After playing his first seven NBA seasons with Oklahoma City, Steven Adams makes his first road appearance there Thursday night when the Thunder host their New Orleans Pelicans.
” It’s not like he’s died or anything. I’m going to see them again, so that’s okay,” Adams said of Oklahoma City after he was traded in a November deal that included George Hill, four other players and picks from draft for the Thunder.
Adams was one of the biggest pieces in the Thunder’s offseason review that also included trades from Chris Paul, Danilo Gallantry and Dennis Schroder, among others.
Oklahoma City GM Sam Presto had gotten used to trading big pieces in recent years, especially when dealing with Russell Westbrook and Paul George during the 2019 offseason.
” I think the first thing we need to recognize in these situations is we have to put the best interest of the organization first,” Presto said of the three-team trade that sent Adams packing after 530 games with the Thunder. “That does not facilitate the decision in any way.
” It was not my best day or job, I can tell you that. But I am passionate about tirelessly pursuing a bright future for this organization. If you feel comfortable during that period of time, I don’t know if ‘you are doing anything that leads to being different.” .
Adams is averaging 8.3 points and 8.5 rebounds in four games with New Orleans. He had 11 points and eight rebounds in Tuesday’s 111-86 loss at Phoenix, where the Pelicans shot just 12.5 percent (3-of-24) from 3-point range.
Since hitting 19 of 42 3-pointers in the season-opening win over the Toronto Raptors, New Orleans had scored just 18 of 83 attempts (21.7 percent) from behind the arc.
Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy said the hot shots in Game 1 masked other problems on offense that have been apparent in every game except Sunday’s 98-95 win over the San Antonio Spurs.
” Our offense right now is completely baffled,” Van Gundy said. “Aside from the San Antonio game, we are not dealing with the ball, we are not getting good movement of the ball, we are not filtering. We really are not doing much good on offense.”
The Thunder have lost two straight home games by a total of 12 points since winning their first road game at Charlotte.
Oklahoma City did not have two starters in Tuesday’s 118-107 loss to Orlando: Hill and Al Oxford.
Oxford should be back Thursday after missing the Magic game by resting in the second of a back-to-back. Hill sat up due to neck spasms.
With Oxford and Hill out, coach Mark Daigneault left with Justin Jackson and Isaiah Roby in the starting lineup after neither of them played in the first two games of the season.
Roby, who was scoreless in three previous NBA games in 2019-20, seized the opportunity with 19 points and seven rebounds.
” These guys are all in the NBA for a reason,” Daigneault said. ” They are all here for a season, and we never want to underestimate one of our own players.”
–Field level media
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.