NBA: Dame Valerie Adams 'super proud' of underfire Steven Adams after playoffs exit

Dame Valerie Adams has reached out to younger brother Steven, after his OKC Thunder were eliminated in the first round of NBA playoffs for the fourth straight season. 

Adams' Thunder went down 104-102 to Houston Rockets in game seven of their Western Conference series and the Kiwi was blasted by armchair viewers on social media afterwards. 

"Lol I was thinking they hype this man's strength so much, but he can't get boards against 6'5 players," says one. "Damn that's tragic."

"Don't have to be skilled, just 6'11," says another.

Criticism was especially aimed at Adams messing up the final play, as the Thunder needed one shot for victory or to send the match to overtime. 

The play was never designed for Adams, but with only five seconds to inbound the ball, he was only one open for a pass, which was deflected away as time expired.

Across the seven games, Adams averaged 10.1 points and 11.6 rebounds. 

The 2.13m centre is an easy target for disgruntled fans and, as post mortems begin, he will inevitably become the subject of off-season trade speculation.

Earlier in the series, Adams was also criticised by The Ringer's Ryen Russillo, who labelled the 27-year-old as "soft" and "disappointing". 

But regardless of the outcome, Dame Valerie - twice Olympic shot put gold medallist and eight-time world champion - has praised her brother's achievements. 

"Super proud of you, keep your head up," she writes on Instagram, along with a photo of the siblings in Switzerland.

Steven Adams is entering the final year of his Thunder contract and will make US$27.5m (NZ $42.5m) in 2020/21.