The Miami Heat defeated the Chicago Bulls 102-91 in the NBA Play-In Tournament on Friday night. Miami's 2022-23 season has been filled with inconsistency, but they are officially headed to the NBA playoffs nonetheless. Jimmy Butler and Max Strus led the charge with 31 points apiece against Chicago. Bam Adebayo scored only eight points in the game, but still played a pivotal role in the victory. Jimmy Butler took notice of Adebayo's contributions and gave him quite the compliment after the victory, per NBA on ESPN.
“The reason I really love Bam,” Butler said, “is because even though you don't make shots, you can affect the game in so many different ways. And that right there is a definition of a star player.”
Adebayo ultimately reeled in 17 rebounds, including four important offensive boards. He added one steal and one block in the Heat win as well.
Adebayo, however, took only nine total shots from the field. The Heat won this game, but they scored just 102 points. Miami is going to need to involve Bam Adebayo in the offensive gameplan on a more consistent basis during the playoffs. Yes, Adebayo went just 1-9 from the field, but he will be a bounce back candidate next game.
Butler will give Miami everything he has, however, Strus isn't going to average 31 points per game against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first-round of the playoffs.
Nevertheless, Jimmy Butler is certainly correct in his assessment. Bam Adebayo's non-scoring contributions will be especially impactful against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. If Adebayo can help to minimize Giannis' production, that will go a long way towards an upset.