Earlier today, the Miami Heat announced that Bam Adebayo will have surgery on the torn UCL in right thumb this weekend. Adrian Wojnarowski said that his expect timeline to return will be four-to-six weeks.
ESPN Sources: The expected timeline on a return for Miami's Bam Adebayo with looming thumb surgery: four-to-six weeks.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 1, 2021
And Jimmy Butler was ruled out of the game, his second consecutive missed game, after sustaining a tailbone contusion in last Saturday’s victory over the Chicago Bulls. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel said that he is also expected to miss Miami’s next two road games.
Initial impressions are that Jimmy Butler also will miss the Friday-Saturday road games in Indiana and Milwaukee.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) December 1, 2021
A tough stretch for the Heat started Wednesday. And Miami failed against the improved Cleveland Cavaliers, suffering their second straight home blowout loss 111-85.
This time, a 17-2 run from the Cavaliers in the first quarter turned a 10-10 tie into a 27-12 hole — similar to the first-quarter scoring drought that doomed Miami against the Denver Nuggets Monday night. And though a nice second quarter from Max Strus made things interesting briefly, Miami’s offense was too anemic to mount a proper comeback.
Back-to-back Strus 3s has the crowd HYPE! pic.twitter.com/opF8JZsPME— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 2, 2021
Miami made some runs in the second half — P.J. Tucker knocked down two corner 3s in the third quarter, and the Heat went on a 12-0 run in the fourth — but the Cavaliers quickly righted the ship every time. Overall, Wednesday night’s game was an tough one to watch for Heat fans.
After shooting 1-for-9 against the Nuggets, Duncan Robinson went 0-for-7 overall and 0-for-6 from deep tonight. His shooting futility ended his streak of 69 consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer. Robinson’s marked downturn in shooting is undoubtedly the biggest puzzlement of Miami’s 2021-22 season. Without Adebayo for the foreseeable future, the Heat have to help Robinson get out of his head and become a knockdown shooter again.
Miami’s other regular backcourt starter — Kyle Lowry — shot just 2-for-9 from the field and 1-for-5 from 3. Both Robinson and Lowry have to be much, much better for the Heat to weather Adebayo’s absence. Although Lowry joined Miami to be the third cog next to Butler and Adebayo, he needs to turn back the clock and look for his shot more often now.
Tyler Herro returned from a two-game absence to score 21 points, but did it on 9-of-23 shooting and had his shot blocked three times. Of course, it’s hard to fault Herro for taking some of the tough shots he did considering the teammates on the floor with him.
Aside from Herro, Dewayne Dedmon was in the starting lineup Wednesday. Dedmon grabbed 13 rebounds and scored 11 points. Though he had some trouble finishing around the rim — Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen combined for nine blocks — Dedmon provided energy and intensity in 30 minutes. That’s all you can ask from him.
Erik Spoelstra turned to KZ Okpala for front court minutes instead of Omer Yurtseven, who didn’t play until garbage time. Okapala took six trips to the foul line — the most on Miami, a sign of how much the team relies on Butler and Adebayo for their free throws. He had some nice sequences defensively, but again looked lost on offense.
The Heat will visit the Indiana Pacers Friday night.