Bam Adebayo Ready to Take This Big Step in His Development: Analyst

Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat

Getty Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat

In his one season at Kentucky, Heat big man Bam Adebayo took zero 3-pointers. In three seasons in the NBA, he has attempted just 36, making five. No one is mistaking him for Ray Allen.

But somewhere in there, we know that Adebayo has the potential to stretch out to the 3-point line. That is something that former Heat guard Jim Jackson, now an NBATV analyst, pointed out, according to Barry Jackson for the Miami Herald. Already, Adebayo is a very good midrange shooter, able to knock down jumpers from 15 feet. According to, he made 40.4% of his shots from 10-16 feet last season, a career high.

“Now that 15-foot jump shot is going to expand,” Jim Jackson said. “Now he’s going to come back with that three ball to be more of a threat in the pick-and-roll.”

That is an aspect of Adebayo’s game we have been waiting to see develop. When he held a workout for the Heat before the 2017 NBA Draft, as legend has it, he made 60 of 100 corner 3-pointers. But the Heat have not asked him to drift beyond midrange very much.

Bam Adebayo Seeking to Expand His Offensive Game

Still, it is a topic that Adebayo has addressed over the past year. He famously had a bet for $500 with Jimmy Butler early last year, with Butler saying he would have to pay up if he did not attempt a 3-pointer in a game against Washington. Adebayo did not.

Adebayo, in his defense, pointed out at practice after that game that he was open in the corner and would have shot—but Butler did not pass him the ball.

Adebayo (who recently bought his mother a house) twice went for stretches longer than 10 games without attempting a 3-pointer. In the playoffs, he tried only one.

Back in March, Adebayo told the Herald that he expects, eventually, to discuss the topic with coach Erik Spoelstra.

“That will become a conversation with him because at the end of the day, he wants me to get better,” Adebayo said. “He wants me to be unguardable. He wants me to help this team win. In the future, it will be a conversation we will have.”

Will Erik Spoelstra Let Adebayo Shoot 3s?

It could be Spoelstra who is, ultimately, keeping Adebayo’s 3-point game in check. He has been focused on maximizing Adebayo’s ability to run the offense from the high post, using his dribbling and passing instincts to attack opposing defenses.

Jackson could be right—a next step might be for Adebayo to pick-and-pop on the perimeter, stretching defenses even more. But Spoelstra does prefer to use Adebayo’s presence to create room for shooters like Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, Goran Dragic and, now, Avery Bradley.

But Spoelstra certainly has not been shy about his praise for Adebayo. That was evident during last year’s playoffs when he stopped just short of comparing Adebayo to LeBron James.

“Bam, I challenge him daily to take on all the one-through-five responsibilities on both ends of the court, and he just gobbles it up,” he said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. “He’s one of the most dynamic, unique, impactful players in this entire Association. He will continue to get better because of his approach. … When I say better, everybody just assumes I’m talking about numbers. I’m talking about winning. This guy is going to continue to figure out how to win bigger and help your team advance.”

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