Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was full of praise for big man Bam Adebayo after the team beat the Boston Celtics 125-113 in Game 6 to win the series 4-2 and set up an NBA Finals matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers. Adebayo, who taken by the Heat at No.
14 in the 2017 NBA draft, delivered a huge performance in Game 6 as he scored a career-high 32 points and collected 14 rebounds. "Bam is one of the great competitors already in this association," Spoelstra said, per ESPN.
"He's going to become one of the great winners in the history just because he's so competitive. He moves the needle in every single day. You can't put an analytic to his game and that's probably why he was overlooked in college.
He competes every single possession. He's really going into a leadership role. Way beyond his years. His offensive game is just growing daily. And he wants the responsibility, and he wants the accountability, and he isn't afraid of putting that responsibility on his shoulders, and that's what he did the other night."
Spoelstra understood Adebayo
After a Game 5 loss, Adebayo took all the blame for the loss as he acknowledged he wasn't happy with his effort on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. "All the greats in the history of the game have done that before.
It was not his fault. That was a collective effort, including the coaching staff, but he wanted to take a step forward and put it on his broad shoulders, and he backed that up tonight. He was sensational. And just from a competitive standpoint, all across the board," Spoelstra said of Adebayo's post-Game 5 comments.
But Adebayo really thought he was guilty for the Game 5 loss and he wanted to make amends for it in Game 6. "I let my teammates down in Game 5," Adebayo said. "I had to realign myself with who I really want to become and I showed that tonight.
You say you haven't seen me be a scorer in the fourth before? Well, there ya go. It is just one of those things. Coaches want me to be better and they want me to do great things. That is the first time I have gone play to play to play, back to back to back, so being in that moment and embracing it and taking over as we win the conference finals is a great thing for me. At the end of the day, we have four more. Business isn't done yet."