The Miami Heat have brought together a bunch of guys that get along well on and off the court, and that chemistry has helped them become the No. 1 ranked team in the Eastern Conference with an 11-5 record. They just defeated the in-form Washington Wizards 112-97 at FTX Arena.
Rebounding has been an area where the Heat has significantly improved. They finished second to last season in rebounding but are currently ranked 4th so far, and despite an overall team effort, Bam Adebayo has been the standout rebounder for the team.
According to Sun Sentinel's Ira Winderman, Bam is actively battling guards for rebounds.
"You got the guards in there trying to steal a rebound. A lot of times I try to elbow them in the head. Don’t get my rebound. Tyler don’t get paid to rebound.”
Albeit jokingly, you can see the intensity Heat players display when it comes to grabbing boards. He added:
“That’s the physicality we’ve got this year. You got P.J. down low. You got ‘Kief [Markieff Morris] down low. You got Tyler every once in a while going down there and trying to steal a rebound. We go after 50-50 balls. That’s what we live by, those in-between balls. Who’s the first person to get it?”
Earlier this season, there was an altercation between Dewayne Dedmon and Tyler Herro regarding rebounds. As it turns out, the big men are particular about the guards scoring and leaving the rebounding to them.
Herro spoke on it:
"Me and Dedmon had a little altercation at the beginning of the season, too. I think I grabbed one of his rebounds, and he told me I score and he rebounds. So we’re trying to steal some, so at the same time, let them get their rebounds.”
"I think we definitely made an emphasis of it during training camp. I think being able to watch the previous team we played in the playoffs, the Bucks last year crashed almost all five guys and that ended up hurting us.”
Bam returned from a two-game absence due to a bruised left knee and recorded 20 points and nine rebounds against the Wizards. In the absence of Herro, Gabe Vincent stepped up, scoring 18 points in 25 minutes off the bench.