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Friday, April 19, 2024

Heat’s Bam Adebayo gets painfully honest on ugly Pelicans loss

Adebayo finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds in the loss to New Orleans.

It was a frustrating Friday night for the Miami Heat as they fell to the New Orleans Pelicans inside the Kaseya Center, 111-88, as time is running out to solidify playoff position. Heat star Bam Adebayo spoke after the game to the media and touched on what led up to to the defeat in the first contest of the team’s current four-game home stand.

The last time these two teams faced against each other on Feb. 23, there was a heated altercation that resulted in multiple players being suspended like star Jimmy Butler, but Miami was fully healthy. Fast forward to the present time and integral pieces like Tyler Herro, Kevin Love, and Duncan Robinson are out for the foreseeable future as Adebayo said to ClutchPoints that it doesn’t matter “who’s in or out,” they need to “hone in on the little things.”

“I feel like we go out there and play with the right energy, doesn’t matter who’s in or out, we’ve shown all season we can win with whatever lineup,” Adebayo said. “We just need to hone in on the little things, the detail-oriented things.”

Adebayo says Heat missing Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Kevin Love

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) drives to the basket as New Orleans Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado (15) and center Jonas Valanciunas (17) defend during the second half at Kaseya Center.
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the Heat being under-manned for a lot of this season as the team continues to be plagued with injuries, there’s no doubt that they miss the likes of Herro, Love, and Robinson. Even Adebayo said Miami misses them “a lot” due to the three players providing so much to the team.

“A lot,” Adebayo answered with how much the Heat miss their injured players. “Just because they play heavy minutes for us, you can’t replace a guy like Duncan [Robinson]who shoots it from anywhere, a guy like Tyler [Herro] who can create his own shot, and obviously the leadership of K-Love [Kevin Love].”

While the three aforementioned players bring a lot to Miami, the one common aspect they excel at is shooting the ball from three-point range, which is something the team struggled at Friday against the Pelicans. Besides shooting 36 percent from the field, they shot a measly 27.7 percent from deep, missing 34 attempts which is the most this season and the fifth most in the franchise’s history.

Herro, who the Heat star is still dealing with right foot medial tendinitis as he recently got an ejection as a part of treatment, missed his 14th straight game Friday. The last game he played funny enough was against the Pelicans on Feb. 23 as he is averaging 20.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game while shooting 43.7 percent from the field.

As for Love, he’s missed the last 12 games with a right heel bruise where his last action was on Feb. 27 in the win against the Portland Trail Blazers. Besides shooting from three, he was crucial as being the true backup center for Adebayo as he provides spacing, veteran leadership, and more.

Adebayo talking about the poor offense plaguing the defense

Far too often, the Heat have seen their poor offense dictate how the defense performs which is what happened against the Pelicans. Adebayo said that reasoning wasn’t 100 percent the case this time around as he mentioned how when Miami got out of flow, New Orleans adapted and got hot late.

“I feel like we just got out of flow,” Adebayo said. “I don’t really feel like it effected the defense, but obviously when teams are getting stopped, they get a different type of flow, type of energy, they start making tough shots, guys start playing harder.”

However, it was a mixed bag on the defensive side as the Heat kept star Zion Williamson scoreless through the first half which is the first time that has happened in his NBA career. He would finish with four points, but Miami let others on the Pelicans feast including CJ McCollum who had 30 and was slippery throughout the whole game.

Pelicans kept Adebayo at bay Friday night

As for Adebayo on the offensive side, he would finish with 12 points and 10 rebounds as he made four of his seven attempts from the field. Not a bad shooting percentage, but the Pelicans clogged the paint to prevent Adebayo getting any shots up as he said after the game that for him to get activated, himself and the team has to excel in other areas.

“I feel like for us we just have to do the little things,” Adebayo said. “Details on screens, getting guys open, making an extra effort to cut. Also, we have to share the ball and find ways to get each other open shots.”

The Heat are now 38-32 on the season which puts them seventh in the tightly packed Eastern Conference. With 13 games left in the regular season, there is vastly no room for error as their next outing is the second in the current home stand as they will face the Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday.

Zachary Weinberger_headshot

About the Author

Zachary Weinberger joined ClutchPoints in October 2023 as a Miami Heat reporter as well as an Associate Editor. He graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2022 after covering the school’s athletic programs since his freshman year at the FAU University Press, where he was a Sports Editor and Editor-in-Chief. He then covered FAU Sports for The Palm Beach Post.



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