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Thunder forward Paul George thinks Steven Adams can be a 20-10 player

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George had some tall praise for his giant teammate Steven Adams, noting he could even be a 20-10 player under the right circumstances.

“He’s just tough, he brings that toughness to this team,” George told The Oklahoman on Thursday. “I think Steve-O has a lot to his game that he is yet to tap. A lot of untapped potential from an offensive standpoint.

He can really be a 20-10 guy. I think he defers to Russ, to myself, to the guys who are ‘the scorers on this team’ — but I think Steve-O is, or can be, one of the best scoring bigs in this league.”

Many Thunder fans have seen big scoring nights from Steven Adams from time to time, the annual 9-of-10 from the field outing alongside an efficient night from the free-throw line that gives him 20-plus points and a decent helping of rebounds, usually sparking the Thunder to a win.

While he has yet to score 20 points in a game this young season, the Thunder were 10-3 when Adams scored 20 or more points last season — a sign that unexpected contributions are usually welcome for this team.

Adams (calf tightness) missed Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Suns as a late scratch, but has gotten off to a brilliant start to the season, averaging 14 points and 12.3 rebounds per game.

The Kiwi posted a career-high in scoring (13.9), rebounding (9.0) and field goal percentage (62.9 percent) last season through 76 games, noting that the best is yet to come for the 25-year-old big man. Paul George and the rest of the Thunder know how important he is to their team.