The Miami Heat have an emerging star on their hands in Bam Adebayo. He is flashing so bright, that he could go from emerging star to potential All-Star.
With the Miami Heat off to a sensational 14-5 start to the 2019-20 NBA season, their overall success can largely be attributed to the growth and development of Bam Adebayo. This is something you may have never expected to see based on the reaction when the University of Kentucky product was previously selected by the Miami Heat at14th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft.
After being taken by Miami, there were a plethora of fans who criticized the selection. However, Bam has continued to develop on a year by year basis, proving to be an absolute steal from the 2017 Draft if there ever was one.
Following two relatively decent seasons off the bench during his rookie season and last year, Bam has been given the starting role this year and has simply flourished. The Hassan Whiteside trade opened an opportunity for Bam Adebayo and the 22-year-old is seemingly blossoming into a star before our very eyes.
While starting in 18 regular-season games, Bam has produced a superb slash line of 13.8 points per game, 10.3 rebounds per game, and 4.4 assists per game. Essentially, Bam Adebayo is averaging a double-double on phenomenal efficiency (59% field goal percentage) and has developed into a true point center for the Heat.
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Despite being a bit undersized for a center at 6’9”, Bam has still managed to average over 10 rebounds per contest, while playing sensational defense. Furthermore, Bam Adebayo is currently averaging 1.2 blocks per game as well as 1.6 steals, hence putting himself in the running for both the Defensive Player of the Year Award, the Most Improved Player Award, and has even received attention as a lower-tiered Most Valuable Player candidate.
In regards to the Most Improved Player Award, Bam Adebayo has an incredibly strong case, quite frankly. Adebayo has improved in practically every single statistical category, becoming a complete two-way center in the NBA. Ultimately, Bam has improved his scoring by almost 5 points, rebounds by 3, and assists by over 2 thus far in the season.
In fact, if Bam Adebayo can continue to produce admirably for the Miami Heat, averaging roughly 16 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists, then he could potentially be selected to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team as a reserve. Currently, Bam has exceeded the expectations of many Heat fans, developing into a polished scoring center with elite-level defense and a ton more room to grow in all facets of the game.
Bam possesses the rare ability to guard any position on the floor as a center. Moreover, Adebayo has done a brilliant job in terms of switching onto guards, protecting the paint, and forcing turnovers (nearly 2 steals per game). By playing phenomenal defense, Bam has essentially helped the Heat improve their team defensive rating, forming a tormenting defensive trio with Jimmy Butler and Justise Winslow.
The emergence of Bam Adebayo during the 2019-20 NBA campaign has truly been surprising. The Miami Heat and the Heat fanbase expected an improved Adebayo, but Bam has transformed himself into a rising star at only 22 years of age.
With the Heat currently sitting comfortably near the top of the Eastern Conference standings, Coach Spo can continue to rely on the dependable Bam Adebayo for consistent production on both ends of the floor, from a team perspective. From an individual perspective and as mentioned, if Bam can continue to perform the way he has, he should be considered for an All-Star nomination come February.