The Miami Heat are coming off a week in which they won all three of their contests and continued their fast start to improve to 9-3 on the season.
In the wake of that effort, three key contributors to last week’s success: Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler and Kendrick Nunn, came up just short when it came time to award the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
Heat's Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler and Kendrick Nunn all finalists for Eastern Conference Player of the Week that went to Orlando's Nikola Vucevic.
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) November 18, 2019
Adebayo continued his strong start by tossing in 52 points during the three games, while hauling down 43 boards. He also handed out eight assists and blocked four shots, with three of the those blocks taking place in the Heat’s Saturday’s home win over New Orleans.
In Butler’s three games, the fiery veteran scored 50 points, dished out 32 assists, grabbed 13 rebounds and also collected eight steals. In the victory over New Orleans, Butler came close to a triple-double with 16 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds.
Continuing to put himself in the conversation for Rookie of the Year, Nunn was the most prolific of the trio when it came to scoring, notching a total of 65 points in the three wins. In addition, he contributed 15 assists, 10 rebounds and was also strong on defense with five steals.
The Heat’s 9-3 start is even more impressive when taking into account the injuries suffered by the team, along with some off-the-court turmoil. The fact that three finalists for the weekly award were at the center of success was something the team was hoping for entering the 2019-20 season.
Adebayo was officially installed as the Heat’s starting center following the departure of Hassan Whiteside and is starting to take major steps toward becoming a force in the paint. Meanwhile, Butler was acquired at a high cost during the offseason and is making that investment look like a wise one.
Finally, Nunn was the biggest wild card, since the Heat signed him just as last season came to a close. An undrafted free agent who played last season in the G League, Nunn is showing the promise he displayed at the collegiate level, with the Heat the beneficiaries of his early success.