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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Why Steven Adams Is the Secret Behind Jaa Morant’s Rise as the NBA’s Finest All-NBA Superstar

Ja Morant rose to superstardom this season with an electric, jaw-dropping playing style that instantly turned him into a league-wide fan favorite.

Anyone who watched the point guard’s stellar playoff debut in 2021 probably saw it coming. And yet it’s one thing to do it for a few play-in games and a single playoff series without any real pressure. Doing it for an entire season and raising a fearsome fringe playoff team into a real championship contender? It really takes something special.

Of course, no star soared without help, and Morant’s rise coincided with the arrival of a certain big man who had a long history of getting the most out of his backcourt teammates.

Enter Steven Adams.

MORE: Grizzlies-Wolves predictions for first round

Yes, Adams embodies the Grizzlies grit n grind ethos of teams of the past, but the New Zealander also has a knack for being able to unlock the best of the point guards he’s played with. The track record speaks for itself.

Russell Westbrook transformed into the MVP as the centerpiece of the team, anchored by Adams.

Chris Paul began his career on the team anchored by Adams in Oklahoma City.

Shai grew up as a rising young star on the team anchored by Gilgius-Alexander Adams.

Even Zion Williamson tapped into an unstoppable never-before-seen point guard archetype on a team — you probably know where I’m going with this — anchored by Adams.

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What started as a coincidence turned into a trend and with the rise of Morant, what became a trend is perhaps far more significant. What is it really about everyone’s favorite sociable, quotable, high mountain of a man who repeatedly opens up another level to his peers?

Adams is often referred to as an old-school center, in a time when the big guys played basketball underfoot, rarely – if at all – ventured to the perimeter on offense, and being the originator of the team. Ignored. The defensive side of the court.

There’s more to Adams’ game than just brute force.

Adams is no stranger to playing with a modern-day point guard—one who is as careful to attack the basket as he is to set up teammates.

Steven Adams with the Thunder and the Pelicans

He played six seasons with Westbrook at Oklahoma City, where both made the playoffs five times.

And while he didn’t win it because of Adams, Westbrook’s MVP in 2016-17 certainly helped Adams join the team, set the screen, and make room for Westbrook to flourish. All those rebellions that drag Oscar Robertson to Mr. Triple-Double don’t happen without Adams selflessly clearing the way for doing the dirty work, boxing out, and grabbing Westbrook and leaving.

MORE: Steven Adams epitomizes ‘grit and grind’ better than anyone

Adams has also proven to be one of the league’s best passers, often finding the cutting, or open, man.

It was not until Westbrook had left the business through that Adams’ qualities were recognized by the wider basketball public. When the Thunder dealt Westbrook to Houston in the summer of 2019, they got back an aging Chris Paul who was battling injuries, struggling to stay on the floor and looking well past his prime .

Naturally, Adams and CP3 fit in perfectly with the point god and rejuvenate their careers in MVP voting for the first time in half a decade and finish in the top 10. In Adams, Paul paired with a center that matched his own no-nonsense approach on both ends and enabled him to do what he does best.

Beyond Paul, the Thunder also welcomed Shai Gilgius-Alexander from the Clippers in a trade for Paul George, and in his first season with the Thunder, playing alongside Adams, he nearly doubled his scoring output and increased his The rebound more than doubled the average.

Most importantly, the two worked perfectly together in the pick-and-roll, making it a powerful weapon for coach Billy Donovan.

SN NBA Awards: MVP | Defensive Player of the Year

Neither partnership had a chance to progress as Adams was introduced to the Grizzlies after just one season with the New Orleans and then after just one season with the Pelicans.

Then it happened again in New Orleans. While Adams was not the best fit with power forward Zion Williamson, he helped point guard Zion Williamson experiment, which took the entire league by storm.

Add it all up and there was a reason Memphis wanted to add a veteran of Adams’ caliber to their squad.

How Steven Adams Unlocked Jay Morant With The Grizzlies

This season, Adam’s 6.9 points is his lowest offensive output since his rookie campaign, although scoring has never been high on his list of priorities, he would rather set the table than sit down to eat himself. .

His 5.1 field goal attempts per game are the lowest in the league since his third season, but his screening, Passing (career-high 3.4 assists per game), and rebounding (career-high 10 assists per game), have all been positive for the Grizzlies, and in particular, Morant, who more than likely ended up on an All-NBA team. It’s this season.

“Obviously he’s an elite screener,” Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said earlier this season. “It frees up the ball-handler, the rolling ability. But the passing ability, the dribble hand-off ability, he’s getting comfortable in our system.

“We try not to put anyone in the box or give them too much to do. We say just go out there and play. Here are the actions we’re trying to play, you read that right. Often that is not making the correct read.

It’s also no coincidence that Morant is enjoying his best statistical season with Adams managing the paint.

Take a look at these on/off numbers for some comparison.

With Adams on the floor creating significant space, Morant’s finishing on the rim improves significantly—he averages six attempts within five feet of the basket when Adams is on the floor.

However, when is that closed? This number is halved to three.

Adams finished the regular season leading the league in total box outs (290), tied for third in the league in screen assists, and his 344 offensive rebounds were good for the best in the league as well – second-placed Mitchell More than 50 Robinsons.

Adams’ normal game frees Morant to play at his highest proficiency, with the Grizzlies ready to go deeper in the playoffs.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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