Two-time All-Star don’t sound bad, right? Those were the exact words Bam Adebayo used to describe what being selected as an All-Star reserve would mean to him. Well, Adebayo won’t have to worry about listing that title.
The Kentucky product was left off the Team Durant roster on Tuesday evening by voting conducted by league coaches. He and Jimmy Butler were both snubbed so the Miami Heat — the defending Eastern Conference champions — won’t have any representatives playing in the NBA All-Star game on March 7.
Adebayo is averaging a career-high in points (19.6) while pulling down 9.5 rebounds and blocking 1.0 shots per game. Butler’s absence is less egregious considering he missed 10 games due to health and safety protocols. The 31-year-old is averaging 19.1 points, 7.6 assists, 7.6 rebounds per game.
The snub seems a bit harsher for Adebayo who talked about it after Monday’s game. He has taken on a noticeably more vocal leadership role in the Heat locker room this year. But don’t tell him those individual accolades don’t matter. They do.
“It’s important. I want to be an All-Star,” Adebayo told reporters on Monday night. “You know two-time All-Star don’t sound bad.”
The 23-year-old — and number one running mate to Butler — isn’t numb to the politics involved. He knows there is more that goes into the All-Star selection process than picking guys on talent alone.
“I get it, there’s politics in this, you know it’s a sliding scale so,” Adebayo said. “I hope I’m an All-Star but … politics in this, sliding scale, I get it.”
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Butler: ‘Let’s Keep Winning Together’
The Heat was thought to be dead and buried before the All-Star break. ESPN analyst and Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce predicted Miami would miss the playoffs. So did a slew of other nay-sayers who pegged them as “products of the bubble.”
Not Butler. He said to “book it” when asked about their playoff chances as he continues to keep the outside noise out. Sometimes the team can “start making stuff up” after long losing streaks fueled by too much negative press.
“That’s just the league for you now, let your guard down, bad things happen,” Butler said. “And I think sometimes we start making stuff up, get way far away from who we are as a basketball team and that hurts us at times. It doesn’t end well for us, I should say that.
“But we get it, we understand it. We just can’t let it happen so very often and that’s why we won three [in a row], you know — we’re in it together. We win together, we lose together, but let’s keep winning together.”
Heat Update Injury Report versus Toronto
Heat guards Tyler Herro (hip) and Goran Dragic (ankle) are both listed as questionable for Wednesday night’s home game against the Toronto Raptors. Chris Silva (hip) was also upgraded to questionable and there is growing optimism all three players could be available.
Herro left Saturday’s game late in the first half after seeing 14 minutes. He’s averaging 16.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Dragic has been out since twisting his left ankle on Feb. 5, while Silva hasn’t seen action since Jan. 16. The Heat are returning to Miami after a seven-game road trip and hoping to make a strong playoff push with a fully healthy lineup.
“You want to grow through your experiences and sometimes your experiences are painful, tough,” head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “And that’s what we had at the start of this trip, but we came in the next day, the Sacramento walk-through, it was all business.”
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