VIDEO: Steven Adams hits Chris Paul after the whistle... or does he?
What looks like a dirty play from a dirty player actually isn't when you start to look at it up close.
Oklahoma City Thunder forward/center Steven Adams has a bad reputation. The rookie has gotten into conflicts with players throughout the year, most recently with Zach Randolph. Randolph felt Adams hit him below the belt on a play, Randolph retaliated, and was suspended for Game 7 vs. the Thunder. In Game 2 vs. the Clippers, Adams got under the Clippers' skin. He got into an altercation with Blake Griffin, and then, this happened with point guard Chris Paul.
Now this looks bad on first look, but two things.
1. I ran it back and Adams leaves his feet at 3.13 seconds in. At 3.33 seconds, the whistle blows. Adams had already left his feet and so couldn't stop himself from landing near Paul.
2. It looks like he elbows him in the head, right? But check it out when we slow it down.
Adams a. tries to avoid him, and b. doesn't make contact with the elbow. So why does Paul fall forward like he's been hit on the back of the head/neck/back? So, yeah, superb flop, Chris Paul. You can argue he deserves the tech anyway just for how he lands, which wasn't exactly "Oh, I better not hit Chris Paul" and more "I guess I won't hit Chris Paul," but there was nothing malicious here.
Adams is a reckless player who is going to spend a lot of his career suspended. But this one was worse than it looked. Adams was whistled for a technical and the Thunder went on to win comfortably in Game 2.
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