Miami Heat star Bam Adebayo is entering his sixth season in the association, and he is primed for yet another leap in his game.
Statistically he has gotten better every NBA season he has played. He is coming off a season with averages of 19.1 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.4 stls, and 0.8 blks. It was the best season of his career all around, but sadly couldn’t land a spot on the All-Star team for the second time in his career due to being out for a long period of time from an injury. As long as the man is healthy, the sky is the limit for him in regards to individual accolades. Bam is for sure an All-Star caliber player. Opposing teams think of him as a threat on both ends of the court, and for all the right reasons.
He is someone who can guard all positions 1-5 and at an elite level. He is a defensive juggernaut, and the anchor to our defense. It’s very debatable that Adebayo should have a DPOTY award by now. The potential and ability has always been there, it just comes down to him being on the court and healthy consistently all season long. The 2020-2021 season was arguably his best defensive season so far. Some of the statistics he had were just eye popping.
That year, Bam held numerous star players in check. He held Julius Randle to 7-22 shooting throughout the season as the primary defender, Domantas Sabonis 2-6 shooting, John Collins 1-7 shooting, Giannis Antetokounmpo 5-13 shooting, LeBron James 2-8 shooting, Bradley Beal 1-7 shooting, Devin Booker 3-11 shooting, and Kyrie Irving 4-14 shooting, to name a few.
As you can see this man just does it all defensively. If that means locking up a big man that is the same position as him, or even switching onto point guards. He is just so versatile and special on this end of the floor. However, it is not the defense that has ever been questioned with Adebayo.
It is his ability as on offensive player that at times can be a question mark. The 6’9 big man is coming off a playoffs that included very inconsistent performances. As an important player to what this Heat team does, he was not that reliable side kick to Jimmy Butler that we all expected.
Although, he did have a few standout games. Including a 30 point performance in Boston for Game 3 of the ECF.
We know the ability is there (remember the bubble performances he put up), he just needs to find a way to be that guy on the offensive end of the ball on a regular basis. It seemed at times that Butler was a one man show for Miami in the playoffs… luckily, he is still such a young player at the age of 25. He still has so much to learn and prove, and if Pat Riley was able to put trust in him by giving him that huge extension, us Heat fans should have that trust in him too.
Adebayo noted during media day this year that he knows he has to be more assertive. He even acknowledged in taking around 18 shots a game if possible. He’s always been a pretty efficient player, with a career .56 fg%. Not only should fans expect him to take more shots, but it looks like he has even been working on adding a three point shot to his game. He made a couple during pre-season, and man did it look encouraging. In a league that has slowly but surely been relying on 3 point makes, being a big man and able to stretch the floor like that would be huge for Miami’s offense.
Here is Bam’s last preseason game highlights, where he had a very assertive game offensively in limited minutes:
He has a nice stroke on his jump shot, as over the years his mid range game has gotten a little better and better. So expect that part of his game to get more consistent as well. Adebayo is almost entering the early stages of his prime years, and with some improvements and confidence, the man is due to have an All-Star year once again.
Could this be the year he finally breaks through and snags that DPOTY as well? Everyone should be very optimistic and excited to find out.