Erik Spoelstra Sounds Off About ‘Mr. Reliable’ Bam Adebayo After Season-High Performance

Bam Adebayo and Haywood Highsmith

Getty Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat celebrates after being fouled during the second half against the Washington Wizards

Before the start of this season, the Miami Heat challenged Bam Adebayo to take the next step offensively. Adebayo already serves as an anchor of Miami’s defense and does it all for the team, but what the team wants from him was more consistent contributions offensively. At Heat media day, Jimmy Butler talked about the challenge the Heat gave Adebayo offensively. 

“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

Erik Spoelstra Sends Praise for Bam Adebayo’s Play

Adebayo has accepted that challenge and is tied as the Heat’s leading scorer this season. So far this season, he has upped his average to nearly 20 per game (19.9) and is shooting 52% from the field. On Friday, November 25, Adebayo helped lead the Heat and their injury-riddled roster to a win with a 38 point, 12 rebound, and 3 assist performance against the Washington Wizards. Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra had major praise for the Heat’s starting center following his performance Friday. 

“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.”

Before the season, Adebayo shared his goal to increase his shot attempts from 15 per game last season to 18 attempts this season. On Friday, against the Wizards, Bam made 15 of 22 shots to help propel his season-high performance. 

“I’m going to try to get it up this year,” said Adebayo at the Heat’s media day. “I feel like we’re a lot better team when I’m scoring the basketball.”

Kyle Lowry on Bam Adebayo Dominance

When Bam Adebayo is putting shots up, good things tend to happen for the Heat. Starting point guard Kyle Lowry spoke out postgame about Adebayo and his strong play on November 25 via Ira Winderman. 

“That’s one of those games where he shows his dominance of a big, and that’s on both ends of the floor,” point guard Kyle Lowry said, with the Heat shifting their focus to Sunday’s 5 p.m. game against the Atlanta Hawks at the start of a four-game trip. “But we don’t want him to have to do it every night, but it’s great to see it. When he can do that, it makes our lives a lot easier.”

Bam’s play helped propel the Heat to their 9th win of the season and was important for the shorthanded team. Heat star Jimmy Butler is expected to make his return from injury this week as the team matches up twice against the Boston Celtics.