Die-hard Miami Heat fans may remember that a pre-draft workout in which Bam Adebayo made 60 out of 100 3-point attempts helped convince Heat officials to pick the Kentucky big man with the 14th overall pick in 2017. Now, Adebayo hasn’t shown that range since starting his NBA career. He rarely even takes a 3.
But now, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo have a bet. Every time Adebayo goes an NBA game without shooting a 3, he’ll owe Butler $500.
A 3-point shot would, of course, turn Adebayo into an even more dynamic player. In Miami’s blowout loss to the Philadelphia 76ers Nov. 23, Joel Embiid ignored Adebayo when he got the ball at the 3-point line, preventing players from making cuts for easy baskets. The Heat offense stagnated as a result.
This sequence jumped out to me last night. Embiid playing back off Bam really limited Miami's ability to use him as a hub. All the ball movement we've seen was jammed up, just 6 cuts for a team averaging 12. pic.twitter.com/NHK1bCKqVB— Couper Moorhead (@CoupNBA) November 24, 2019
A respectable jump shot would force opposing bigs to defend him at the 3-point line, opening up the floor for the other Heat players.
The difference it makes when the opposing center plays up on Bam. Remember that Bam hit a couple 15-footers in the first half. pic.twitter.com/g5zVSgAR5w— Couper Moorhead (@CoupNBA) December 4, 2019
A 3-point shot is the one missing element of Adebayo’s game that could turn him into Miami’s version of Draymond Green. He already has so many tools in his arsenal — the ability to defend multiple positions, great passing ability, a high motor. He’s already becoming an All-Star candidate. With a 3-point shot, Adebayo becomes a key cog on a championship team.
Erik Spoelstra encouraged Chris Bosh to expand his shooting to 3-point range after the 2010-11 season, and that helped open the floor for Dwyane Wade and LeBron James to attack the basket. Now, Adebayo hasn’t shown the accuracy on mid-range jumpers that Bosh showed early in his career. Can he develop into a 3-point shooter opponents will honor in mid-season?
Well, $500 every game is a pretty good incentive for Adebayo to work on it.