OKC Thunder Breakdown: 3 key areas Steven Adams can improve upon next season

OKC Thunder center Steven Adams (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder center Steven Adams (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Steven Adams, OKC Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Can Steven Adams take that next step and join the NBA’s elite centers? Here are three things the OKC Thunder center can improve upon next season.

Steven Adams is heading into the final two seasons of his 100 million dollar contract he signed with the OKC Thunder in the summer of 2016.

At only 26 years of age, the 7-foot center out of New Zealand is looking to build off his disappointing end to last season. He really struggled after the all-star break, especially on offense, where he saw his points per game, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, and many other stats drop significantly.

With last season in the rearview, let’s take a look at three things that Steven Adams can improve upon that can take his game to the next level.

*All stats mentioned unless mentioned otherwise are from Cleaning the Glass

Interior finishing:

Last season with the OKC Thunder, Steven Adams had the worst year of his career in terms of points per shot attempt since 2014-2015.

This largely had to do with Adams shooting a mediocre 66 percent from the field at the rim, a mark which ranked in the 50th percentile among NBA centers.

Despite what fans/analysts want you to believe, Adams has yet to break the 60th percentile among centers in shooting percentage at the rim in his career, making him an average shooter from that range.

This is a simple finish that Adams has to convert. One on one versus a bad rim protector in Jokic and he is unable to finish. (Jokic was not credited with a block here).

Another example in the same game with Adams missing a hook shot from two feet.

Torrey Craig

is rotating to attempt to block Adams shot, but this is a shot Adams has to hit from that range.

Clint Capela

, a player who Adams is often compared to by fans, shot 71 percent at the rim last season in comparison.

Field Goal Percentage at the Rim (2018-2019):

  • Ayton: 73 percent
  • McGee: 73 percent
  • Gobert: 72 percent
  • Capela: 71 percent
  • Allen: 69 percent
  • Embiid: 69 percent
  • Adams: 66 percent

While Adams does rank in the 72nd percentile among centers in 2-point percentage, his touch around the rim can use some improvement given the fact he is tremendously gifted physically.

With two new additional playmakers in Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, even a slight bump in that field goal percentage could go a long way for Adams next season.