The pick and roll partnership between Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder is an exceedingly fruitful one. On Tuesday evening, the duo was back to their old tricks and, this time, Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside was the victim on the receiving end of a thunderous jam from Adams.
Oklahoma City already held a formidable 16-point lead midway through the second quarter when Westbrook and Adams went to work. Adams set a high screen and, after something of a slow-developing play, Westbrook flipped the ball toward the rim in his direction. The $100 million big man picked things up from there, virtually climbing the back of Whiteside to dunk while also drawing a foul.
In fact, the collision between Adams and Whiteside even produced a piggy back ride, as Oklahoma City’s big man held himself up on the rim in order to prevent further damage. Somehow, Adams and Westbrook have become accustomed to making the fantastic seem ordinary but Whiteside can vouch for the fact that this alley-oop connection was anything but pedestrian. Given his pension for throwing shade at those who “just catch lobs,” the play probably did not sit particularly well with Whiteside, either.
Whether or not Adams meant to use Whiteside as a landing pad is unknown, but it does look like he wasn’t sure this was a good idea.
The best thing about this picture is that it looks like Whiteside didn’t realize Adams was on his back. We can’t blame him because, though, there’s no way that he expected to give anyone a piggy back ride.