OKC Thunder Throwback: Steven Adams’ First Double-Double


Steven Adams is the beloved 5-year center of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The New Zealand native, who the Thunder drafted 12th overall in 2013, is a fan favorite even amongst non-Thunder fans.

An affable 7-footer, Steven Adams has a way with people as he is always one for a witty retort. His personality and its effect on fans are only rivaled by his growing NBA game. During the 2017-2018 preseason, Adams has shown that he is steadily improving on the defensive end – his instincts have been impressive throughout the Oklahoma City Thunder’s four exhibition games – and his offensive game seems to haven’t peaked since the 2016 playoffs.

The Thunder’s man in the middle has taken advantage of the space provided by the addition of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony over the summer. The outlook of Adams’ season looks as if he will indeed develop into a dominant low-post threat. (His game out of the high post isn’t half-bad either.)

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His maturation didn’t happen overnight, however. Adams, whose intelligence basketball IQ often goes unnoticed, has placed himself in position for a career year because of his dedication to team success. Adams frequently notes that his numerical performance is secondary to adding another W in the wins column. His numbers were quite impressive when he recorded his first double-double in the NBA against the Detroit Pistons.

Starting Lineup

Russell Westbrook

Thabo Sefolosha

Kevin Durant

Serge Ibaka

Kendrick Perkins

The Event:

The 2013-2014 season was just beginning, and Adams was in his rookie year. Then head coach, Scott Brooks was often maligned for his reluctance to play the younger players on the roster. Brooks preferred to go with battle-tested veterans as opposed to their inexperienced, mistake-prone counterparts.

On this November evening in the Palace at Auburn Hills, Brooks gave his young rookie center a chance. Adams, who played 31 minutes that night, went out and did his best to the tune of 17 points, ten rebounds, and three blocks. Then 19-year-old Adams went toe-to-toe with Andre Drummond and Josh Smith and more than held his own.

This pass to Westbrook after a contested rebound was pretty impressive.

The name of the game for Adams on offense: simplicity. Layups, Dunks, offensive putbacks, and rolling to the rim after hard screen were all on display for the rookie that night. Defensively, Adams helped to disrupt what the Pistons wanted to do in the paint; his blocks were timely and led to some early offense for the Thunder.

After the game, Steven Adams spoke to the Oklahoman uttered some familiar sentiments regarding his milestone night.

"“I don’t care about the double-double,” he said. “The fact is that doesn’t mean anything because I still performed badly on the defensive end, defensive assignments that I had to do. So that’s what I’m really worried about.”"

The future of the center position in Oklahoma City was showing what he brings to the table. I just hope as Thunder fans, we never take Adams for granted.