fluke and it is a regular part of his game. At 23, he still has room to improve but those games against the Warriors showed what he is capable of.