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Advanced stats show Steven Adams has major impact as box-out king

Steven Adams, James Harden

Steven Adams was left as the sole big man in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s lineup, as the ‘Stache Bros were disbanded prior to the start of the regular season, sending Enes Kanter to the New York Knicks in return for Carmelo Anthony.

So far, it has proven GM Sam Presti has made the right move, as Adams leads the league in box-outs, one of the advanced metrics the NBA has incorporated this season.

Adams has 616 box outs through 54 games played this season, the second-best? — is Kanter with 521 in 55 appearances.

Kanter and Adams would torment teams in the offensive and defensive glass last season, as a frontcourt tandem that would inhale rebound after rebound.

Though neither Adams nor Kanter is incredibly gifted with athleticism, both big men were excellent fundamentally, carving out space with their bodies and keeping the opposition away from rebounding position — securing possessions for the Thunder.

In addition to that, Adams has proven the most versatile of the two, contesting a whopping 203 3-point attempts this season, despite playing at the center position — a craft he’s worked intensely at during the offseason.

As Anthony’s rebounding prowess has taken a steep decline upon landing in OKC, Adams has flourished, averaging a healthy 13.9 points and 9.1 rebounds — and while he’s ways away from rebounding leaders like Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons, it’s his ability to keep the opposition away from the glass that gives the likes of Russell Westbrook the opportunity to sky for his team-leading 9.4 rebounds per game.