Bam Adebayo took another step in his development last season, but Chris Bosh thinks there’s another level to get to.
Over the last couple seasons, Bam Adebayo has become a key cog for the Miami Heat. He has earned second All-Defensive Team honors in back-to-back seasons, with an All-Star selection in 2020. Last season, he averaged a career-high 18.7 points per game.
Chris Bosh knows a bit about sacrificing for the greater good of the team. He was automatically the third wheel when he and LeBron James joined Dwyane Wade in Miami in the summer of 2010, so after being the guy in Toronto he had to accept a role and thrive in it.
Heat fans would love for Adebayo to be more aggressive offensively. It’s not so much a patent lack of assertiveness, it’s more like “shoot the ball!” Bosh is on board with the idea, echoing the sentiment in an interview with the Miami Herald this offseason.
Chris Bosh has ideas for Bam Adebayo to shoot the ball more
Q: What’s the next step for Bam Adebayo?
Chris: “Shoot it. That’s it. Shoot it. Shoot it. That’s all he needs to do is shoot it, I’m telling you. I did it for 13 years in the league, man, and it didn’t steer me wrong. Shoot it. He has the playmaking ability, he is unselfish. It’s wonderful that he’s a team player. But for him to get to where he wants to go, he’s going to have to shoot the ball. I think he’s more than capable. Once he proves that he’s a threat out there, Brook Lopez and DeAndre Jordan and all those bigs, they can’t just be in the middle of the paint playing traffic cop. He needs to come back and he needs to shoot it until they guard him. That would be my recommendation.”
Q: You went from a midrange to a three-point shooter during your time with the Heat. What’s that potential transition like for a player like Bam?
Chris: “It’s just a few steps back. That’s what a coach told me, ‘Yo, don’t let the line get in your head. It’s a couple feet.’ And I think it did take me a couple years to get used to the rhythm of the game shooting it. I would practice it, and then you have to get used to it. Once you develop that habit in practice, then you have to get used to the rhythm in the game. But once you get it, you continue to put the work in and it won’t matter. You’ll continue to be successful. But he needs to shoot it.”
Adebayo has averaged over five assists per game in each of the last two seasons, and he set a career-high with 12.5 field goal attempts per game last season (57 percent from the floor). But he only took eight 3-pointers last year, making two, and he has 22 attempts from beyond the arc over the last two seasons.
The next frontier for Adebayo is to become a perimeter threat. Bosh pointed to the mentality to do it (“shoot it until they guard him”), while also suggesting the Heat coaching staff will play a big role in unlocking that part of his game.
Of course, there is a line, as Adebayo should not unabashedly shoot 3s at the expense of everything else he does offensively. But being able to stretch his game out to the line will open things up for himself and others, and take the Heat offense to higher levels of proficiency and efficiency.