Miami Heat Are Getting Exposed Without Bam Adebayo

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo.
Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo. / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat All-Star big man Bam Adebayo is out for the foreseeable future, as he has torn the ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb and had to undergo surgery. 

Adebayo has missed the past four games for the Heat, and the team has gone just 1-3 with blowout losses to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks and Memphis Grizzlies. Jimmy Butler (tail bone) returned to the lineup on Monday against the Grizzlies, but even that wasn’t enough to prevent Miami from falling to 14-11 on the season. 

If this is going to be the status quo for the Heat with Adebayo out, they could be looking at an extended stretch of struggles. 

WynnBET still has Miami at +1400 to win the NBA title this season, which is good for seventh on the odds list, but I’m going to advise bettors to stay away from that number until Bam returns, or Miami shows it can win without him. 

The biggest concern with Miami heading into this season was the team’s lack of depth, as it lost Trevor Ariza and Kendrick Nunn in free agency and traded Precious Achiuwa and Goran Dragic to Toronto in the Kyle Lowry deal. 

While Lowry, Adebayo and Butler are a solid trio, there are plenty of questions about the Miami roster after that. Tyler Herro is having a career year, averaging 21.4 points per game, but Duncan Robinson has taken a step back, shooting just 36.8 percent from the field and 33.2 percent from 3 after signing a five-year, $90 million extension this past offseason. 

The Heat are lacking offense without Adebayo, but his defensive impact may be the biggest loss for Miami. 

The Heat are currently 12th in the NBA in defensive rating at 107.4. However, in the seven games that Adebayo has missed in the 2021-22 campaign, the Heat have a defensive rating of 111.1. 

Dewayne Dedmon simply isn’t the same player as Adebayo, who has made two All-Defensive teams, and the Heat don’t have the scoring depth to make up for slipping defensively. 

There’s no reason Miami can’t turn things around when Bam returns, but for now I’m out on the Heat as a Finals contender with him sidelined.

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