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Bam Adebayo wants to be a shooter

The Miami Heat center is looking to expand his game outside the paint this season.

2021 NBA Playoffs - Milwaukee Bucks v Miami Heat Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

Chris Bosh told Bam Adebayo to “shoot the ball.” That’s what we want to see from Bam Adebayo.

On January 23, Adebayo busted out for a career-high 41 points on 14-20 shooting against the Brooklyn Nets. He did plenty of that work as a shooter, taking what the defense gave him and working Jeff Green out of a job.

But it was almost like that was the last time we saw confident Bam as a shooter.

But, at Miami Heat media day, the former All-Star was asked about what he has worked on this offseason and his answer was: SHOOTING.

That’s what we all want to hear. For too long we have watched Bam be a non-aggressive offensive player, looking to help everyone else score while he seemed timid to shoot the ball and attack the basket.

But the real surprise was the follow-up to this interchange as Bam was asked about shooting from beyond the arc...and he plans to do that as well.

If that’s true and successful, it has huge implications for the Heat. Bam as a three-point option would make the Miami Heat truly a diversified team that could punish you in several ways. For teams with bigs who can stretch the floor, it allows for more room for attacking players like Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, and Tyler Herro to get to the rim.

Spacing is everything in the NBA. And a three-point Bam would change the dynamic of the Heat offense. But there’s one issue: Bam hasn’t been anywhere close to showing that ability.

Adebayo was often hesitant to take open 15-footers, more likely to turn his back to the basket to look for a DHO to a wing player. He’s got to be more confident and not allow defenses to sag off of him into the lane.

Here’s a career shot chart for Bam, and you can view the interactive shot chat from StateMuse right HERE.

Bam Adebayo Career Shot Chat
StateMuse

Bam Adebayo has shot 55.9% (1350/2416) overall and 15.9% (7/44) from three in 282 games in his career.

Last season alone, Bam only shot 2-8 from three. But...it’s doable.

Brook Lopez is the best example. Through his first 8 seasons in the NBA, he never took more than 15 threes a season and only 32 total attempts. In his 9th season, he took 387 attempts and shot better than 34% from three. From there on out, Lopez was a three-point threat.

I would settle for Bam being aggressive as a shooter in the mid-range. If he were to become a guy that could consistently hit the set jumper that Udonis Haslem perfected or the wing jumper, even that as a rhythm shot would be a release valve for the Heat offense that they need.

But if he is able to extend beyond the arc, the Heat could have something special on their hands. I would bet that it is going to be a process for Bam to get there, but all we want to see is a willingness to shoot the ball.

Unfortunately, we didn’t really see this much with Team USA this summer either, so we are taking his word for it at the moment. But with training camp and preseason around the corner, it’s about to be time to find out.