Miami Heat: Pat Riley Jedi mind tricks media, public, and Bam Adebayo

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra reacts as he talks with forward Bam Adebayo (13) during the second half of game four(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra reacts as he talks with forward Bam Adebayo (13) during the second half of game four(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Miami Heat’s season has come to an unceremoniously abrupt end and there are changes that need to be made. While they have quite a few issues to sort through, well not issues but situations on the front of contracts, who’ll be back and who won’t, they also have to get better internally amongst those that they are sure who’ll be back.

The Miami Heat were a decent bunch this season after it was all said and done but not as good as last year, from a shot-making perspective, it seems. Where they could, probably, hit as many shots as last year’s team once they got warmed up, this year’s team was nowhere near as timely as last year’s iteration was when it came to hitting huge shots at clutch moments.

With that though and mainly with an eye towards improvement, Pat Riley said something recently that should get your antenna up. Here is the quote of mention.

The part that mainly concerns here is the part where he mentions how he believes “Spo has to evaluate a bit how he uses Bam”. What’s that mean?

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The Miami Heat’s Godfather spoke recently and about Coach Spo’s need to evaluate how he uses Bam. Was that a knock on Spo though?

Is that a knock on Spo? Is it a knock on Bam?

Well, it’s a little bit of both and a lot of neither. Where Spo could have tried to put Bam in a position to be a scorer, rather than a facilitator, it all comes down to Bam being faithful enough in his game to actually take the shot or make a play for himself.

No matter what play Spo calls, if Bam is having a timid day, then he won’t take the shot. That was all too present in most of the games during this past playoff series, where Brook Lopez infamously gave him 3-5 feet of space, leaving a canal of space, Lopez, and the basket.

It was a ready-made isolation situation between mobile-as-can-be and skilled-as-can-be Bam Adebayo and the semi-lumbering Brook Lopez. Here’s what Pat Riley was really doing though.

Speaking towards Bam’s more passive nature, sometimes, you can’t say certain things to certain guys or it will push them inside their own heads. What you can do though is this.

You can say it publicly, addressed at another guy, the coach, your guy, who understands you, understands the intent, and can then take that message to use it with Bam. That message was for Bam Adebayo, let’s be clear.

Pat Riley was telling Bam that he needs to be ready for whatever situations he’s thrust into moving forward, as he needs to be a guy that doesn’t need to be and can’t afford to be hid behind his ability to make plays for others because he won’t make plays for himself, especially if the Heat want to continue to compete at the highest levels. That’s what Pat Riley really meant.

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Sorry if you fell for the Jedi mind trick, but that’s what makes Spo and Riles two of the best, with the latter already being one of the greatest ever. They know how to make their guys tick and in the most appropriate way for that particular guy.

Well, at least, most of the time they do. That’s what this was.