The 2019-20 Miami Heat made the NBA Finals, in large part due to the stellar play of star duo Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler. The two flashed their two-way abilities in the playoffs that year, and while they fell short of making the Finals during the 2020-21 season, they will be looking to bounce back.
There is no question that Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are key to the Miami Heat's contending hopes during the 2021-22 season. Butler put up averages of 21.5 PPG, 6.9 RPG, and 7.1 APG last season, showing his all-around game. Bam Adebayo increased his scoring averages last year, averaging 18.7 PPG, 9.0 RPG, and 5.4 APG. Both stars play basketball the right way and are willing playmakers for their teammates.
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has recently expressed his appreciation for the star duo when speaking to Jason Jackson of SiriusXM NBA Radio. Spoelstra stated that "not many" stars can "move the needle" for a team, and that he appreciates having both players under contract while calling them "cornerstones" for the franchise.
Look, you want to be around like-minded people, and it's hard to get those kind of stars in this league. There's not many of them that can really move the needle for your franchise. Jimmy you know, the stars were aligned for us to be able to be able to acquire him via trade. He wanted to be here, we wanted him, we wanted to move forward with our franchise with another young star in Bam.
To be able to have both of us with them under contract, it is something we don't take for granted. We know how difficult that is to do in this league. You can build around that. Now you have the cornerstones, and you're able to develop young guys that fit and complement them. You're able to add somebody like Kyle Lowry who fits and complements, and they all complement each other. But it stars in getting your cornerstones and building from there.
There is no question that having two All-Star level players certainly helps with free-agent recruitment and having a clearer path to building the team to contention. Kyle Lowry notably stated that his friendship with Jimmy Butler had a lot of influence on him joining the Heat, and without Butler on the roster, they most likely wouldn't be able to get Lowry to join.
It remains to be seen how the Miami Heat will do in the upcoming season, and many of them have them as a potential contender. While the Eastern Conference is definitely strong this year, the Miami Heat have lots of talent on the team, and perhaps we could see them make the Finals once again.