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I’ll admit it. I didn’t think Steven Adams was going to be the immediate impact on the organization that he was. I said:

We wouldn’t see him for maybe two years in Oklahoma City. Well, not in any real minutes.

Adams started day one and has not relinquished that, sans injury, since. HIs rebounding rate has improved every season and this season has started to reach historic rates.

Not only is he shattering SuperSonic records. He’s rising in the NBA’s rebounding records, too.

When you include the SuperSonic records, Marvin Webster is the single-season leader with 361 offensive rebounds. Webster grabbed 361 in the 1977-78 season. Through the All-Star Break, Adams has 283 offensive boards.

“There’s not many guys that physically can match him in strength as well as athletically jump with him,” teammate Paul George said. “He’s in a category of his own, obviously.”

At this current rebounding pace of 5.3 per game, Adams should shatter Webster’s record and be near 400 offensive rebounds. Adams would be only the ninth player in NBA history to pull down at least 400 offensive rebounds.

“I don’t think one man can stop [Adams] in the paint,” Carmelo Anthony said.

The OKC Kiwi rebounding has been huge. His 9.1 rebounds per game would be the second most in a single-season, only behind Russell Westbrook’s single-season record of 10.7 rebounds per game last season.

“It feels like we can take any shot we want,” George said. “Steve’s going to go get it. We feel that. I feel that, Russ feels that, Melo feels that. It puts us in a better rhythm knowing that there’s a guy that’s going to, whether it’s a good or a bad shot we take, it’ll possibly end up as a basket anyway with Steve down there. It allows us to be more aggressive.”

Because of Adams, the Thunder are No. 1 in the NBA in offensive rebounding percentage at 28.3 percent. They’re also No. 1 with 12.6 offensive boards per game.

It’s not a coincidence Adams is averaging 5.6 offensive rebounds in wins and 4.8 in losses. Oklahoma City since Dec. 1 is averaging 13.2 offensive boards. The Thunder averaged 11.1 offensive boards the previous two months.

Adams, is a large part in that, not just on the offensive glass.

Oklahoma City grabs 78.7 percent of rebounds (7th in the NBA) when Adams in on the floor, compared to 76.1% when he’s off (27th in the NBA).

“My whole thing is we need to get onto the next possession,” Adams said. “Because I don’t want to play defense. It’s so f—ing difficult, mate. So, as long as we get the ball and we can stop playing defense, that’s great.”

The Thunder ride and die with Russell Westbrook. It may be more time to realize the Thunder ride or die with the New Zealand boy wonder, too.

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Chuck Chaney

Founder & Editor-in-Chief.
Member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.