New Zealander Rookie Steven Adams Making Mark in NBA Playoffs

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NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder
NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder Reuters

Oklahoma City Thunder Steven Adam’s stats are moderate to say the least. As a back-up center for his team featuring a Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, he’s not expected to bring in huge stats from that position. Nevertheless, that’s not stopping the Kiwi from bringing pain to his opponents—his energy and hustle a net positive for his squad and a definite negative against frustrated opponents.

In the 2014 NBA Playoffs, the New Zealander has proven his worth so far as the media, teammates and opposing players have taken notice of the brand of game he brings for the Thunder.

“Rugby, all the hitting, it’s constant,” Adams said in a New York Times article. “It was a combination of that and trying to survive against my brothers and sisters.”

“I just played it by ear. I played basketball seriously at 13, but I didn’t know where it would take me. I thought I’d be a rugby player,” shared Adams on how he discovered basketball.

This year, the world of basketball is discovering Adams as shown so far in the increased minutes he’s been getting in the postseason.

And already he has already made his mark in the first round versus the Memphis Grizzlies and the second round versus the Los Angeles Clippers.

This is Adams getting “punched” by Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph in Game 6 of the West First Round series.

Randolph would be suspended in a crucial game Game 7 of the series and the Thunder would move on to the next round. Adams had 2 points, 3 rebounds and 5 blocked shots in this game but none more important than one stat: get Randolph frustrated which led to the suspension.

In the Western Conference Semifinals against the Clippers; Adams with a hard foul on Clippers star Chris Paul.

Adams finished with 6 points and 5 rebounds in that game as OKC won 112-101. In the next game, Adams had another good outing: 4 points and 9 rebounds in 18 minutes in OKC’s 118-112 win, a victory that would give the Thunder back the homecourt advantage in the best-of-seven series.

And oh here are a few more Adams altercations in his very first year in the league:

Adams became the first Kiwi to be drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft when Oklahoma City picked him as the 12th overall pick in 2013.

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