Erik Spoelstra on Bam Adebayo’s career night vs. Suns
Heat notes on a Tuesday:
▪ One upshot to Chris Bosh repairing his relationship with the Heat:
He attended a recent practice and worked with Bam Adebayo.
“It’s probably the third time I’ve talked to Chris,” Adebayo told me. “He’s a real down-to-earth dude. I see why D-Wade [Dwyane Wade] feels that way.”
Adebayo said he worked with Bosh “mainly on offense. He was giving me easier ways to get my shot off. It’s helped me, and I feel I’m getting better at it.”
Adebayo knows he needs to improve his shooting facing the basket and would love to mimic Bosh in that regard. Bosh, of course, was one of the best shooting power rotation players of his generation.
“I’m going to keep working and work with our player development,” Adebayo said. “Hopefully I can be like Chris Bosh and hopefully I’ll get to win some championships like he did. Looking at the future, I think my future is bright.”
He said he has studied video of Bosh, Chris Webber, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett — power forwards/centers who could all shoot with range.
Though Adebayo is shooting 56.3 percent overall, he’s shooting 40.3 percent from three to nine feet (29 for 72) and 35.3 percent (12 for 34) from 10 to 15 feet. But he’s at 60 percent (6 for 10) from 16 feet to the three-point line and 1 for 9 (11.1 percent) on threes.
Adebayo hopes to remain in contact with Bosh.
▪ So what did the Heat’s Justise Winslow mean when he mentioned recently “about guys buying in and being all into this team?”
Winslow is puzzled why there has been such a difference in Heat wins and losses in several areas: “shot selection, cuts, defensive communication, focus, accountability. We’re a lot worse in losses.”
Winslow said “there are other teams that have more talent that can get by with being more talented. A team like us, we have to pay attention to the details, be connected with our communication. We can’t just depend on our talent whereas other teams can. That’s what I meant” when he said the Warriors could get away with not getting along for a couple weeks but teams like the Heat cannot get away with that. (And let’s be clear that Heat players do get along.)
▪ Now that he’s playing point guard, Winslow said he sometimes must remind himself to focus in defensively.
“Just having more responsibility on the offensive end, I’ve seen it with other players throughout the league,” he said. “When you get that increased ultimate responsibility, sometimes your numbers defensively do decline.”
But, he said, being a defender is “who I am. That’s who I will continue to be. Sometimes, to be honest, I have to check back in on that side of the floor, be that menace, be that pest, like the third quarter in New York. I enjoy it, even getting those fouls, you feel the intensity that brought out in the whole team just me doing that. I pick my points to be ultra aggressive. Just try to still be that dog and defensive stopper.”
Players guarded by Winslow are shooting 50 percent, compared to 45.7 overall. Last season, players defended by Winslow shot 43 percent, compared with 45.4 overall. So there has been a sizable drop in that one defensive measuring stick.
▪ Detroit’s win against Denver on Monday drew the Pistons to within 1.5 games of No. 8 Miami. Washington, which lost at home to Atlanta, remains 10th, three games back of Miami. Orlando also is three games back.
The Wizards seem unlikely to challenge for a playoff spot after learning Tuesday that All Star point guard John Wall will miss a year with a ruptured Achilles’.
The Heat (24-27) — which begins a five-game pre-All-Star break road swing Tuesday night in Portland (TNT only broadcast) — is 1.5 games behind No. 7 Charlotte and two games behind No. 6 Brooklyn.
Here was my late Monday night piece with something highly unusual the Heat is doing for some of its fans, plus Erik Spoelstra reaction on the Bosh news and a Goran Dragic update.