Erik Spoelstra praises Bam Adebayo after his dominant performance for the Miami Heat: ‘We can’t get the ball to him enough’

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The Miami Heat snagged an important victory on Wednesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans, with star big man Bam Adebayo leading the way.

The University of Kentucky product has shown an increased level of aggressiveness on offense this season, and head coach Erik Spoelstra made sure to praise him for it.

“I love it,” Spoelstra said. “We all love the aggressiveness. And he’s doing it in so many different ways.”

Adebayo put up 26 points and eight rebounds against the Pelicans, going 11-for-15 from the field. He showed off a versatile offensive game with jump shots and drives to the basket.

He continues to show out on offense night in and night out and took over the top spot in the NBA in points scored in the paint this season. Spoelstra made sure to continue praising his starting center.

“We ultimately want to get Bam involved as much as possible,” he said. “We can’t get the ball to him enough. And that’s not just clearing out a side of the floor and trying to post him up. It takes a collaboration. There has to be a synchronicity of pick-and-roll basketball. But we don’t want to go too many possessions where we haven’t tried to get him the ball.”

The improvement Adebayo has made on offense this season is undeniable. He’s averaging 21.5 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game while connecting on 54.0 percent of his shots from the field.

The former first-round pick is now more willing to shoot further away from the basket, and he’s improved his shooting percentages on shots three to 10 feet from the basket and 10 to 16 feet from the basket.

For many years, Heat fans have clamored for Adebayo to be more aggressive on offense. During the team’s media day back in September, Adebayo stated that he would try to get up 18 shots per game. He’s a little short of that goal currently, but plenty of fans are surely happy with what they’ve seen from him so far.

After a bit of a rough start to the season, it seems like the Heat have found their stride. They’re 7-3 over their last 10 games and have climbed up to sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Adebayo is also in a groove right now, as he’s averaging 22.8 points and 11.4 rebounds per game so far in January.

Hopefully, his stellar play will continue for the rest of the season. Miami is set to close out a three-game road trip on Friday against the Dallas Mavericks before beginning a three-game home stand against the Pelicans on Sunday.

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David is a Miami native and University of Maryland graduate with experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.