3 Miami Heat players whose stock is rising, 1 whose is falling after road trip

Who should get the most credit for the Miami Heat's turnaround? Here are three players whose stock is rising, and one whose isn’t.

Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers
Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers / Harry How/GettyImages
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After six straight games on the road, the Miami Heat return to Kaseya Center when they host the Utah Jazz on Saturday. The Heat went an impressive 5-1 in that stretch, effectively turning their season around. They are now within a half game of fifth place and are playing their stretch of basketball of the season.

The Heat have done it despite injuries to Tyler Herro, Terry Rozier and Josh Richardson, and suspensions for Jimmy Butler, Nikola Jovic and Thomas Bryant.

So who should get the most credit for Miami’s turnaround? Here are three players whose stock is rising, and one whose isn’t.

Up: Bam Adebayo ⬆️

Bam Adebayo’s mid-season swoon appears to be over. After averaging 18.5 points on 48.3% shooting in January, Adebayo is averaging 21 points on 57.1% shooting over his last six games.

The mid-range shot that disappeared during his slump is back, too. Adebayo is shooting 45% from his sweet spot at the foul line over these last six games, marking a return to his typical average. (It was down to an unseemly 15.2% in January). He’s also getting to the rim more thanks to increased usage in the pick-and-roll.

Adebayo and Butler are experimenting with side pick-and-rolls that thrust Miami’s best players into a two-man game.

This is a great wrinkle for a few reasons. First, it gets Adebayo and Butler operating in close quarters near the basket, where they are as good as any duo at finding space and finishing tough shots.

But it also sets up Adebayo to release at the foul line. As opposed to high pick-and-rolls that leave Adebayo alone on the perimeter if he pops, running it on the side means that Adebayo is a pass away from his sweet spot. Butler only needs a little space to hit Adebayo with a pocket pass that leads to an in-rhythm jumper in the paint.