As the new year approaches, the Miami Heat have continued to be a middle-of-the-pack team with victories over the best unit’s across the League while also losing to one of the worst.
There’s not much to be proud of in their 12-14 record, but the superstardom of Bam Adebayo has finally blossomed, and it’s greatly benefited, Jimmy Butler.
His aggressiveness has been on display, especially in the last six games. The Kentucky product has scored 18.3 points per game in the second half, which is second-best among centers behind Los Angeles Laker superstar Anthony Davis.
Bam keeps getting the job done by any means necessary 💥 pic.twitter.com/HIbWrG5Kdk— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 9, 2022
After a tight battle last night against the Los Angeles Clippers, Adebayo (31) and Butler (26) combined for 57 points while showing efficient shooting from inside the three-point line. Even with Adebayo’s point total and improvement in the second half, the center wanted Butler to score the team’s last eight clutch points, which he delivered.
“The ball finds the right places,” Adebayo said, according to Sports Illustrated. “Jimmy had the hot hand. He scored our last eight, and that’s what he does. At the end of the game, if he wants to keep doing, I’m fine with that. I have no problem with him shooting step-back, one-footers.”
JB with a game on the line is just different… the Clippers were the latest to find out. #ClutchJimmy 👋— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 9, 2022
Popular Moment of the Week // @popularbank pic.twitter.com/Zil4anyaCW
The number one option is expected to deliver in crunch time, no matter the circumstance. In his return from a nearly two-week absence, Butler knocked down a stunning fadeaway blow a week ago against the Boston Celtics to steal a victory at TD Garden.
Adebayo quietly recorded 28 points in that same outing and collected seven boards, forcing the Celtics to account for two of the Heat’s superstars.
The tear Adebayo is on right now has made Butler’s job easier. With Adebayo drawing much more attention, the closing minutes rely on no. 22 to take on isolation assignments in which he’s so potent. Another Adebayo eruption with a closing call from Butler is in the possibilities Saturday night as the San Antonio Spurs come into town.