Steven Adams is struggling this season and Erik Horne of The Oklahoman examines what is causing the lack of production. Horne believes that the Thunder’s lack of perimeter shooting is clogging the lane, which severely hurts the team’s pick-and-roll offense. Adams enjoyed great spacing last season with Durant drawing away defenders, but this season, defenders are having an easier time denying passing lanes without having to worry about defending one of the league’s best shooters on the wing.
Adams, who signed a four-year, $100MM extension with the team prior to the season, has been playing with an injured hand recently, but he downplayed the injury after a disappointing game against Houston last week. “It was just that I sucked pretty much,” Adams said. “That’s what the bottom line is.”
Here’s more from Oklahoma City:
- Coach Billy Donovan believes the disappointment in Adams’ play comes as a result of outlandish expectations, Horne relays in the same piece. “For people to say ‘this is the expectation, he’s gonna be a 16 [points] and 10 [rebounds] guy’ now when that’s not who he’s ever been, we need Steven to be who Steven’s always been,” Donovan said. “When he does that, it really impacts our team.” Adams is averaging 9.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game for the Thunder this season.
- New addition Victor Oladipo has been the team’s back-up point guard with Semaj Christon missing action because of a concussion and the Thunder are impressed with his play, Horne writes in a separate piece. “The last few games, the results have been really positive for him,” Donovan said. Oladipo signed four-year, $84MM extension with the team last month.