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Steven Adams rebounding well for Oklahoma City Thunder

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Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

I've been following Steven Adams ever since he left Pitt and despite a lot of questions about his college career, the big man is definitely playing a role for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

First things first, Adams playing any kind of role for the team is a big deal. It's true that as a lottery pick, he should be expected to produce on some level right away, but most of those players go to bad teams. Adams is on a team that could reach the NBA Finals so him contributing on any level is noteworthy.

The former Pitt center isn't doing much scoring. Through the team's first three games, Adams was averaging a modest four points a game in about 17 minutes of action. His per 48 minute average would be just under 12 points per contest, so it's clear he's not been an offensive juggernaut. But the thing to remember is that playing on a team with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, he's just not going to get a lot of shots.

One thing Adams has done well in his limited sample size, though, is rebound. His five rebounds per game average are good for third on the team despite his limited minutes. That number is also more than the 3.3 posted by starter Kendrick Perkins, who's been playing a few more minutes.

I made this point earlier in the offseason, but Adams could very well turn into a starter this season. I would have thought to be unheard of when he was drafted, but Perkins flopped miserably in the playoffs last season and the team also let go of center Daniel Orton. The only other competition is from DeJuan Blair chew toy Hasheem Thabeet so it's safe to say that Adams has a real chance to start at some point. It's all going to depend on how Perkins responds, but one thing I expect Adams to do is get significantly better as the season goes on. That's what happened with him at Pitt last year and it's fair to assume he'll continue to develop this year.

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