Bam Adebayo reacts to landing in Damian Lillard’s hypothetical starting 5, which doesn’t include Giannis Antetokounmpo

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard was asked to dream up a hypothetical starting lineup in the NBA. While he named Miami Heat star Bam Adebayo as his center, there was no mention of Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, a two-time league MVP.

Adebayo posted a reaction on X.

Adebayo was named as the replacement for an injured Joel Embiid in the starting lineup of Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game. That made him the first Heat player to be in the starting five of the midseason classic since Dwyane Wade did so eight years ago.

Adebayo played just 17 minutes and only mustered three points and two rebounds, but he was very thankful leading up to the game just to get the starting nod.

This was Adebayo’s third time being named to the All-Star Game, and over the last few years, he has made himself into one of the NBA’s best centers. This season, he’s averaging 20.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game, and he’s one of the biggest reasons Miami has held onto the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference despite injuries and other issues.

His biggest strength is perhaps on the defensive end. He has been named to the All-Defensive Second Team in four straight seasons, and he is always seemingly a candidate for the Defensive Player of the Year award.

The Heat, who are the defending Eastern Conference champions, had a 24-16 record and were in fifth place in the East only about a month ago. But they then went on a seven-game losing streak, which caused them to momentarily flirt with the .500 mark.

After that, they recovered to win six of their last eight games leading into the All-Star break.

The Heat’s schedule resumes on Friday as they continue a six-game road trip with a contest against the young and hungry New Orleans Pelicans. Adebayo will look to help his squad put together a strong finish to the regular season before the playoffs start coming into focus in the NBA.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif. and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s, and during that time he has lived through the Alonzo Mourning, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James era of Heat basketball. He feels strongly that the NBA and sports aren't just entertainment, but also a means for learning life lessons.