2. Bam Adebayo, bus driver
To improve the offensive efficiency, Adebayo is working to get to the rim more often. He’s averaging 6.2 drives per game, compared to 5.3 last season, per Second Spectrum tracking data. The Heat are getting points on 82.1% of Adebayo’s drives vs. 78.2% last season.
Both marks indicate huge leaps and will be important to Miami’s offense going forward.
Adebayo is the ceiling raiser for the Heat’s offense. Butler, at 34, is what he is, and the organization knows his best is reserved for the postseason. Herro’s improvements (which we’ll touch on later) have been important, but he doesn’t possess the same physical attributes as Adebayo and isn’t someone who will put consistent pressure on the rim.
In addition to driving more often, Adebayo is looking to score more than ever out of those drives. He’s passing on only 10.7% of his drives, down from 21% last season. This is good. The Heat need their best players to shoot more, not less. Rely less on the army of undrafted role players and more on the elite talents.
Adebayo has developed some finesse moves like a stop-and-pop foul-line jumper to get his shots against bigger players. Now, he’s getting the ball and using his strength. Jab steps to create driving angles. A left shoulder to move dudes out of the way.
As such, Adebayo’s foul rate has gone up, to a career-high mark of 7.8 free throw attempts per game.