Steven Adams' plan for the offseason? Work hard (of course)

Ronald Martinez

NBA.com had a season-in-review look at former Pitt center Steven Adams, who played for the Oklahoma City Thunder this past season. Overall, Adams had a pretty decent season, highlighted by some really good performances in the postseason for OKC.

Adams came to Pitt a relative unknown and after a slow start, really progressed by the end of the season. The same held true for him in his first NBA season.

Many figured that with the Thunder competing for the title, Adams' impact might decrease in the playoffs. However, the exact opposite happened. Adams earned more and more playing time as the playoffs went on, topping out at nearly 23 minutes per game in Oklahoma City's final series against the San Antonio Spurs. Because of that he averaged five points and nearly six rebounds per game in his final two playoff series - both significantly better than his regular season averages of 3.3 points and 4.1 rebounds.

It's still early in his career, but the trend is pretty clear - Adams has gotten better and just continues working as the season goes along. His plan for next year? Continue putting in work:

From working on his free throw shooting and his touch around the basket to his one-on-one post defense and the timing of his rotations, Adams knows he has a lot of work to do before next season. By sticking with the same routine and principles that helped him build good habits during the year, Adams hopes to hone his craft even more this offseason.

"It’s just sticking to the same routine and just kind of intensifying that more," Adams said. "I reached a pretty good platform right now. It’s time to really solidify that and build on it and try to make an even bigger step. That’s the goal for me personally, just really trying to do stuff a lot more intensely, work even harder now that I have a year and am familiar with the whole season."

I'm not sure Adams will become a superstar, but the way he works and is progressing, it's really hard to see him not going on to a long career in the NBA. He just hustles beyond belief and works extremely hard when he's out there. As Jamie Dixon said before last season, he has a great work ethic.

A common misconception on Adams is that he's simply going to be a high-energy player capable of playing a role. That could be the way his career develops but I'm encouraged by the way he's progressed from the beginning to the end of the season in each of the past two years. It's really hard for me to project him as only a role player because he just seems to work so hard to get better.

He's still fairly young and if you watched him this year, you know that he's far from a perfect player - especially on offense where he needs to develop more of a game. But overall, the Thunder have to be very pleased with the way he developed from early in the season to the end of the playoffs.

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 founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

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