Barry Jackson

Mixed offensive results for Bam Adebayo in summer league

El centro del Heat Bam Adebayo clava el balón en un encuentro contra los  Knicks en marzo.
El centro del Heat Bam Adebayo clava el balón en un encuentro contra los Knicks en marzo.

LAS VEGAS – The rebounding and defensive tenacity have been constants.

But for Bam Adebayo, the offensive game has remained a work in progress during his second stint playing in NBA Summer League.

Hoping to display a more polished and diverse offensive game this summer, Adebayo has had mixed results on that side of the floor over the past nine days.

The downside: He has shot 36.3 percent from the field (20 for 55) and committed 14 turnovers in five games – three games in Sacramento and two in Las Vegas.

The upside: Adebayo has found a way to draw defensive fouls with aggressive post moves and has been persistent in pounding the boards for put backs.

He shot 5 for 13 from the field but converted 14 of 16 free throws in Tuesday’s 98-90 win against a team of Utah Jazz rookies and young veterans, closing with 24 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes.

Adebayo is encouraged by the development of his post game but a “little bit” frustrated by the poor shooting percentage “because I put in a lot of work on it," he said in a hallway of Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus. "I spent hours and hours getting the reps, but I know it will fall. I'm not too worried about it.”

The high turnovers are partly a byproduct of being given substantial ball-handling responsibilities this summer.

But Adebayo is still looking to develop a consistent go-to move, better touch on post moves and a reliable jumper. On Tuesday, he missed a couple of jumpers, including one in the basket area that required more touch than force.

“He shot a couple too many jump shots today, but he really put some force and pressure on the rim, but that's really what we want,” Heat summer league coach Eric Glass said.

Adebayo continues to do much of his damage on alley-oops, several of which have drawn fouls during summer league, or layups or dunks in transition.

He has clearly worked to establish a better post game. In one sequence Tuesday, he backed down Georges Niang into the box and drew a foul. He’s 30 for 39 on free throws in summer league.

But during another, he drove into the paint and missed an off-balance reverse layup before corralling the rebound and drawing another foul.

“With my offseason work, that was something I had to get better at,” he said of his post game. “Coaching staff helped me with that throughout the whole offseason so you all are getting to see it all now. Getting to play a lot and have fun.”

Does he believe he has a go-to move? "It depends,” he said. “Different players play you different ways. Some players might be slow footed so they got to backup. Some players might push you up. You've got to have a go-to that's a mix for both of them.”

Glass downplayed the need for a go-to move. "I'm not sure [he has one specifically],” Glass said. “He's got a couple of things he can go to. I don't know if I would say there's a go-to move. I think it's better to have a reactive to what the defense is doing and have multiple moves."

Last season, Adebayo shot 62.9 percent at the rim, but just 34.6 percent from 3 to 9 feet (28 for 81), 32.1 percent from 10 to 15 feet (9 for 28) and 21.4 percent from 16 feet to the three-point line (3 for 14).

And he was 0 for 8 on three-pointers, after sinking 60 of 100 in a pre-draft workout with the Heat last spring. He has missed both of his three-point attempts in summer league but said he believes Erik Spoelstra would continue to allow him to take an open one in a game.

Last season, 95 of Adebayo’s 174 field goals were dunks, with Adebayo missing another nine dunks.

Adebayo said the mechanics of his jumper are fine.

"The rhythm, the shot, is all good. It's just I get those bounces. You've got to live with the result. I felt like it was all going in good."

Of his defense and rebounding this summer, he said: "I can definitely do better, keeping guys off the glass. I've got to go out and fight harder for rebounds.”

Compared to last year, the game is “much, much slower. First year, I was in a real high pace running around and I couldn't pace myself. Now it's kind of calm and the game has slowed down for me."

He hasn't discussed his role in remaining summer league games. The Heat has at least two games left.

ROBINSON THANKFUL

Hours after agreeing to a two-way contract with the Heat, Duncan Robinson continued his good work, connecting on three of seven three-pointers and finishing with 12 points in 29 minutes.

“I’m just excited, incredibly fortunate, unbelievable organization," he said after Tuesday's game. "Words can’t quite put it into perspective. It’s an incredible blessing."

Glass said of Robinson’s two-way contract: "I was really happy for him. He's really put in a lot of work. He's earned that contract. Everyone in the organization is really happy and we're excited about it…

“Obviously, shooting is at a premium in the NBA, so that's what attracts you at first. He's very competitive on the defensive end. He's really smart. He knows angles. He knows how to put himself in the right position. And he really has a good feel for the game. He knows when to make an extra pass. He knows when to put the ball on the floor. He knows when to help on defense. So he's got a good package."

Swingman Derrick Jones Jr. missed the game with a sprained ankle sustained in Sunday’s game against New Orleans. Glass said he was uncertain if he would play in the Heat’s next game.

Ike Nwamu scored 18 points and undrafted Georgia rookie Yante Maten added 14.

Miami is 2-1 in the Las Vegas portion of summer league and next plays on Wednesday or Thursday, with the time and opponent to be determined later in the day Tuesday.

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