Pitt product Steven Adams was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the New Orleans Pelicans during the NBA’s brief offseason, and over the last few days, he posted the first double-double of his Pelicans career and followed it up with another. And thanks in part to Adams’ efforts, the Pelicans logged back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
Fittingly, Adams’ first double-double in a Pelicans uniform came in a New Year’s Eve road matchup with the Thunder, and the 6’11”, 265-pound center’s 14 points and 10 rebounds helped New Orleans dominate Oklahoma City 113-80. The second matchup would be a tighter affair, as the Pelicans faced the Raptors at home and dealt them a 120-116 defeat. And in that contest, Adams came up with 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
The showdown in Oklahoma City was the better of Adams’ two most recent games, as he figured prominently into the Pelicans’ game plan and scored his 14 points on a season-high seven field goals. The Big Kiwi also played a clean game, with zero turnovers and just one foul call, and he was the lone Pelican to record both a block and a steal in the matchup.
The Pelicans-Thunder game was Adams’ first in Oklahoma City since he was traded by the organization that drafted him into the league with the 12th overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft. To commemorate his return, the Thunder posted a tribute video online and cranked up the artificial crowd noise when Adams was introduced as a member of the Pelicans in the empty Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Although it took Adams a few games to find his form in New Orleans, it seems he has and that he got the better end of the deal that sent him away from the Thunder. That move came during a fire sale for the Thunder that also sent Chris Paul to the Suns and Danilo Gallinari to the Hawks. Since then, the Pelicans have looked solid and now sit at 4-2 early in the season, while the Thunder have gone 2-3.