Miami Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra Has Heated Message for Bam Adebayo Haters

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Miami Heat youngster Bam Adebayo has taken on more criticism since rising to star status this season.

On Wednesday, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra stood up for his big man in a pointed and pugnacious way.

“More people have opinions of how he needs to play,” Spoelstra said after Miami’s practice session ahead of Game 2. “He’s doing the right things for our team. That’s the only thing that matters. Everybody else can stick it up you know where.”

“He just continues to play how we need him to play as an All-Star player. He definitely has to quiet [people]; he doesn’t need to hear all the opinions of how he needs to play. He’s playing winning basketball.”

Adebayo, 23, helped lead the Heat to a Game 1 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.

“He’s worried about the way I help this team win,” Adebayo said of Spoelstra. “Everybody has got opinions on how I help this team win. In October, nobody knew who I was and now everybody has got all these opinions saying how I should do things, when I should do it, how I should do it. But you didn’t have an opinion or didn’t care about me when we were in October going into the preseason.

“I respect [Spoelstra] totally for it. He understands, he knows what we came from and I’m starting to flourish now. The biggest thing is he just wants me to impact winning and help this team win. Other people got opinions, but they didn’t have opinions in October.”

The 6-foot-9 pro collected 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists during the Heat 113-101 win over the Pacers in Game 1 of their playoff series.

Earlier this season, Adebayo was named an All-Star for the first time in his career. However, the new rank has come with heavy expectations.

After all, he is considered one of the Heat’s cornerstone pieces. The University of Kentucky product is putting up a career-high 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game this season.

Spoelstra, 49, understands the value Adebayo brings to the floor. Spoelstra has assisted the No. 14 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft in becoming one of the best young players in the league.

Game 2 between the Heat and Pacers takes place on Thursday.

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Born and raised in South Florida, Justin has always been a passionate Miami Heat fan. An avid supporter from the time Miami got its first championship in 2006 to having a league-worst 15-67 record in 2008 to the whole LeBron James era until now, Justin has seen and stuck through it all. His all-around analysis and heart for the game has made him a premier NBA writer. He writes for a variety of sites but his commitment to the Heat is always top priority.