Before last season, Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo was considered among the league's rising stars.
After somewhat of slow season in 2020-21, Adebayo has dropped in some of eh preseason player rankings. He fell from No. 20 to 22 on SI.com's list of the top 100 players.
“No ceiling,” wrote SI.com's Rohan Nadkarni. “That’s how Erik Spoelstra likes to describe Adebayo, who is arguably the most versatile and effective defensive big man in the NBA. Adebayo’s absurd defensive skills alone make him top-25 worthy. When you add in his growing offensive repertoire as both an initiator and scorer, he becomes someone that every single coach in the league covets. If Bam develops into a more confident and consistent scorer, he will take another leap up this list.”
In 2019-20, Adebayo made his first NBA All-Star appearance and helped the Heat advance to the Finals, where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games. Despite averaging a career-high 18.7 points and nine rebounds and 5.4 assists, Adebayo was bypassed for the All-Star Game in 2020-21. It didn't help that he didn't perform particularly well in the postseason when the Heat lost to the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks in the first round.
The question is this: Does Adebayo have something to prove this season? The Heat still believe they have one of the best centers in the league. That will be answered this year when Adebayo tries to quiet the critics.
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