3 Observations from All-Star Weekend, including Bam Adebayo taking 3s

2024 NBA All-Star Game
2024 NBA All-Star Game / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

All-Star Weekend is over and the Miami Heat officially signed Delon Wright during the break, addressing the team’s need for backcourt depth after injuries to Terry Rozier and Josh Richardson. 

Will Wright’s impact be limited to soaking up minutes as an injury replacement? What do we make of Bam Adebayo making a 3 during the All-Star game? 

Here are three thoughts from over the break.

1. Delon Wright could start

It would be surprising to see Wright start in his first game in a Heat uniform, but it could happen after he gets a few games under his belt. Rozier started in his second game with the Heat without going through a full practice, so there’s a very recent precedent for this.

Why would Erik Spoelstra thrust Wright into the starting lineup? It would maintain the integrity of his rotation with Rozier out, for one. 

Spoelstra could go with a starting lineup of Wright, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, Caleb Martin and Bam Adebayo, and a bench unit of Duncan Robinson, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Haywood Highsmith and Kevin Love. 

Doing so would allow Spoelstra to stagger Herro and Robinson’s minutes and keep the basics of Spoelstra’s most recent rotation pattern (Herro and Bam running pick-and-roll when Butler is on the bench, Butler runs the second unit without Herro and Adebayo) in place.

While Wright isn’t the offensive weapon that Robinson is, he is a stronger defender at the point of attack, which could help in upcoming games against CJ McCollum’s Pelicans, De’Aaron Fox’s Sacramento Kings, Anfernee Simons’ Portland Trail Blazers and Jamal Murray’s Denver Nuggets.

2. Bam Adebayo wants to shoot 3s

Bam’s lone highlight during the All-Star game came after he inbounded the ball off Nikola Jokic’s back, brought the ball up the court and made a pull-up 3-pointer. Nobody else on his team touched the ball on the possession, and Adebayo joked how he needed All-Star teammates who pass the ball.

But perhaps that wasn’t the only bit of frustration that spilled over on that possession. Adebayo has attempted only 11 3s all season, and most are limited to heaves at the end of the shot clock. Very few have been in the rhythm of the offense. 

This shot against the Timberwolves came in the third game of the season. Bam was open, but he missed it. 

Here’s another against the Lakers, with Anthony Davis playing way off of him. Look at the Heat bench’s reaction when Bam sinks this one.

And another one against the Hawks. This might not have been the best look. You can even hear color analyst John Crotty on the broadcast ask, “What?!” after Adebayo shoots.

Adebayo has gone 1 for 3 on in-rhythm 3s this season. That’s 33% on more attempts than he had last season. 

Asked about the 3-pointer after the All-Star game, Adebayo joked “Tell Spo!”

Yes, this was a joke. But it’s also true that Adebayo might want to be given more freedom to take these during games. He’s already pushed the envelope by taking a handful this season, and it’s worth acknowledging how he went out of his way to take and make a 3-pointer on the All-Star stage.

A 33% mark would be the target, but Adebayo is shooting that on a low sample and it would also be unfair to count only in-rhythm 3s for any NBA player. The end-of-clack heaves and tough shots do matter. 

Adebayo won’t ever be Karl-Anthony Towns in terms of a big man shooting 3s, but could the Heat find a way to sprinkle in a few more open ones for Bam to help stretch the defense? This much seems doable.

3. All-Star Weekend is broken, and that’s OK

There was a lot of complaining about the All-Star teams totaling nearly 400 points during the game and the lack of interest in the dunk contest. I’m here to tell you that everything is fine.

Not that the All-Star events are fine. No, those are distressed products in total disarray.

I’m hear to tell you that it doesn’t matter.

Anthony Edwards had it right when he told reporters that this is a break for NBA players, too. Nobody wants to go out there and compete. And as much as we hear things like Michael Jordan and Larry Bird would never, well, that’s just not a super compelling argument as to why these guys should.

To be honest, I can use the break, too. I quite liked not caring about the events this year. To be honest, I didn’t even watch them. Not live, anyway. I spent my weekend with friends and family, then checked the highlights and read some stories the next morning. All caught up! Weekend not ruined! Look at me, not lathered up into some First-Take style debate about how LeBron ruined the dunk contest or kids these days. 

Instead, I’m refreshed and ready for real games that matter to start later this week.