Adams Fine Heading Into Game 3
By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
Thunder fans probably had to catch their breath when they saw big center Steven Adams crash down on the court a couple of times Wednesday night.
Once he went down when Warriors backup center Festus Ezeli landed on his back pushing him down to all fours and then a bit later he was down again after taking a knee where guys really don’t like taking knees.
“I’m just trying to recover,” he told reporters after Friday’s practice, then he smiled and said “but I’m still a man, that’s all the matters, that’s what I was concerned about.”
His voice didn’t sound an octave or two higher after being kneed in the groin either. And Adams said his back feels fine now after a slight spasm when Ezeli landed on him.
But his teammates, who know all too well what it feels like when you get hit below the belt, were a bit concerned about him for a couple of minutes Wednesday night.
“He got hit in a sensitive spot last game so we were just making sure he was all right,” Kevin Durant said. “But he’s endured all the physical play throughout the whole season, so it was nothing new to him.”
Adams also wasn’t wearing the wrap on his right thumb he’s sported the last couple games and practices and head coach Billy Donovan said he is still “dealing with that thumb but I don’t think it’s anything too serious it’s just something that gets aggravated here or there. He’s held up pretty well so far and I think physically he feels pretty good.”
Donovan said Adams hasn’t had to be held out during any workout session and appears to be fine moving forward.
Something that surprised even the Thunder was Golden State’s ability to outrebound them in Game 2.
“I think they got all the 50-50 balls on the offensive glass,” Durant said. “It kinda surprises us when guys go running in there because we’re so good in transition, but they were in there and able to get their hands on some basketballs.”
Durant said that’s something the Thunder have to get corrected for Game 3.
“We can’t have that,” he said. “It’s on us to make adjustments, boxing guys out and putting bodies on them and getting those rebounds. Simple as that.”
It certainly sounds simple and the Thunder have been able to dominate the glass all season. Donovan was also impressed with what he saw from the Warriors in Game 2.
“They were very, very physical they were very aggressive going to the backboard,” he told reporters. “Going into the half they got back about 50 percent of their missed shots so we have to do a better job there.”
The Thunder also have to figure out a way to get Andre Roberson more shots, or at least swing the ball to him more, if the Warriors are going to leave him unguarded as they pretty much have in these first two games, allowing Draymond Green to roam around and create havoc.
“Yeah no question,” Donovan agreed. “We’ve gotta hit the open man and I have a lot of confidence in Andre. We’ve gotta move the basketball to the open man.”
And Donovan admitted Green has been a problem.
“Draymond has done a great job providing a lot of help to a lot of different people. He’s kinda been able to roam around and when he’s doing that we’ve gotta be able to recognize the way the floor is balanced and we’ve gotta do a good job or making good decisions about where the ball needs to come out.”
And that doesn’t always mean a shot from Roberson who is hitting 43.2 percent of his shots overall and 27.3 percent on threes during the playoffs, though those numbers have jumped to 62.5 percent overall against the Warriors and 66.7 percent (2-for-3) on threes.
“He may not be open for a shot but he may be open to create an opportunity for someone else.”
And that goes back to those good decisions Donovan was talking about. The Thunder have to make them Sunday night.