When the Heat go on the field to open the NBA Finals in 2022, there was a chance they would be without one of their best players.
All-Star center Bam Adebayo went into COVID-19 health and safety protocols ahead of Miami’s final game of the regular season against Magic.
#MIAVsORL UPDATE: Dewayne Dedmon (ankle), Tyler Herro (knee) and Bam Adebayo (health and safety protocols) have all been ruled out of tonight’s match against Magic.
– Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 10, 2022
Adebayo, a two-time All-Defensive team selection, is the key to Erik Spoelstra’s defensive unit, one that is in fourth place in the league in defensive rating, according to NBA.com. He’s not too shabby on the other side of the ball either – he raised his scoring average to a career-high 19.1 points per game. fight at 55.7% shooting. All this for a player who missed 26 games after suffers from a torn UCL in his right thumb back in late November.
Adebayo is one of the league’s brightest stars, capable of pouring buckets into one end of the floor while locking in some of the league’s best threats in the paint. He proved that in Miami’s run-up to the final back in 2020.
Here’s everything you need to know about Adebayo’s status on the way into the series.
When could Bam Adebayo return to court?
Adebayo will be ready for match 1.
UPDATE: Bam Adebayo is no longer in health and safety protocols. He’s back 👀 pic.twitter.com/mUikp9T4ht
– Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 16, 2022
Adebayo entered into health and safety protocols last Sunday, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Bam Adebayo has entered health and safety protocols for Heat. That could mean five days away from the team until Friday, but still time to return to the playoffs. No Tyler Herro tonight (knee).
– Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) April 10, 2022
Miami hosts the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday, setting the stage for Adebayo to return in time for Game 1 of the series.
Who will move up if Bam Adebayo is restricted?
The Heat have had to get used to being without Adebayo this season, and due to COVID-19 protocols, he may be restricted in Game 1.
Veteran center Dewayne Dedmon has started 15 games this season, and although he does not quite possess Adebayo’s unique mix of offensive skills and defensive solidity, he has done well in a platoon role. Dedmon has long been one of the NBA’s best backup stores, and rarely gets lost in coverage, while also acting as an effective deterrent to rim drives.
On the offensive, Dedmon, meanwhile, has proven to be an effective postscorer and winger. The nine-year-old vet has also added a new wrinkle to his game this year, showing an improved 3-point stroke. Dedmon shoots 40 percent from beyond the arc and hits 19 of his 47 attempts in 67 games this season.
While he may not quite offer what Adebayo can, there are far worse options than Dedmon. Miami won 10 of the 15 games Dedmon started this season. And in those games, Dedmon was pretty productive with an average of 8.1 points and 8.1 assists in 23.1 minutes of playing time.
Dedmon may not be able to recreate Adebayo’s flashy numbers. But on a team full of talent – including Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro, as well as NBA champion PJ Tucker – he does not need it.
Would imagine Martin would be your theoretical 10., Oladipo as your emergency man. https://t.co/dPfA2kUqmm
– Nekias (Nuh-KY-us) Duncan (@NekiasNBA) April 13, 2022