Steven Adams under fire as Pelicans continue to struggle

Source: 1 NEWS

Kiwi basketball star Steven Adams has received scathing criticism by some members of the American media for his performances for the struggling New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA this season.

Adams, 27, is a recent addition to the Pelicans, having been traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder prior to the start of the current campaign.

The Kiwi big man immediately received a huge two-year $48 million contract extension as the Pelicans saw his potential as a veteran leader alongside 2019 number one draft pick Zion Williamson.

But the New Orleans franchise has struggled to find consistency this season, languishing in 11th spot in the Western Conference with a 17-24 record.

Now some members of the American media have singled out Adams as being one of the reasons for the Pelicans' failures.

During The Ringer's popular NBA podcast The Mismatch - one of the highest charting sports podcasts on Spotify - hosts Chris Vernon and Kevin O'Connor did not hold back their criticism of Adams over the weekend.

"Steven Adams isn't as good anymore, he's just not," O'Connor said.

"He's a player certainly much more useful in a type of basketball that does not exist anymore," Vernon agreed.

"How many guys around the league remind you of Steven Adams? None? They don’t catch lobs, they don’t block a million shots . . . I think that tells you about where he stands."

Adams is averaging 8.1 points and 9.1 rebounds on 62 per cent shooting this season with the Pelicans, but O"Connor questioned his future with the franchise.

"Pelicans fans seem so sick of Eric Bledsoe and Steven Adams, it's crazy," O'Connor said.

"He doesn't fit with the Pelicans."

The NBA trade deadline is this Friday and although it is unlikely the Pelicans will move Adams so quickly after acquiring him, O'Connor felt his talents would be more useful elsewhere.

"Adams does have value playing in an offence with a downhill pick-and-roll guard. If you put Adams on Portland he could be effective screening for [All Star point guard] Damian Lillard, rolling down the lane and finishing in the paint."