Q: Did Bam Adebayo get caught in the act? He must be “more aggressive” and “more assertive” are words associated with Bam. Are the Heat asking too much of him at all levels? Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra explain how much the Heat rely on Bam, especially for a young player. It covers the defense of the players. He gets the Heat in their attack. Riley even said that Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro should give Bam half their salary (think about that comment for a second). Sometimes we know what happens when you try to do a lot. Maybe less is more for Bam. Maybe we take another player to do some of Bam’s job. -Stuart.
A: And that’s the problem: how many versatile players are there really? How many players excel defensively while keeping one through five? How many flourish with their disappearance, beyond disinterestedness? How many often bounce off a double-double clip, even when their defense takes them into the perimeter? I mean, Wilt could make his free throws. Magic struggled with their outside shot at times. Larry Bird was hardly dominant defensively. No, in no way comparing Bam Adebayo to these three. Suffice it to offer that some players reach the top of stars, All-Star, but not necessarily all-time great stars. Bam ticked a lot of boxes. And, yes, you could point to the maximum contract. But it’s supply and demand, more than a dollar-for-dollar valuation. Yes, at 24 there should be room for growth. But also consider the growth achieved by 24.
Q: Ira, don’t you think that if we had kept the core team from last year, including Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa, and just added low-cost free agents like PJ Tucker and Caleb Martin, we would would have done as well as this year’s team and we would have had plenty of money available this summer to sign a top free agent? – Greg, Jacksonville.
A: If I had known that Kyle Lowry would have missed that much time in the regular season and then an even bigger percentage in the playoffs, then yes, that would have changed the way of thinking. But who knew? It is therefore now a question of maximizing the last two years of this contract. I still believe he can be the right player at the right time for this roster, but now, at 36, it also has to be about stepping up.
Q: Are you so afraid of losing access to your locker room that you won’t criticize Erik Spoelstra? Enough with that one 3-point attempt to make it to the NBA Finals. It should never have been so close. Erik was passed by a rookie. He lost three of the four playoff games at home. All players except Jimmy Butler performed below their regular season averages. He consistently fails to get the best out of his players. Erik made no adjustments to put his team in a position to win except to play Jimmy 46-48 minutes per game out of desperation. The Heat deserve better. – Jarvis, Pompano Beach.
A: First, the pandemic deprived me of access to locker rooms. But second, if someone had told you on the eve of last season that Erik Spoelstra would coach the Heat in an NBA Finals game, would the criticism have been the same then? And, to be blunt, if yours had, then you’re living by remarkably high NBA standards.