The guys from NBA on TNT recently talked about Bam Adebayo's performance in the Eastern Conference Finals (ECF). While Adebayo is expected to be the next best thing besides Jimmy Butler, Kenny Smith isn't liking what he's seen from the Heat forward so far. Smith thinks Adebayo hasn't been giving it his all compared to previous games, which is one of the reasons why Miami is struggling to win.
However, Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley believe otherwise. Based on stats alone, Bam Adebayo hasn't exactly been the same player in the ECF. But Chuck and Shaq think that his numbers are solid enough. Kenny Smith wanted to see Shaq-like numbers from Bam, but the "Big Diesel" himself is already satisfied with Adebayo's performances. O'Neal said:
"He's the guy Kenny, stop it."
Taking a closer look at Bam Adebayo's ECF performances
In the eyes of many, Bam Adebayo is nowhere to be found in the ECF. While he had a couple of great games at the start of the series, his numbers suddenly declined after games 1 and 2. With that in mind, this could be one of the reasons why the Miami Heat struggled to complete the sweep against the Boston Celtics.
In Game 1, Adebayo put up 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Come Game 2, he came up with a huge double-double outing with 22 points and 17 rebounds. He even flirted with a triple-double by dishing out nine assists. However, from games 3 to 6, the Heat forward hasn't exactly played like himself. In Game 3, his numbers dropped to 13 points, three rebounds and two assists.
It got even worse in Game 4 as Adebayo only added 10 points and five rebounds despite playing for 35 minutes. Games 5 and 6 were a slight improvement, however, it was a bit too late as the Celtics, by that point, had gained all the momentum they needed to make a comeback in the series.
Throughout the six games in the ECF, Adebayo averaged 15.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists. While his averages look decent on paper, Miami fans were expecting more from their forward.