Erik Spoelstra gushes over Bam Adebayo: ‘I’ve never coached a player with so many responsibilities’'
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Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra had some major praise for center Bam Adebayo following the team’s 113-112 win over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night.

“He’s just such a key player,” Spoelstra said. “He’s such a winner. He’s an absolute winner. He can morph into so many different roles for us where he makes it look so much easier to the average fan – everybody just wants him to score 40.”

Spoelstra praised Adebayo’s ability to read defenses, which helps the team a ton at that end of the floor. He also gave him praise for his offensive game, which was huge in Miami’s win on Monday.

“Understanding how to read defenses and what’s necessary for this team, and when to be assertive, when to create for others, when to set screens for guys. Look, I’ve never coached really somebody where there’s been so many different responsibilities,” Spoelstra said.

That is some lofty praise from the Heat head coach, as he’s been around to coach LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and obviously Jimmy Butler in Miami.

There’s no doubt that Adebayo came up huge for the Heat in this game, hitting two clutch free throws late in the fourth to put the team ahead 113-112, which held up for the final score.

For the game, Adebayo finished with 30 points on 9-of-18 shooting, 10 rebounds, one assist and one steal. The University of Kentucky product paced a balanced attack that saw seven different Heat players score in double figures.

Even though he plays center for Miami, Adebayo has such a unique skill set for the position. He’s a great defender and passer, and he also can make plays in the open court, including a circus finish on a layup in the fourth quarter.

Adebayo’s season-long numbers took a major jump following Monday’s win. He is now averaging 19.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 53.1 percent from the field.

Spoelstra clearly relies on Adebayo to do a ton of different things for the Heat, and time and time again the one-time All-Star delivers with important plays. The Heat are now back to .500 on the season at 7-7, with Monday’s victory marking their third straight win.

With Omer Yurtseven injured, the Heat are going to continue to rely on Adebayo to play major minutes and lead the team down low. Dewayne Dedmon will mix into the lineup during the season, but there’s no doubt that Adebayo is the anchor in Miami’s frontcourt.

Adebayo and the Heat will look to extend their winning streak to four games when they take on the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. EST.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.