Bam Adebayo Doesn’t Speak to Celtics All-Star About ‘Iconic’ Playoff Block

Bam Adebayo block

Getty Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics and Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat with a jump ball during the fourth quarter in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2019-2020 NBA Playoffs.

To understand the gravity of Wednesday’s game between the Heat and the Celtics, we must return to the 2019-2020 NBA playoffs, when after Miami swept the Milwaukee Bucks in just five games, the Heat advanced to play the Boston Celtics for the Eastern Conference title.

On September 15, Game 1 went into overtime, and as the clock was about to expire, Celtics All-Star forward Jayson Tatum was about to score a game-tying dunk when Heat’s Bam Adebayo literally flew up and shut him down. The Heat won 116-114.

Adebayo stretched his 6-foot-9 body up as far as it could go to block Tatum’s shot, a move that the 23-year-old said made his two left fingers go dumb. The amazing game-winning block even impressed Magic Johnson who called it “the best defensive play I’ve ever seen in the playoffs.”

On January 6, 2021, the Heat will face off against the Celtics for the first time since the playoffs, and Adebayo is ready. While he hasn’t spoken to Tatum, 22, about that special moment. “We’ll probably say something to each other during the game,” Adebayo said.

The Heat will face off against the Celtics twice this week. Their first rematch is home at the American Airlines Arena, and then Miami will travel to play Boston at the TD Garden on Sunday.

Coach Spo Said the Magnitude of Adebyo’s Block Didn’t Hit Until the Next Morning

GettyBam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat blocks a shot from Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics in the final seconds of overtime to defeat the Boston Celtics by a score of 116 – 114 in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The power forward’s incredible play wasn’t the only highlight of the Heat’s Eastern Conference playoff series against the Celtics, as Miami eliminated Boston in six games to reach the NBA Finals, but it’s a play that has been memorialized by Miami. A photo of the block is up in the hallway that leads to the Heat locker room.

Aside from Adebayo, no one was more proud than Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra, who said on Tuesday the magnitude of the play didn’t hit him until “probably the next morning. I was working out and the replays were on. And just the context of the game.”

“I just thought it was really fitting for Bam, you know, to have an iconic defensive moment in a playoff series. Because I just think he’s a winning player. And he does it in so many different ways. If Tatum gets that dunk down, they win the game, and you just never know how that can swing a series, one way or another. But he put himself out there and made just an incredible play for our team.”

“It’s bigger than just our history,” Spoelstra continued. “That will go down as one of the more memorable defensive plays in playoff history.”

Adebayo Is Expecting the Celtics ‘To Have a Chip on Their Shoulder’

GettyBam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat drives against Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics during the 2019-2020 NBA conference finals

The Heat recently experienced what it’s like to play a team with personal vengeance against Miami. The Milwaukee Bucks came into town and absolutely embarrassed Miami with a 144-97 win during their first rematch since the Heat eliminated them 4-1 during the NBA playoffs.

“The Bucks just beat us by 47 the other day,” Adebayo said, when asked what he expects from the Celtics on Wednesday. “We just beat them in the Eastern Conference. Do you think they don’t got an attitude or a grudge about we just beat them in the Eastern Conference finals?”

As for the Celtics, “Yeah, they’re going to have a chip on their shoulder,” Adebayo continued. “They had to watch us play in the Finals, so of course they’re going to have a grudge. That’s human nature. But it’s our job to go out there and counteract that and bring our intensity.”

Adebayo said of Milwaukee, “They wanted to embarrass us because we got them out of the second round,” as the Heat were about to bounce-back with a win against the Bucks the following night.

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