Bam Adebayo, « matrix » of the Heat


“It’s like in The Matrix. It feels like he’s in two or three places at the same time. »

Erik Spoelstra could not find a better comparison to illustrate the activity and mobility of his pivot, still as essential to the collective success of the Heat.

Author of his best match against San Antonio this weekend with 36 points, at 14/21 in shooting, Bam Adebayo then delivered a most complete match in the clash against Chicago, at 15 points (at 6/8 in shooting), 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals.

Facing the Bulls, we saw him act as a luxury patch to fill all the gaps in his defense, as when he « switched » on Coby White before finding Nikola Vucevic in the air in order to counter the Montenegrin on an alley-oop attempt, sending the ball into the stands.

A pledge of security

Moments later, he still paid Nikola Vucevic on an interception. So many actions, like Caleb Martin’s huge dunk, which took a toll on the Bulls’ morale, and reinforced that of the Floridians.

Able to defend on almost all profiles, a formidable second blade when danger approaches the circle, he has become the all-risk insurance for the Heat’s defense.

“I think everyone has a sense of security knowing that Bam is somewhere around the racket”admitted Jimmy Butler. “Even if he doesn’t block the shot, he will change the shooter’s trajectory. If they pass him, he will also be able to run and stay in contact. When Bam is on the pitch and he’s everywhere all the time, it’s a double-edged sword because you end up always relying on him to be there. Sometimes we also have to do our own work. You can’t rely on Bam all the time. »

In the numbers too, his impact on the Heat’s defense is undeniable. The players he defended on were limited to 41.7% shooting success. And when he’s on the field, the Heat limit their opponents to 102.4 points on 100 possessions, an average that would rank Miami as the best defense in the league. Conversely, when he is not there, the Florida defense drops to 109 points allowed on 100 possessions.

Candidate for the trophy of best defender of the year

Selected twice in the « All-Defensive Second Team » for two seasons, Bam Adebayo finished in fourth place in the votes for the best defender of the year in 2020/21. If he continues on this path and if Miami keeps pace at the top of the Eastern Conference, then he will be a serious candidate for the “DPOY”.

Erik Spoelstra is already beginning to advocate for this, Bam Adebayo’s only mistake on this point being… being at least as good and useful in attack (18.9 points per game, his best career season)!

« I think every year he’s deserved to be in the conversation for defender of the year, » he insisted. “He makes you so dynamic defensively. There aren’t many guys in the league who can do what he does. There’s Draymond Green, and the list probably ends there. He can do anything defensively. His defensive versatility extends to all areas, whether he has to protect the circle, switch, force passages or on his defensive aids. He can do all that. »

An arsenal and versatility on both sides of the floor which is scary, Bam Adebayo still only 24 years old!

Bam AdebayoPercentageBounces
SeasonTeamGMMinimumShots3 pointsLFOffDefEarlypdpartyIntbpCTPoints


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