Erik Spoelstra says Bam Adebayo has earned the trust to be able to finish important games for Heat
Bam Adebayo came into the regular season as a player who was looking to make his mark on the Miami Heat. Now, he’s good enough that head arch Erik Spoelstra officially trusts the 21-year old to help close out games.
Despite only playing in 140 regular season games, Adebayo has quickly made a name for himself on the Heat. Speaking to media ahead of their game against the Brooklyn Nets, Spoelstra was asked about Adebayo, and the fact that he’s currently logging the second-highest minutes in the fourth quarter of any Heat player.
“That’s unique,” Spoelstra said. “When we drafted him, I don’t think I would have anticipated that I would trust a 20-year-old and 21-year-old to be able to finish important games. But he’s earned it. You earn opportunities with relentless consistency. You have to make an impression over and over and over, and that’s what Bam does.”
While Adebayo hasn’t always been a clutch player for the Heat, the trust that he’s earned from Spoelstra and the Heat speaks volumes. This season, Adebayo has played in 60 of the 61 fourth quarters that he’s been available for (via the Miami Herald), and is getting the much needed experience that players often need.
“A lot. Most of it is experience,” Spoelstra said regarding the growth of Bam. “The more you play, the more you compete, the more you get to know the league, the more comfortable you’re going to be to be able to bring out the best of your abilities. The game is slowing down for him a little bit, so he’s able to be more athletic, quicker. If you add a work ethic and a commitment like he has every single day, you’re going to see big strides, particularly with somebody that’s only 21 years old.”
The Miami Heat may be struggling to compete for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but it is good to see that their young players are beginning to develop and step up into the crucial spots that the team needs of them.