A Bam Adebayo Breakdown Against Detroit

Bam Adebayo was the story of the night against the Detroit Pistons, since his offensive package was finally put on full display. Many are aware of his defensive presence that I’ll highlight a bit here, but taking a look at his offensive improvement is the most important thing to highlight.

Here’s a breakdown of Bam Adebayo’s performance…

– Bam and Duncan 2 Man Game

The first thing to obviously evaluate with Bam Adebayo on offense is the dribble hand-off connection with Duncan Robinson. Coach Spo inserted them both with 20 seconds left in the quarter, so they can try and get a bucket before the buzzer. As seen here, Duncan’s gravity even stands when attacking the basket. The deadliness of this DHO combo has been discussed, but Duncan’s ability to put the ball on the floor like this elevates them even more. And although Duncan is harped on with this combo, it wouldn’t be possible without Bam’s screen setting, offensive activity, and most importantly his main job of being the safety net.

– The Improvements of that 2 Man Game

The play shown previously is pretty much what we are used to seeing with these two, but this play showcases the evolution. Duncan becoming more confident in other areas of his game allows Bam to thrive even more in these sets. He fakes the DHO to Gabe Vincent, then hands it off to Robinson for a 2 on 1 opportunity. He threw the lob up comfortably and Bam finished at the rim. These last two games without Herro and Butler allowed them to develop their chemistry in different ways offensively, and it looks like it is paying off.

– The Jab Step Jumper

For starters, I’ve been saying since the beginning of the season that Bam’s jumper looks most fluid after a jab step. It just seems to put him into his normal shooting motion, since he creates the space that is needed. On this play, Bam gives a jab step left, and sends Plumlee flying backwards, which gives Bam more than enough space to connect on the elbow jumper. After teams watch film on Bam, they’re aware of his ability to put the ball on the deck and get to the rim, and that ultimately allows Bam’s jab step to become more and more effective.

– Rebound, Dribble, Full-Court Dime

Well, this is Bam Adebayo at his finest, surveying the floor after a rebound to find the open man. Here, he grabs the board and sees the open Kendrick Nunn at the other end of the court. He throws a pass in-between all of Detroit’s defenders for a Kendrick Nunn layup. That is when Bam Adebayo’s full offensive package is seen. He’s able to do so many things on the floor, and it’s hard for a defense to keep up with, especially slower big men. This isn’t really highlighting growth, since he’s always had this and utilized it, but it’s still an important part of his game to get others involved.

– An Attacking Adebayo

As much as it’s great to harp on Bam’s jump-shot, this is the best part of his offensive game. He dribbles the ball up the floor on the first possession of the second half, and immediately attacks the rim. The other four Miami Heat players are cleared out on the opposite end of the floor, giving him the space he needs to do what he does best. Not only did he get to the spot he loves to get to, it ended up sending him to his actual favorite part of the floor, the free throw line. Bam’s free throw attempts and makes have been increasing rapidly, and that’s when his entire game will come together.

– The Small Things Aren’t So Small

This play right here may look like a normal Bam Adebayo pass seen every single game, but that just makes it more impressive. First off, his ability to read everything so thoroughly, noticing Kelly Olynyk being open after the screen down low. But more important, his ability to throw a wrap around baseline pass in a congested area isn’t normal for a big man. And although many will say it’s because he’s not a normal big, these types of plays solidify that.

– Adebayo’s Defensive Activity

These are the types of plays that label Bam Adebayo as the great defender that he is. He switches out onto Derrick Rose on the pick and roll to double team, and forces him to swing it. Detroit then tries to find the open man, while Bam immediately drops back down to Plumlee. As he gets there, he notices the pass Plumlee is about to make and jumps the passing lane, poking it loose from Grant. His defensive awareness is off the charts, but pair that up with his natural quickness and length, and it’ll tell you why he continues to wreck havoc on that end of the floor.

– The Jumpers are Coming as Confidence Rises

Now, here are the possessions that Bam’s jumper comes into play. First off, as I mentioned earlier, it all derives off of confidence. On the first play, Bam notices Plumlee giving him way too much space, so he takes one dribble up to the free throw line for a pull-up mid-range. After that shot, you can tell by his body language that he has that confidence in his jumper now. The next play he looks to take Plumlee off the dribble on the baseline, and when he’s cut off, instinctively pulls back for a step back jumper. His jump-shots need to be instinctive, since that’s when he shoots naturally without thinking about it. He clearly has it in him, but it comes down to him utilizing it consistently.

– The Bam Block or The Bam Clamps

This Bam block to close the game out was described as the play of the game, but I don’t even think it was the most impressive part of the possession. Miami clearly needed a stop, and the ball was going to be in Jerami Grant’s hands. Bam switched out onto him on the perimeter, and did what he does best: Lock guys down on the outside. Not only does he stay in front of him the entire time, but he angles his body perfectly to cut him off before getting to the basket, leading to an outstanding block. It’s the small things with Bam Adebayo, but it doesn’t get highlighted much since he does it so effortlessly.

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