Will Bam Adebayo be a problem for Anthony Davis, LeBron and the Lakers?

All Bam Adebayo needed was an opening.

Miami Heat’s Game 5 loss against the Boston Celtics and tipoff of Game 6 on Sunday seething. He blamed himself — his lack of aggression — for the outcome. ” data-reactid=”23″ type=”text”>He spent the 44 hours between the Miami Heat’s Game 5 loss against the Boston Celtics and tipoff of Game 6 on Sunday seething. He blamed himself — his lack of aggression — for the outcome. 

the Heat took Game 6, 125-113, to advance to the NBA Finals. “My family knows how I get when I play bad — especially if we lose — I put that on my shoulders.” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra insisted the whole team was responsible for the loss, but he didn’t say anything to make Adebayo feel better.” data-reactid=”24″ type=”text”>“I was locked in,” Adebayo said after the Heat took Game 6, 125-113, to advance to the NBA Finals. “My family knows how I get when I play bad — especially if we lose — I put that on my shoulders.” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra insisted the whole team was responsible for the loss, but he didn’t say anything to make Adebayo feel better.

“No,” Spoelstra interrupted, wrinkling his eyebrows incredulously. “I loved it,” he laughed. That type of self-flagellation, the hallowed Heat know well, is a hallmark of greatness, because only a great player could score 13 points, grab eight rebounds, and dish eight assists in Game 5 and grade himself poorly. Adebayo wouldn’t even blame his sore wrist. It was on him. 

Los Angeles Lakers, which starts Wednesday.” data-reactid=”26″ type=”text”>“All the greats have done that before,” said Spoelstra “It was not his fault. It was all of us. But he wanted to put it on his broad shoulders.” Adebayo put up 32 points on 15 shots, and had 14 rebounds and five assists in Game 6 to carry the Heat to a matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers, which starts Wednesday.

According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, Adebayo is trying to beat Alonzo Mourning’s weight-lifting records. In a pre-draft workout, he got mad at Heat president Pat Riley and Spoelstra for testing whether he could contain guards. He remembers — and likely will always remember — being cut from Team USA in 2019. He doesn’t like being doubted. ” data-reactid=”27″ type=”text”>Adebayo’s ruthless aggression has already inspired legends. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, Adebayo is trying to beat Alonzo Mourning’s weight-lifting records. In a pre-draft workout, he got mad at Heat president Pat Riley and Spoelstra for testing whether he could contain guards. He remembers — and likely will always remember — being cut from Team USA in 2019. He doesn’t like being doubted. 

Daniel Theis during Game 6 Sunday night. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)”>

The Heat’s Bam Adebayo is tied up by the Celtics’ Daniel Theis during Game 6 Sunday night. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Adebayo lived up to the Heat’s expectations, but not his own. “I let my teammates down in Game 5,” he said. “So I just had to realign myself with who I really want to become, and I just showed that tonight. You say you haven’t seen me be a scorer in the fourth before,” he said, “so there you go.”

Adebayo had 22 points before the fourth quarter, when the Celtics did something inexplicable: They went away from a lineup that slowed him and the Heat down. In hindsight, the onslaught feels scripted, but that’s because Adebayo confirmed something that was a mere suspicion before the game: You can’t let him smell blood.

Grant Williams, whose strength and lateral quickness allowed the Celtics to switch, in the game. Then Daniel Theis checked in for him, and the floodgates opened. ” data-reactid=”41″ type=”text”>That’s exactly what the Celtics did with 6:54 left. The Celtics went on a 22-8 second-half run with Grant Williams, whose strength and lateral quickness allowed the Celtics to switch, in the game. Then Daniel Theis checked in for him, and the floodgates opened. 

Kemba Walker and flipped a pass to Jimmy Butler for a layup, before Theis or Jayson Tatum could recover. Theis fouled Adebayo twice. Within 90 seconds, Theis fouled out and the Heat regained their lead. ” data-reactid=”42″ type=”text”>On the possession following the substitution, Adebayo dribbled, turned Theis sideways, led him to the basket and dunked. Then he threw him off-balance in the paint, notching a floater and drawing a foul. Then he got double-teamed on a drive, swung his arm around Kemba Walker and flipped a pass to Jimmy Butler for a layup, before Theis or Jayson Tatum could recover. Theis fouled Adebayo twice. Within 90 seconds, Theis fouled out and the Heat regained their lead. 

Jaylen Brown muscled him up on catches.” data-reactid=”43″ type=”text”>Theis allowed Adebayo to gain enough of a head of steam to barrel past him, leaving him perpetually backtracking. Williams, instead, picked Adebayo up early. Williams bumped Adebayo before catches, pushing his chest into his base. He got wide and tailed Adebayo like a brick wall, forcing him to dribble horizontally, stripping him when he tried to turn. Smart fronted Adebayo well in the post. Jaylen Brown muscled him
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