Former Pitt center Steven Adams thrust into spotlight of NBA Playoffs

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

We've been following Steven Adams' journey in the NBA playoffs for a while now. Adams' Thunder are now in the Western Conference finals and there's a real chance that the former Pitt center will win a championship in his rookie year with Oklahoma City.

Adams had been playing a bit sparingly early on, but that's changed lately.

After playing a total of 21 minutes in the team's first five games against the Memphis Grizzlies, the big man is playing more and more. With his team trailing three games to two in that series, he played a total of 45 minutes in Games 6 and 7.

That continued in the Thunder's series against the Clippers when Adams averaged just under 18 minutes a game in the first five of the series. But Adams got his most time on the court in Game 6 with a whopping 40 minutes. He rewarded the team with a double double, scoring ten points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Adams already expected to figure in heavily in the Conference Finals against the Spurs, but he should get even more time than expected. Adams could see considerably more time with a season-ending injury to starting power forward Serge Ibaka. Nick Collison could fill Ibaka's shoes but Adams could get some of those minutes as well.

One thing is certain - Oklahoma City is continuing to rely on the former Pitt center as the team continues their run in the postseason.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and manager/editor of Cardiac Hill @AnsonWhaley

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