Miami Heat: Bam Adebayo will be a huge x-factor when season restarts

Bam Adebayo will be a huge x-factor for the Miami Heat when the NBA restarts

Even before the NBA’s hiatus, Bam Adebayo was quickly becoming one of the league’s rising stars. He had emerged (depending on who you ask) as the second-best player for the Miami Heat and was named to his first all-star game during the 2019-20 season.

In his first full season as a starter for the Heat, Bam was averaging 16 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and one block per game on 57 percent shooting from the field. In his third season in the league, he was in the midst of a breakout year. Something that most expect from high-ceiling players at this point in their careers.

Bam helped lead the Heat to the fourth-best record in the East and was setting up to be one of the most dangerous teams in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Then, it was all shut down due to COVID-19.

As the NBA inches closer to returning to action, you can’t help but wonder, what Bam will we see once play resumes and how will it impact the Miami Heat?

Bam will be the key for the Miami Heat

On one hand, perhaps you’d expect Bam to pick up right where he left off. It makes sense. After all, what else would you expect? However, considering the NBA will have been off for four-plus months when it returns, perhaps the 2020 hiatus will be more viewed as an entire offseason for players?

It actually makes sense. That means, especially for players like Bam, the restart will be huge in their ascension. That could be the key for a team like the Heat making a run in the bubble in Orlando.

Will we see Bam with an improved mid-range jump shot? Will we see him with an extended range? Will we see him as a better ball-handler and potentially a true point forward now (something we certainly saw glimpses of before the hiatus)?

If players really did treat the hiatus as a full offseason, perhaps we will see many players (if they had the luxury of a training center throughout the hiatus) with an improved skill set when play is resumed in the bubble.

If that is the case for Bam, perhaps we could see a much more dangerous Miami Heat team when the playoffs start. Many are pointing to the Boston Celtics or Philadelphia 76ers as the biggest threat to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference.

Led by Jimmy Butler and a myriad of exciting young players, and potentially an improved Bam Adebayo, the Heat could emerge as a real threat in the playoffs. Without homecourt advantage playing a factor, the NBA’s restart could play into the hands of the Heat.