The basketball, looking smaller than it normally does, twirled in the massive fingers of a gigantic hand. Fading stitches, like the seam on a baseball, run from the knuckle down to the wrist on that hand – Steven Adams’ right one – evidence of surgery after a broken bone many years ago. That right hand is the one the Thunder center uses most often to shoot, dribble and block shots. With 1.1 seconds left in regulation, that hand had one more duty.
After shuffling his feet along the baseline readying himself to make an inbounds pass, Adams steadied his base, arched his back and heaved the ball downcourt.