The 2022-23 NBA season hasn’t been particularly kind to the Miami Heat. The team has been riddled with injuries and has struggled to string any sort of consistency together because of that. After a heartbreaking January 8 loss to the streaking Brooklyn Nets, Miami sits just one game over .500 at 21-20, which is good enough for eighth in the Eastern Conference. The Heat certainly wouldn’t have predicted to be slotted that low after pushing the Boston Celtics to seven games in last season’s Eastern Conference Finals.
During the recent loss to the Nets, Head Coach Erik Spoelstra made an adjustment to the team’s rotation. Instead of giving Dewayne Dedmon his usual minutes, he played rookie Orlando Robinson for nearly 20 minutes. Robinson finished as a game-high +24, scoring 6 points and ripping down 9 rebounds against the Nets.
The Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman, highlighted the change in his game recap.
“A Heat subtext, was how Erik Spoelstra handled the Heat’s situation at backup center. No, not nearly the sexiest aspect of the one, which might have been as compelling as anything for the Heat this season. But Dewayne Dedmon, listed as available, did not play, and Orlando Robinson did and played quite well,” Winderman wrote.
He explained that the rotational switch could benefit Miami in a number of ways going forward.
“The Heat have not been good with Dedmon this season and were quite good with Robinson in this one. That matters because (Bam) Adebayo deserves a break, which Robinson provided Sunday,” he continued.
Robinson’s rookie campaign has been a solid one. The seven-footer has played an average of 14.7 minutes in 13 games for Miami this season. He’s averaging 5.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in each outing.
Heat Center Bam Adebayo Could Use a Hand, Literally
Winderman mentioned Miami center Bam Adebayo needing some relief, or perhaps a helping hand. After the loss to Brooklyn, Spoelstra said that Adebayo had been basically played the second half with one hand.
During a media scrum, the 25-year-old was asked about his right hand, which he had in a wrap while in the locker room. He downplayed the possibility of any sort of extended absence, but said that the pain was “excruciating.”
Adebayo added that the injury was something that he’d been dealing with the hand injury for some time, but stressed that it shouldn’t keep him out for too long. It would be a shame if he had to be sidelined for a while because he’s putting together a career year. Adebayo is averaging a career-high in points per game at 21.4, while pulling down 9.9 rebounds and dishing 3.1 assists per game.
Bam Adebayo Disrespected in First All-Star Voting Returns
Despite Adebayo’s solid numbers throughout the first half of the season, fans didn’t show him much love in the first window for NBA All-Star voting. He was nowhere to be found as the association released the most popular frontcourt players in the Eastern Conference. Adebayo didn’t even crack the top 10.
The likes of Kyle Kuzma, Nic Claxton, and Jarrett Allen all tallied more votes than Adebayo. Throughout his six-year NBA career, the Kentucky alumni has been selected to just one All-Star Game.