The Miami Heat are on the road for the next four games, starting with a rematch against the Cleveland Cavaliers without starting center Bam Adebayo. Without him, Erik Spoelstra and his boys are on an improbable two-game winning streak, including a signature win over the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks.
Minus All-Star Jimmy Butler and Adebayo, the Miami Heat dealt a crushing blow to the Bucks. The loss marked the first time Milwaukee has lost a game this season while playing their Big Three of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday.
Bam Adebayo missed his first game due to a thumb injury against, coincidentally, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Without Butler and Adebayo on the front court, the Cavaliers thoroughly pounded the Heat on the boards. Cleveland had a monumental 46-28 advantage in rebounding.
Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, with 11 caroms each, almost outrebounded the entire Miami Heat team that was missing its best rebounder.
What is Bam Adebayo’s status for tonight’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers?
The Miami Heat have officially listed Bam Adebayo as out for the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Miami’s starting center originally injured his thumb in a devastating loss to the Denver Nuggets on the Miami Heat’s home floor.
Adebayo was initially open to playing with a torn UCL in his right thumb but eventually acceded to an operation. The operation was done on December 7 at the Kerlan-Jobe Surgery Center in Los Angeles. The Miami Heat are expecting the former All-Star to miss four to six weeks.
When will Bam Adebayo return?
Despite the aforementioned 4-6 week time off, the Miami Heat are not setting an official date for Bam Adebayo’s return. If the full six-week expected schedule is followed, the 24-year old big man could make his earliest return on January 9 against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Miami Heat, in that time, will be in the middle of their longest road trip, a brutal seven-game jaunt starting in San Antonio and ending in Atlanta. However, the thumb injury is on Adebayo’s right hand, which is his shooting and dominant hand. There is a very big possibility that the Heat will keep him out for longer than six weeks.
How does Bam Adebayo’s absence impact the Miami Heat?
Before the injury, Bam Adebayo was in the middle of a great campaign. He was averaging a double-double and career-best best numbers in scoring and rebounding. His 18.7 PPG and 10.2 rebounds have already been greatly missed by the Miami Heat.
Adebayo’s impact isn’t just seen in the box score. The Miami Heat’s starting center is the backbone of their unforgiving defense that just decimated opponents when the roster was healthy. Adebayo, before getting injured, was already earning talks as a serious candidate for the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Miami’s identity and culture are founded on hard work, gritty defense and hustle. Bam Adebayo oozes with all of these traits.