18 January 2012
Steven Adams made his American debut over the weekend, and as can be expected with a 17 year old, it was a mixed bag.
First, there was a match-up with the #1 player junior in the country, Nerlens Noel. How'd he do? Just a ho-hum 24 points, 13 rebounds. Nothing to see here.
But in what was his big television debut (even though it was ESPN3.com), Adams disappointed after taking an elbow to the head. Cue the panic (via CBS Sports):
Adams did show flashes of his potential, though. He is very good on the defensive end, with a nose for the ball. Adams was active on the offensive glass, getting two baskets off of putbacks. He moves well and demonstrated some athleticism – although he also seemed stiff on other plays. Moreover, he didn’t seem like he had a ton of post moves in his repertoire, leading [NBADraftExpress.com's Jonathan] Givony to say that Adams needs guards around him who can create shots and open looks around the rim for him.
This is the last thing Pittsburgh fans want to hear, especially after a seven-game losing streak and an 0-6 start in Big East play, but Adams will not be a savior next season.
“People need to temper their expectations of him,” Givony said. “He’ll be a 15-20-minute per game type of player. People expect him to come in and be a Jared Sullinger or an Anthony Davis. That’s not him.”
While Adams still might end up as a top-five pick due to his ceiling, it might be a couple of years before we see that on a consistent basis.
The local write-up properly mentions that Adams pretty much has just gotten off the plane, so any sort of grand analysis of his game in America might be just a tad early.
As the article properly points out, Adams has had a whopping 5 practices with his team and really hasn't played competitively in a while. Any sort of talk that Adams isn't what he has been made out to to be should be tempered, at least until there's a larger sample size.
And I'm not alone in that opinion. After the article was published, Twitter was abuzz, with even Notre Dame Prep's rivals Brewster Academy getting in on it:
Finally, SNY's Adam Zagoria did a bit of a feature piece on the New Zealander (via Zagsblog):
Yes, Adams put up big numbers and efforts against Tilton and St. Thomas More over the last five days and yes, he probably could be one-and-done with Dixon. With that, the truly glorious thing about Adams right now is that he doesn’t seem to care. The NBA does not appear to be something he is concerned with at the moment and if you ask Hurd, the kid is more concerned with assimilating to America, making friends and of course, playing his guitar.
On a recent ride in the team van, the Crusaders were listening to the song ‘Toes’ by the Zac Brown Band. Adams took a liking to the song, downloaded it when the team got back to campus and was playing it on his guitar within a day. Adams may be a millionaire in 18 months, but for now, his naivete despite all the ability and the opportunities that are in front of him is refreshing.
“I just want to worry about what’s happening now,” Adams said. “If you worry about the future, you tend to miss stuff now.”
Prepare for "Steven Adams plays the guitar" to be the new "Sam Young writes poetry."
Seriously though, what a huge, huge get for Pitt. Thankfully, here's something to look forward to.
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