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#pounditMonday, March 4, 2024

Former NBA coach has brutal assessment of Bam Adebayo’s struggles

Bam Adebayo warms up before a game

Dec 30, 2019; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) warms up before the game against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat have been battling a lot of injuries in the Eastern Conference Finals against Boston. As a result, they’ve looked for center Bam Adebayo to pick up the slack, but he has struggled to do so.

Longtime NBA coach Stan Van Gundy had a fairly blunt assessment of why Adebayo has struggled against the Celtics. To Van Gundy, it all comes down to size, and Adebayo simply does not have enough of it.

“Bam’s small. In today’s game, most of the time, that doesn’t matter, but when you run into teams that play with size, he struggles,” Van Gundy said in an appearance on “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz.” “I don’t think that’s a problem with him. I don’t think he’s afraid. I think it’s just, he’s small, and getting shots up over the top of guys is tough. He’s an intersting guy in today’s game because he does a lot of things really well. He handles, he passes, he can guard. But he’s a small center who can’t stretch you out on the floor.”

Adebayo is 6-foot-9, which can definitely pose a challenge for him when playing close to the basket on offense. He went off for 31 points in Miami’s Game 3 win, but as Van Gundy noted, Robert Williams sat out that game for Boston. In the other four games of the series, he has been held to 10, 6, 9, and 18 points. That is problematic when Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry are hobbled, Tyler Herro has missed time, and no one else is picking up the slack on offense.

Adebayo’s reputation is definitely taking a hit in this series. Fair or not, rival teams are likely keying in on what Van Gundy is saying.

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