Jimmy Butler praises Bam Adebayo, explains what it is that makes him ‘unguardable’

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Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler heaped praise on center Bam Adebayo following Miami’s Game 6 win over the New York Knicks on Friday night.

The Heat advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in four seasons with the win, and Adebayo was arguably the team’s best player in Game 6.

Butler is right about Adebayo’s offensive game, as the Heat big man stepped things up on multiple occasions during the series with the Knicks. The University of Kentucky product finished Game 6 with 23 points on 9-of-20 shooting and nine rebounds.

For the entire series against New York, Adebayo did not have a game where he tallied fewer than 15 points and eight rebounds. That was a huge lift for Miami, especially since Butler didn’t score as much as he did in the first round against the Milwaukee Bucks.

This season’s playoff run has arguably been the best offensive postseason of Adebayo’s NBA career.

In 11 playoff games, he is averaging 18.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game while shooting 49.7 percent from the field on 15.0 field-goal attempts per contest. Prior to this season, Adebayo had never averaged over 17.8 points or 14.3 shots per game in a single playoff run.

Despite being the No. 8 seed, the Heat have shown that they are built for the postseason in the 2022-23 campaign. Miami has been great at defending home court, going 5-0 in South Florida so far in the playoffs. The team closed out the Knicks at home on Friday.

If the Heat want to get back to the NBA Finals for the first time since the 2019-20 season, they’re going to need Adebayo to continue to play aggressively on offense. The defensive effort and dominance from Adebayo is a given, but the Heat are relying on him as a scorer with Tyler Herro sidelined due to injury.

Adebayo, Butler and the Heat will await the winner of Sunday’s Game 7 between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Boston battled to win Game 6 on the road and force a Game 7 on Thursday night.

If the Celtics win, the Heat will get a chance at revenge, as Boston knocked them out of the playoffs last season.

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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.