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Can Bam Adebayo show Team USA they were wrong by leading the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals?

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Four Boston Celtics were selected for Team USA, now Adebayo and Heat face them on the big stage.

2019 USA Basketball Men’s National Team Training Camp - Las Vegas Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Last summer Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat was cut from the USA Basketball senior roster in favor of Derrick White and Marvin Bagley III according to ESPN, “After the game, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo announced Thaddeus Young and Bam Adebayo had been cut from the senior roster. Select Team members Derrick White and Marvin Bagley III were promoted to the senior roster and will join the team next week when training continues in Los Angeles.”

The 12-man World Cup roster included four players from the Boston Celtics: Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker. Can Adebayo and his Miami teammates right the wrong from last summer? Which team will represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals?

A causal look reveals Celtics defeated the Heat in two of their three meetings, which is good. It always helps when an opponent underestimates his foe. Meanwhile the Celtics boast a talented crew headlined by Tatum, who had impressive outings against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round.

Although slotted into the power forward slot, at 6’8” tall and 210 lbs, he’s the same weight as Derrick Jones Jr., who’s listed at 6’6” and 210 lbs with a 7’ wingspan. Although on the light side for a forward, Tatum butters his bread as an elite jump shooter from distance. The video shows Tatum does best off the dribble, which doesn’t always work well in the restricted area or corners as shown by numbers from NBA Stats.

RESTRICTED AREA

  • Marcus Smart __ 82% FG
  • Daniel Theis __ 73% FG
  • Jaylen Brown __ 70% FG
  • Kemba Walker __ 62% FG
  • Jayson Tatum __ 57% FG

IN THE PAINT

  • Kemba Walker __ 61% FG
  • Daniel Theis __ 50% FG
  • Marcus Smart __ 48% FG
  • Jayson Tatum __ 40% FG
  • Jaylen Brown __ 24% FG

CORNER 3

  • Marcus Smart __ 50% FG
  • Jayson Tatum __ 33% FG
  • Jaylen Brown __ 26% FG

ABOVE THE BREAK 3

  • Jayson Tatum __ 43% FG
  • Jaylen Brown __ 34% FG
  • Marcus Smart __ 29% FG
  • Kemba Walker __ 27% FG
  • Daniel Theis __ 16% FG

Brad Stevens loves his wings, but the Heat have bigger and stronger players with quick hands to guard them in the bubble: Adebayo 6’9”, 255 lbs, Jimmy Butler 6’7”, 230 lbs; Jae Crowder 6’6”, 235 lbs; Solomon Hill 6’6”, 225 lbs; Andre Iguodala 6’6”, 215 lbs; Jones Jr. 6’6”, 210 lbs; even KZ Okpala 6’8”, 215 lbs.

Adebayo didn’t get an opportunity to showcase his talents last summer. Now he’ll be on the big stage with the Heat to prove doubters wrong about him and the team.