You also can't underestimate the impact of point guard Ricky Rubio, who nearly had a triple-double in Game 2 with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists.
"Having my name next to his name is an honor", Rubio said.
"We all have phones, we all have social media so of course we're aware of it but what else was he supposed to say?"
"I think it just means I'm doing my job", Simmons, not getting carried away with a rookie year that places him alongside Johnson and another great, Oscar Robertson, said.
Adams played 37 of the 48 minutes in the first game of the best-of-seven series, collecting 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists - the Thunder ran out winners 116-108 in the contest.
Paul George told reporters Friday that he has "made huge strides" in recovering from the right hip contusion he suffered during Game 1 of the Thunder's first-round playoff series against Utah.
Now, we wait and see if Westbrook can hold true to his word of shutting down Rubio in Monday's Game 4.
Westbrook, himself, is averaging 20.7 points, 11.0 rebounds and 10.0 assists in the series. This has been a relatively high-scoring series, with games averaging 213 points, and with Westbrook sure to create a fast-paced game, this one will go over the bookies' mark.
In fairness, Dante Exum had a relatively solid Game 1 with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting, but it came with three turnovers and a plus/minus of minus-1.
"Game 1 wasn't what I expected as far as me shooting the ball", Rubio said. "We haven't had two games this year where we've had to battle foul trouble with him like we've had to in Games 2 and 3". "I wanted that win, so I had to do what I had to do to get that win and put the team in the position to win the series". The Jazz dominated OKC down low in Game 2, using a monstrous 20-point, 16-rebound effort from Derrick Favors to buoy their winning effort.
"You got to keep pushing it", transition aficionado Corey Brewer said. "I thought Joe just had a more aggressive mindset tonight", Snyder said.
Some parts of the game, no matter how much time is spent refining them, just seem to slide the wrong way. With Adams out of the game, the Jazz outscored the Thunder, 30-14.
Tip-off is at 9:00 PM CT and the game will be televised on both ESPN and Fox Sports Oklahoma.
The Thunder center is consistently effective at defending without fouling.