• New Zealander Steven Adams Making NBA Thunder in Oklahoma

    Kiwi Steven Adams, one of the most intimidating figures in a NBA uniform, is playing a key role in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s season.

    The team does happen to be on the negative side of a four-game losing streak, but Adams is attracting plenty of the positive sort of attention.

    Oklahoma City’s next game is with the Golden State Warriors, so Adams and everyone else on the squad will have to be in top form to prevent the losing streak from expanding to five, especially when the game is on Golden State’s floor.

    Adams is gaining the notice of not only the team’s fans, but also the NBA intelligentsia, including ESPN basketball guru Zach Lowe, who maintains that Adams is the third best player on the team, ahead of Carmelo Anthony.

    That may be a case of damning with faint praise, however, as Anthony, possessor of one of the sweetest jump shots currently, perhaps in the history of the game, is otherwise one-dimensional.

    Not one to avoid hyperbole, Lowe said of Adams that the best way to watch the Thunder was to, “Focus on the close-range violence Adams commits underneath the rim on every possession.”

    We recently had the opportunity to observe Adams in action and find ourselves inclined to mainly agree with Lowe. We even had a good chuckle when Lowe went on, “Adams tosses people out of the way like George Costanza fleeing a kitchen fire at a child’s birthday party,” Lowe wrote. “He has rebounded almost 18 per cent of Thunder misses while on the floor, a monstrous number that tops the league.”

    Lowe did include one measurable metric in his praise of Adams, saying, “Adams by himself has a higher offensive rebound rate than the Mavericks do as a team, and he’s within armbar-length of a few other teams.”

    The game later today does figure to offer some compelling story lines.

    Ex-Thunder player Kevin Durant now plays for the Warriors, so he may have a personal vendetta going in against his old side.

    The poor recent form by the Thunder has them 10-point underdogs, but Adams gives those underdogs sharp teeth.