Heat news: Bam Adebayo believes he could average 16 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists in 2019-20
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Heat’s Bam Adebayo believes he could average 16 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists in 2019-20

Bam Adebayo, Heat

Bam Adebayo is now free from the shadow of former starter Hassan Whiteside, now the undisputed big dipper of the Miami Heat. The 6-foot-10 center is coming off a strong season with the team and is in line for big minutes after becoming a favorite of head coach Erik Spoelstra due to his hustle and nose for rebounding the ball.

The Kentucky product put up 8.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game in his second season in the league in a limited reserve role, numbers he thinks could extrapolate to 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists as a starter:

“Just because we play through the elbows, I got a lot of assists off that action. We keep doing that, I feel like I can average 16, 10, and 5,” said Adebayo, according to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald.

Adebayo’s 23.3 minutes per game could soon become 30 or 33 heading into this season, a load he will have to adjust to over time. Not only will his playing time ramp up, but the 21-year-old will now be going against starting-caliber centers rather than backups, making his work around the rim a lot more different than he’s used to.

Yet that hasn’t kept Adebayo from looking forward to the spotlight:

“I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to the challenge that [coach Erik Spoelstra] is going to give me to accomplish during the season as potentially being the starting center.”

According to Basketball-Reference, Adebayo’s per-36 numbers render 13.7 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists, just based on last season, so he will likely have to improve in all areas to reach the potential he envisions for himself.