Steven Adams has been ruled out for the game versus the Clippers tonight and has been entered into the NBA Concussion Protocol Program.
The OKC Thunder were having a great night in Sacramento until Steven Adams hit the court – quite literally. By night’s end Russell Westbrook had recorded his league leading twentieth triple-double of the season. When Westbrook achieves that mark the Thunder are 16-4. It’s likely OKC will need a triple-double tonight given Steven Adams won’t be in the line-up as news today confirmed he did suffer a concussion in the egregious throw down to the floor last night in Sacramento.
And further, analyzed in the TI Game Day Analysis precisely what the Thunder would need to focus on versus the Clippers should Adams be unavailable.
If there is a silver lining for the OKC Thunder it’s that Blake Griffin is not expected to play. Combine that with Enes Kanter’s recent surge in productivity and if offers hope this evening in Los Angeles.
Steven Adams in the locker room after hitting his head on the floor. Boogie Cousins assisted that fall. https://t.co/8GGEYppqJL
The real problem will be if Steven Adams requires a lengthy period to pass the Protocol test. Although the Thunder only have 2 games this week they are against the Clippers on this second night of a back-to-back and Wednesday versus the Warriors. With all due respect to tonight’s opponent, a Blake-less Clippers squad isn’t as worrisome as a Warriors match without Adams.
Adams is averaging 12.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks on the season in 29.9 minutes per game. But it’s his rim protection and defense the OKC Thunder will miss most.
Worse, with the Warriors on tap for Wednesday there is no guarantee Adams will be able to suit up for that game given he’ll need to clear the concussion protocol testing first.
It’s assumed Enes Kanter will be his replacement tonight, though the Thunder have not confirmed that replacement. Coach Billy Donovancould also insert Joffrey Lauvergne if he wants to keep the bench unit mostly intact. Expect Kanter to play increased minutes either way.
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Thunderous Intentions will keep you apprised of Steven Adams updates as he moves through the Concussion Protocol Program.