Yesterday, ESPN broke the news that Bam Adebayo would miss four to six weeks due to suffering a torn ligament in his thumb. However, this timetable for return may be a best-case scenario as Five Reasons Sports Network, which is incredibly tied in with the Heat, say it will likely be longer. Last night, Miami lost to the Clevland Cavaliers in a whopping fashion without Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. This loss may signal warning signs of what lies ahead. In this article, we will take a look at if the Miami Heat can survive without Bam Adebayo and if they can, how they would do it.
Can the Miami Heat Survive Without Bam Adebayo?
Who will try to replace Bam Adebayo’s minutes and productivity?
Entering this season, the one significant flaw of this Heat roster looked to be depth. If one of their big three of Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, and Bam Adebayo got hurt who would step up in their absence. Now, the time has come to answer this question. The backup center for the Heat this season has been Dewayne Dedmon. Dedmon has played serviceably well in his role as a center who can come in and play with great energy. Although he doesn’t have the passing vision and scoring of Adebayo, Dedmon will likely be fine as a starting center. The bigger question is who will be the backup to Dedmon. The current options are KZ Okpala, Omer Yurtseven, and Udonis Haslem. All of those players have their major limitations which is a big concern. However, the one saving grace may be Markieff Morris who is defiantly an undersized big but can offer decent small-ball center play. But, he has been out twelve games since the Dever incident. It will be very interesting to see as this stretch without Adebayo continues to who Eric Spoelstra plugs into the backup minutes.
Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson’s play need to improve
The Miami Heat’s guard play needs to significantly improve. Both Duncan Robinson and Kyle Lowry have fallen off a cliff as three-point shooters which has been disastrous. The Heat paid Duncan Robinson $90 million dollars on a five-year deal in the belief that he would continue to be a top-five shooter in the NBA. For his career, Robinson has been a 40% percent three-point shooter on an extremely large volume. However, this season his percentage on relatively the same amount of shots has fallen off precipitately to 31%. He is also shooting 21% percent from three at-home games. The problem is when Robinson is not shooting the ball well he is almost unplayable as he does almost nothing else positive on the court. Last night’s stat line may be the perfect encapsulation of this as he had zero points, zero rebounds, and zero assists in a game. Although, without Bam Adebayo, it will be hard to free Robinson to free more open three-point attempts to get him out of his slump as Adebayo and Robinson run a tremendous amount of dribble handoffs.
Kyle Lowry also desperately needs to improve his shooting for the Heat while Adebayo misses time. Lowry has been steller in setting up his teammates this season. He is averaging 7.6 assists per game. However, Lowry is shooting 30% percent from three this season. At the age of 36, Lowry is beginning to look a step slow in getting past the defenders. He is also averaging the least drives to the basket of his career.
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