Q: Ira, finally Bam Adebayo is the straw that stirs the drink. – Juan, Miami Beach.
A: What Bam Adebayo has done the past two games has been impressive – and needed. But I’m still not sold that this is what he wants to do, has to do, or the team needs him to do on a nightly basis. This is more a matter of stepping up to the moment with Jimmy Butler out, Kyle Lowry under the weather and Tyler Herro working back to regain his form. Against certain players, like anyone the Hawks put out there Sunday, there should continue to be such moments. But also appreciate that the Hawks were without Clint Capela, which makes a difference. Now, do it in consecutive games against the Celtics, and then we can talk about taking it to a higher level. But, yes, the possibilities are there, which is all you can ask at this stage of Bam’s development.
Q: We got Tyreek Hill, Keith Tkachuk, now Messi. It’s time for the Heat to get Kevin Durant. — Kelly.
A: First, it’s not as if the Heat don’t already have Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. So there already are a pair of leading men in place. And you can’t keep going back for more. The Heat essentially locked in this payroll with the Kyle Lowry signing. And with Tyler Herro extended and effectively off the trade trade, the resources at the moment are lacking. Or they could just go ahead and sign Ronaldo.
Q: Has Jimmy disconnected? Is he mad that Pat Riley and company made no move to improve the team? His absence seems passive-aggressive to me. And recent comments from Erik Spoelstra seem to suggest some underlying issue. Am I way off base? – Cheryl, Fort Lauderdale.
A: When it comes to injuries, it is difficult to assess another man’s pain. But the treatment Jimmy Butler has received for his knee soreness is real, and it is a condition that has hampered him previously. That said, it also is safe to say that Jimmy likely would prefer more alongside, having pushed P.J. Tucker to remain with the team after last season’s run within one game of the NBA Finals. The hope is that with Tyler Herro back, the Heat will not have to lean as heavily on Jimmy for minutes and points going forward.