Heat players, Erik Spoelstra in awe of Bam Adebayo’s ‘dynamic,’ evolving skill set
Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo had another tremendous outing on Wednesday, as he led his team to a formidable fight against a surging Houston Rockets side. The Heat, who were missing the services of superstar Jimmy Butler due to an illness, eventually lost out to James Harden and company, 117-108, but Adebayo certainly left an impression on his teammates and head coach Erik Spoelstra.
Adebayo had 17 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in 40 minutes in the hard-fought loss.
For Miami starting center Meyers Leonard, he had nothing but good things to say about Adebayo:
“The perfect word for Bam Adebayo is dynamic,” Leonard said, via Michael Shapiro of Sports Illustrated. “He does everything we could possibly ask of him.”
Another Heat big man, Kelly Olynyk, echoed Leonard’s thoughts about Adebayo’s skill set:
“Bam has been doing a great job defensively,” Heat center Kelly Olynyk said. “He guards one through five, does whatever you ask of him. Off-ball, on-ball, pick-and-rolls, everything. His skill has always been there.”
Coach Spo also shared his two cents worth on Adebayo’s current breakout season, saying that the 22-year-old is quickly establishing himself as one of the most important players on the squad:
“Offensively, we’re running the offense through [Adebayo] more and more,” Spoelstra said. “We started that process last year, but the last three months of the season, he’s really improved his playmaking and his passing. …It seems like every month I can give him something more on his plate and he’s been able to take on all of that.”
Spoelstra went on to say that Adebayo should only get better and will have a major impact on winning now and into the future.
Right now, Adebayo is in the midst of the best campaign of his three-year career, averaging 14.5 points (on 60.1 percent shooting), 10.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.2 blocks in 32.4 minutes per contest — all of which are career-high marks.