Q: Is Bam Adebayo getting a bum rap? He needs to be “more aggressive” and the words “more assertive” are associated with Baum. Is summer asking him too much across the board? Pat Riley and Eric Spoelstra talk about how much the Heat rely on Bam, especially as a youngster. He covers on defense for the players. He receives heat in their guilt. Riley even said that Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herrow should give Bam half of their salary (think about that comment for a second). Sometimes we know what happens when you try to do too much. Maybe less is more for a balm. Maybe we can get another player to do some of the balm work. – Stuart.
A: And that’s the thing: How many every-instrument players really are there? How many players excel defensively, defending one to five? How many of them thrive on their passing beyond selflessness? How many times does a double-double clip rebound, even when their defense takes them to the perimeter? I mean, Wilt can do his free throw. Magic had to struggle with his outside shot several times. Larry Bird was hardly effective defensively. No, in no way comparing Bam Adebayo to all three of them. Just offering that some players peak at the stars, All-Stars, but not necessarily all-time greats. Bam has checked a lot of boxes. And, yes, you can point to the maximum contract. But that is supply and demand, more than a dollar-for-dollar valuation. Yes, there should be room for growth at the age of 24. But also consider the increase made by 24.
Q: Ira, don’t you think if we had put together last year’s core team, which included Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa, and added low-cost free agents like PJ Tucker and Caleb Martin, we would have Do it well Will this year’s team and we have enough money available to sign a top-tier free agent this summer? – Greg, Jacksonville.
A: If I had known that Kyle Lowry would have lost that much time during the regular season and then an even higher percentage during the playoffs, then, yes, that would have changed the thinking. But who knew? So now it’s about maximizing the last two years on that contract. I still believe he could be the right player at the right time for this roster, but, now, at 36, it’s also about doubling down on that commitment.
Q: Are you so afraid of losing access to your locker room that you won’t criticize Eric Spoelstra? Enough with this 3-point effort to go to the NBA Finals. It should never have been so close. Eric was outcoached by a rookie. He lost three of four playoff games at home. Every player, except Jimmy Butler, performed worse than his regular season average. He consistently fails to deliver the best of his players. Eric in frustration failed to make any adjustments to put his team in a winning position other than playing 46 to 48 minutes per game. Summer deserves better. – Jarvis, Pompano Beach.
A: First, the pandemic took away my locker-room access. But second, if someone told you on the eve of last season that Eric Spoelstra would coach the Heat within a game of the NBA Finals, would the criticism be the same? And, to be candid, if you had, you would have lived by some remarkably high NBA standards.