This season, former Pitt center Steven Adams made his mark in the NBA. Adams was far from dominant, but certainly made an impact and as he did with the Panthers, got markedly better as the year went on. But by the end of the season, Adams was getting key minutes in the playoffs for a team that had a legitimate shot to win a title.
Despite having some success and playing on a team with a largely ineffective center in Kendrick Perkins, Adams was still the backup.
Next year, though, he understandably wants more, according to his long-time coach in New Zealand, Kenny McFadden:
"Next year he wants to step it up and be more of a role to the team," he said.
"This year he focused on defence protecting the rim doing the little things necessary to get some court time, next year he's looking to get into that starting line-up and more importantly try and come home with a championship ring."
That all makes sense and as I wrote on numerous occasions, there's really no reason Adams shouldn't be starting next year. It was reasonable for the Thunder to stick with Perkins as his experience and (occasional) rebounding were an asset. But Adams just did more with the minutes he was given and overall, was a more effective player. Perkins' awful PER of 6.32 was nearly doubled by the former Pitt star (11.25) and it just makes more sense to go with the younger Adams.
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