The Miami Heat, like most teams in the NBA, have had to weather injuries storms this season. Still in playoff contention given their ultra-deep roster, the Heat are getting healthier by the day, and that starts with All-Star center Bam Adebayo.
Adebayo had surgery on his right thumb earlier this season and is targeting a Monday return as the Heat welcome the Raptors. The report of his potential return came via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
After right thumb surgery six weeks ago, Miami Heat All-Star center Bam Adebayo is targeting a return vs. the Toronto Raptors on Monday, sources tell ESPN. Adebayo – who averages 18.7 points and 10.2 rebounds -- has been ramping up on the court this week.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 14, 2022
Adebayo has become a full-blown star over the past few seasons. While his offensive improvements have impressed, it’s really the defensive end of the court where his impact has been felt the most.
A two-time All-Defensive team member, Adebayo has dominated defensively because of his size and lateral quickness. He’s terrific on the glass, and at the same time, he can switch onto small guards, unlocking a new level of Miami’s defense.
As noted, the 6-foot-9 center’s offense has been elevated. He went from 8.9 to 15.9 to 18.7 points per game. That was his second season to fourth respectively.
Now in his fifth season, Adebayo is also at 18.7 points per game. He’s shooting 52% from the field this season and is also averaging a double-double for the second time in his career.
Overall, Adebayo has cemented himself as one of the key centerpieces of the Heat’s long-term future. Adebayo and Tyler Herro, both former Kentucky Wildcats, will be in South Beach for quite a while.
At just 24, Adebayo is that important to Miami, and with him on the court, they’re among the best teams in the NBA. Soon, with his return in the near future, they’ll return to that level of play.