OKC Thunder big man Steven Adams is one of the hardest-working players in the league. One area he needs to work on is his free throw shooting.
Steven Adams is one of the most underrated players in the league. His presence on the court for the OKC Thunder frees up shooters thanks to his screens on offense. On defense Adams is a pillar, he is always the last line of defense but prides himself on stopping the play before he has to block shots.
However, Adams has struggled at times this year through injury. He has lacked lift thanks to leg bruises sustained against the Houston Rockets, twice. It takes a lot to stop the big Kiwi but the second time he was hurt was more MMA than NBA.
His scoring average is down to the lowest it has been in four years at 10.7 points per game. This is due to the balanced scoring of the team. The team is also shooting better from the floor, going 47.1 percent compared to 45.4 percent last season.
This has resulted in Adams lowest offensive rebounding output since his third season in the league with 3.3.per game. However, his defensive rebounding is 6.0 per game which is the highest of his career.
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Adams is also creating more, connecting on 2.6 assists per game. He is showing the NBA that he is evolving but no one could have foreseen the first 3-point make of his career, nor the shimmy afterward.
Leaving points at the line
For all his evolution as a basketball player, Adams is still leaving way too many points at the line. He is getting to the line 3.0 times per game this season. Unfortunately, he is only making 58.8 percent of these, which translates to easy points gone begging.
Adams can make these shots, he has helped the Thunder down the stretch win games. There seems to be a certain amount of this that is a mental block which is causing Adams to miss as often as he does. I can still remember Adams looking at the rim from the free-throw line and mouthing “I hate you.”
In his seven years in the league, Adams has averaged 55.7 percent from the line. In only one season he raised his efficiency to shoot over 60 percent from the line. Every other season he has shot between 50 and 60 percent.
As Michael Cage says, you have to pick up the easy money.