Going into the 2022-23 NBA season, the Miami Heat issued a challenge for Bam Adebayo. That challenge was to be more aggressive on the offensive end of the floor. When Bam is producing offensively, the Heat are a tough team to beat. However, Adebayo at times can disappear from the Heat’s offense entirely as we saw in the Eastern Conference Playoffs last season. So the goal the team issued was for him to be their ‘engine’ on both ends of the floor.
“We know he knows we want him to score more; we want him to be aggressive. He can do it, and he’s going to — He always is and always will be the engine, the key part on both ends of the floor. So we’re going where Bam takes us,” Butler said before the start of the season.
NBA Executive on Heat’s Bam Adebayo
Recently, an Eastern Conference executive talked with Heavy Sports’ NBA Insider Sean Deveney about Bam being the future of the Heat and where he stands as their long-time answer. While the executive noted that Bam when he’s aggressive, can be a top 10 player, he also hinted at frustration the Heat may have with his consistency.
“When Bam plays aggressive, and when he is playing like he is the best guy on the floor, he is a Top 10, Top 15 player. But he doesn’t always do that, does he? You could see it during the conference finals against the Celtics—when he was aggressive, Boston had no answer for him. That Game 3 up in Boston, he was unstoppable (31 points on 15-for-22 shooting). But then he’d have games where he takes four or five shots. I think there is some frustration from the team that he doesn’t bring that aggressiveness every night. If he is the best player and Jimmy Butler is the No. 2 option and Tyler Herro No. 3, that is a lot better team than when Bam lets himself be the third option,” the Eastern Executive told Heavy Sports.
Bam Adebayo Shot Attempts
Getting more shot attempts has been one of Adebayo’s biggest goals this season with the Heat. Prior to this season, Bam shared that he is hoping to increase his shot attempts per game from 15 last season to 18 shot attempts per game this season.
“I’m going to try to get it up this year,” said Adebayo. “I feel like we’re a lot better team when I’m scoring the basketball.”
In October, Adebayo averaged 12.3 shot attempts per game, and the Heat were 2-5 in that stretch of games. In November, Bam has raised that average to 16.6 shot attempts per contest. The Heat have been 8-4 during November’s stretch. Adebayo’s aggressiveness on offense has a direct correlation to wins and losses. He still hasn’t hit his goal of 18 shot attempts per game, but if he does, he will prove to be the ‘engine’ that Butler declared him to be.
Erik Spoelstra Gives Bam a New Nickname
Bam’s recent surge in offense has been so good that Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra gave the big man a new nickname after his 38-point performance against the Washington Wizards on November 25.
“Bam was Mr. Reliable,” Spoelstra said via Ira Winderman of South Florida’s Sun Sentinel. “He has been Mr. Reliable all season long, through all of the adversity. He’s the guy that we’ve just been able to count on, with his mental stability, his consistency, his leadership, and then also his play on both ends of the court.
“I think at some point, I’ll print up the shirt, ‘Mr. Reliable’ and I’ll wear them proudly.”