Bam Adebayo is one of the best players on the Miami Heat and is set to be a huge part of the franchise's future. He has been an excellent piece in their deep playoff runs in 2020 and this season alongside Jimmy Butler, with his versatility on offense and defense both making him a unique weapon.
However, there were some criticisms of Adebayo during this postseason, most often to do with his inconsistency in putting up numbers against other centers that he might have been expected to do well against, something he acknowledged before answering his critics on the court. But while fans and those outside the organization may have the occasional issue with Adebayo and his play, the man that matters most in Miami, Pat Riley, still only has praise for what Bam does for the team.
Speaking at a press conference, Riley addressed Adebayo's situation, going out of his way to explain that his presence frees up a lot of Miami's perimeter players to play well.
"He’s been asked to do a lot of things as a young player… He’s always getting somebody open. Duncan Robinson should give him half his check. Tyler Herro should pay him half his check. Max Strus should give him half his check."
Adebayo averaged almost 15 points and 8 rebounds during the playoffs while playing some tough defense, and his ability to dominate in the paint coupled with the offensive sets the Heat run does allow for the likes of Tyler Herro and Max Strus to get open three-point shots.
However, while Riley is being quite generous with his praise here, even Adebayo will know that he has to step it up a notch to be considered a big star in the league, and with Jimmy Butler not getting any younger, he will have to shoulder a bigger load soon. Bam has all the tools to do it though, and the confidence of someone like Riley should help him unlock his potential and take that next step soon.