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Bam Adebayo needs to unleash the beast
The Heat are currently sitting at 13th in the east with a record of 7 wins and 12 losses. Not counting the last game they played Saturday, they were 2 and 8 in their last ten games. They were all played without their SuperStar Jimmy Butler.
Taking a look at Bam those last 10 games without Jimmy, Bam only scored over 20 points four times and in those games he scores over 20 points, his lead his team to a 1 win and 3 loss record. One of those games he scored 41 points but Miami still did not win the game. Bam has proven that he can play at a very high level and score whenever he wants but that still is not leading his teams to victory.
After Jimmy returns for almost two whole weeks off from playing a basketball game, his stats line was 30 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds. He also had the go ahead bucket with less then a minute to go and the Heat won their first game after five straight losses. I know this is a small sample size but why is it when Jimmy is out and Bam is leading, Miami seems not to win but when Jimmy is leading, Miami seems to figure out how to win.
When looking at Bams stats over the previous 10 games without Jimmy, he averaged 20.6 points, 6.3 assists and 9.8 rebounds a game on 53% from the field and 88% from the free throw line. Now if you don't watch any games and you look at that, you would think the Heat would be 7 and 3 or 8 and 2 over their last 10 games. Welp, clearly this isn't the case.
Bam has team spirit, he plays hard, he defends, he rebounds, he shares the ball and gets his teammates involved and seems to do everything else for this team. So why doesn't their record reflect this? Why is it that when Jimmy was back, Bam wasn't the go to guy when down late in the 4th? For me, I think it is very clear. He doesn't know how to win yet, he doesn't believe in himself enough, and he doesn't play aggressive and selfish enough.
When I say he doesn't know how to win yet, I am strictly saying that when in a close game or the team needs someone to go to, he doesn't seem to be that guy. Jimmy clearly is and knows how to score and take over games when it is needed. Dwyane Wade knew how to do the same thing. Towards the end of his career, he would only score about 8 to 10 points through 3 quarters but when the 4th quarter came, he scored at will, had huge blocked shots and steals as well. He would end the game with about 20 to 25 points. He had go to moves to score and lead his team to a victory. Bam is still young and still needs to know how to do this without Jimmy on the court.
Bam simply does not believe in himself to take over a basketball game when the time comes. I listen to him speak and he says that he clearly believes in himself and his teammates but when I watch him play, I don't think he does. He is still very hesitant to shoot the ball at times even though he is getting better. He still doesn't have a go to move that he can constantly score off of. He doesn't look to score when the defense sags off of him, he looks to pass. He still gets stripped fairly easily when driving or making a move in the lane. Seeing all of these features from him in games doesn't show that he has confidence in his game. He needs to shoot jumpers more to make the defense really respect him. He needs to be stronger with the ball when in the lane and he needs to develop a go to move that he can score off of at any given moment to show more confidence in his game.
This last part has to do with my previous two paragraphs. He isn't aggressive and selfish enough. When Bam has the ball on offense, he mostly looks to pass and get others involved, which is not a bad thing at all, but he is becoming predictable to the defense. This is leading to double teams and sagging defense on Bam. If Bam shows that he will take his jumpers more, this will lead to him having other teammates open and him being able to have more driving lanes when playing. When watching players like Jimmy Butler, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and even past players like Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant, you can see that in order to win games sometimes it is very necessary to be selfish and get yourself more looks and shots in a game to help your team win. Once Bam learns and realizes this, the Heat will finally win more when Jimmy is out and they will finally get this SuperStar that they always knew Bam could be.
The Heat want Bam to be the next SuperStar for the team. If he is going to reach this level then these are the things that need to improve in his game.
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