While it’s tough to feel sorry for a team playing in the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat have been on the receiving end of some pretty tough luck. After battling their way past the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics, the club found itself in the unenviable position of playing the LA Lakers; in Game 2, that task became even tougher due to Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic’s injuries
Ahead of Game 4, however, things are looking a little brighter for the Miami Heat. Not only did they get off the mark and win Game 3, but they received a positive update about one of their injured stars.
The Miami Heat have made an unlikely run to the NBA Finals
When the 2019-20 NBA season began, just about everyone expected the LA Lakers to take a serious run at the title. The Miami Heat, however, didn’t receive the same level of hype.
In October 2019, for example, NBA.com shared the results of a survey of the league’s general managers. According to that poll, the Lakers were the third most popular pick to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy; Miami, on the other hand, was voted as the seventh-place team in the Eastern Conference.
2020, though, has been anything but predictable, and, inside the Orlando bubble, the Heat have produced some postseason magic. Jimmy Butler stepped up to lead Miami past the Bucks and Celtics, but he’s far from a one-man team; the likes of Goran Dragic, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro have also stepped up in big moments, helping the Heat claim the Eastern Conference crown.
Getting some good news about Bam Adebayo
Even under perfect circumstances, besting LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the LA Lakers in a seven-game series is a tough task. During Game 1 of the NBA Finals, however, the Heat’s challenge became even larger.
In addition to losing the game, Miami suffered two injuries. According to reports, Goran Dragic suffered a torn plantar fascia; Bam Adebayo also left the game with an upper-body issue, which has since been described as a neck strain.
While neither player has taken the floor since, the Heat did receive some good news on Monday night. Heading into Game 4, Adebayo’s status was upgraded to questionable. That might not seem like a massive improvement, but, with the series on the brink, every little bit helps. During Game 3, for example, Miami managed to keep Anthony Davis out of the paint; while that success was due to some smart, in-series adjustments, Adebayo can slow the big man down without the help of zone defense.
Even with Bam Adebayo improving, the Miami Heat still have an uphill climb
When you’re staring down the barrel of a season-ending defeat, any bit of good news can seem like a massive boost. Even if Bam Adebayo does return to action, though, the Miami Heat will still be facing an uphill climb.
Even if Adebayo is back to full fitness for Game 4—based on his questionable status though, it’s unclear if he’ll even play, let alone be at his best—the Lakers aren’t pushovers. While LeBron James and Anthony Davis struggled in Game 3, they’re too talented to be kept down for long; similarly, the Heat can’t rely on Jimmy Butler posting career numbers for the remainder of the series.
With all of that being said, though, Bam Adebayo’s improvement is still a much-needed piece of good news. If the Miami Heat can win Game 4 and get their big man back on the court, we might have a legitimate series after all.