With the NBA set to return on July 30th, there’s a lot to look forward to. The race to a final playoff spot, the climb to a higher seed, and different matchups your team may face. Miami Heat player matchups could be among the most intriguing.
Not only the team that’ll be your first round match-up, but also player rivalries. Many great battles have occurred throughout the season thus far, and will be even more intense in a playoff setting.
Here are some of the most anticipated matchups for the Miami Heat that fans would love to see…
Miami Heat Player Matchups 1 – Bam Adebayo vs Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been pretty close to unstoppable this season putting up MVP types of numbers. But only one guy has seemed to slow him down. Bam Adebayo. They faced off twice during this season and Bam came away with the win in both. This title officially was given to Bam when they faced off in early March. The Heat got a blowout win against the Bucks and Bam held Giannis to 13 points in the game, which tied the lowest points he scored all season. This match-up would be amazing not only for fans, but also to be the icing on the cake for a potential 2021 signing.
Miami Heat Player Matchups 2 – Jimmy Butler vs TJ Warren
NBA fans were robbed of this post-altercation match-up since the NBA was shut down shortly before. Everyone had this game circled on their calendar, including Jimmy Butler. This match-up is anticipated for a much different reason than the last. Jimmy Butler and TJ Warren got in a scuffle during a game in early January. Lots of words were said and kisses were blown, but fans want to see them in action on the court. And Jimmy does too…
"He's not even in my f—ing league. … I would never put him on me. … Put somebody else on me, 'cause I'm gonna tear his ass up every time we play."
Jimmy Butler went off on TJ Warren. pic.twitter.com/SMmRVgUx9z
— ESPN (@espn) January 9, 2020
Miami Heat Player Matchups 3 – Adebayo vs Pascal Siakam
This is another match-up that Bam Adebayo seems to embrace. The Heat played the Raptors twice this season as well which ended in two wins. These big wins were lead by Bam’s major defensive versatilities against Toronto’s star Pascal Siakam. His outstanding perimeter defense held Siakam to only 15 points in the game with a subpar field goal percentage. This was the beginning of another rivalry that Bam seemed to constantly come out on top with. And lets not forget another battle that Bam beat Siakam…
Player Matchups 4 – Butler vs Jayson Tatum
This is a match-up that does not get talked about much, but should. For starters, the Celtics got the best of Jimmy Butler and the Heat in both games this season, which does not sit well with Jimmy. That is something that sticks in the back of players heads, especially a player that his the mindset of Jimmy Butler. Jimmy also had one of his best games of the season in the first game against Boston in which he scored 37 points. He also held Jayson Tatum to 19 points and forced him to shoot 2/12 from three in Boston. This is a match-up that could heat up if they were to face off in a playoff series.
Player Matchups 5 – Adebayo vs Joel Embiid
The Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers always seem to bring an immense amount of intensity when they face off. There are many intriguing match-ups between these teams due to the trade that sent Josh Richardson to Philadelphia and Jimmy Butler to Miami. There may be more of a rivalry with Jimmy and some guys, but it doesn’t seem to be as closely watched as when Bam Adebayo faces Joel Embiid. (If it wasn’t player on player match-ups, Jimmy Butler vs Brett Brown would be the best rivalry between these teams.) This is the only match-up that it seems Bam hasn’t fully stopped. They’ve had their battles back and forth with toughness and offensive showings, but Bam has yet to fully stop Embiid himself with his defense. This might be because the 76ers seem to be easily stopped by strategy, like a zone defense, and also tend to stop themselves at times with their inability to fit together. Either way, this match-up will be closely watched for both sides to see if Bam can fully dethrone the best center in the NBA or if Embiid can overpower him with his size and skill set.