After missing all of games two and three, Bam Adebayo is back for the Miami Heat, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. He’ll suit up tonight for game four of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Adebayo suffered a neck injury in game one, part of a forgettable contest that Miami lost by 18. Miami’s starting point guard Goran Dragic also left the game with a foot injury and is questionable to return for the rest of the series.
Looking to make an Impact
Down 2-1 with a chance to tie, Adebayo’s return couldn’t have come at a better time. He adds to Miami’s newfound momentum after Jimmy Butler turned in an incredible 40-point triple-double in a Game 3 victory. Butler will undoubtedly draw the Lakers’ defense utmost attention, so Adebayo will be crucial in alleviating that expected extra pressure.
On offense, Bam’s playmaking ability opens up plenty of scoring opportunities for Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro. He also provides a great scoring touch around the basket and is an excellent rebounder to combat LA’s bigs. But it’s Adebayo’s defense that stands out as the potential momentum-shifter.
His rare combination of size, strength, quickness, and defensive skill makes him an ideal matchup for Lakers star Anthony Davis. Davis is shooting an incredible 64% from the field in this series and has feasted on nearly every Heat defender in single coverage. Adebayo’s presence won’t require the Heat to compromise their defensive schemes with double teams or zones, both of which the Lakers have been able to carve up for open shots consistently.
Following a loss in the 2020 playoffs, the Lakers are 3-0. They’ve gone on to win each of their previous series after a hiccup similar to game 3. But with Bam Adebayo back in the lineup, the Heat are ready to make things even more impressive in game four tonight.