Thunder's Thabeet suspended one game for head-butting Stiemsma

By Royce Young | NBA writer

Steven Adams is officially the Thunder's backup center.

At least for the season opener.

The league announced Monday that Hasheem Thabeet has been suspended one game without pay for head-butting the Pelicans' Greg Stiemsma last week.

On the play, Thabeet got tangled with Stiemsma with Thabeet eventually lowering his head right at the Pelicans' center. On the play, no flagrant or technical foul was called.

Thabeet served as Kendrick Perkins' primary backup last season appearing in 66 games and started four. Perkins hasn't played since the Thunder's preseason opener as he's been healing a dislocated finger. Perkins is expected to play in the Thunder's preseason game against Phoenix on Tuesday, though.

With Thabeet out, the backup minutes will likely turn to the rookie Adams, who the Thunder selected 12th overall out of Pitt. Adams has been impressive this preseason and may have won the backup role anyway, having posted a double-double with 15 rebounds and another 10-rebound performance Sunday against Utah. Per 36 minutes, Adams is averaging almost 14 rebounds.

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