Poise and composure are words not typically associated with rookies in the NBA, but throughout the 2013-14 season, Steven Adams displayed both of those qualities regularly.
The center who played one year at the University of Pittsburgh before being selected 12th overall by the Thunder in the 2013 NBA Draft saw significant playing time during his first season with the Thunder, registering a point-rebound double-double in just his fifth professional game, and then another in a Game 6 closeout victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Throughout the year, Adams progressed on both ends of the floor, eventually shooting 68.9 percent from the floor in the playoffs while also playing solid defense.
“In terms of progress, we set out a routine and just stuck through it throughout the whole year and kept it consistent,” Adams said. “They do that with every player, so I was just following the same thing.”
Heading into the summer and next season, Adams will continue working with the Thunder’s assistant coaches and be participating in Summer League in Orlando in early July. Through film study and on-court work to hone defensive fundamentals and positioning on the offensive end, Adams hopes to continue developing to become a well-rounded player next year.
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 still have a ton more to learn,” Adams explained. “I think I made a good step this year. It’s nowhere near what I think I need to learn and get into good habits and be as smart as going and working out on my own. I’m definitely going to stick around them as much as I can and try to get as much knowledge and try to learn the game.”