Bam Adebayo and the Miami Heat come away with yet another huge win against the rival Boston Celtics 98-95. Miami improves to 27-22, the first time being 5 games above .500 all season. They also split the season series 2-2 with Boston, proving that they can keep up with the best in the league. Victor Oladipo, Haywood Highsmith and Max Strus all had their moments, but tonight was all about Adebayo.
The big man was a force to be reckoned with, and with Jimmy Butler being a late scratch due to back tightness it was Adebayo who was the leading man. He set the tone both offensively and defensively, and couldn’t be stopped. Even the efficiency was impressive, going 12/22 from the field. He tied the game in the 4th quarter with a fast break slam dunk and then followed that up with an eventual game winning jumper down the stretch.
Yet another game to help solidify Bam’s NBA all-star case, as the Heat are now 7-1 when he drops over 30 points in a game. In those 8 games, he is putting up insane averages of 32.0 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 61% FG, 86% FT, and an absurd +49 when on the court. When he is aggressive and looking for shots in his wheel house, whether that’s mid range, in the post or on put backs, he is a hard man to defend.
Games like this show more than enough proof that this is an NBA all-star. Adebayo deserves to be in Salt Lake City come mid February. To be able to carry a team from down double digits with a star player like Butler being out to defeat the best team in the NBA definitely means something.
Bam Adebayo makes it known:
“I should be in Salt Lake.”
This man DESERVES to be in the All-Star game… and he sure as hell should be in it. pic.twitter.com/odOP7N9CtM
— Naveen Ganglani (@naveenganglani) January 25, 2023
Haywood Highsmith on Bam Adebayo:
“He’s been a killer all season for us.”
“He’s definitely an All-Star this year.”
— Brady Hawk (@BradyHawk305) January 25, 2023
I interviewed Bam before a December home game in Miami and mentioned to him that this team is at its best when he is assertive offensively. Specifically I mentioned this team needs “aggressive Bam” to come out to play. He smiled and laughed as he responded with saying he likes the sound of that. Stats like Miami being 7-1 when he scores over 30 or more just validate my point even more. Adebayo has all the tools to be a top 10 player in this league, and could be cementing himself as a top 3 center.
Bam Adebayo is unquestionably one of the best centers in the NBA.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
— Hot Hot Hoops (@hothothoops) January 25, 2023
The Heat went on a 15-0 run in the 4th quarter to come back and seal the deal in front of their home crowd. As dominant as Adebayo was, Haywood Highsmith put his imprints on this game too. He provided more than valuable minutes off the bench, as he was extremely solid defensively and was even 4/4 from 3. Including a couple of them in the 4th when Miami needed it the most.
The defense dialed in late in the game, rotations were quick and the Heat were able to get their hands up and make everything difficult for Boston. They hung around just enough in the first few quarters and especially the 3rd, just to turn it up a notch on both ends in the final quarter. Victor Oladipo has his share of timely buckets to keep Miami in the game. Max Strus started off hot with 13 1st quarter points.
Tyler Herro had a rough shooting night that he would want to forget about, but hit a big time clutch triple. It was an incredible game to watch, as both teams missed a key player or two, the intensity remained the same as usual when these two team’s match up. Miami got the better of Boston this time around, and hopefully they can meet each other in the playoffs for yet another entertaining series.
The Heat will now shift their focus to the visiting Orlando Magic on Friday at 8:00 PM ET.