The Heat defeated LeBron James and the Lakers in a close game, thanks to a record-breaking performance by Bam Adebayo.
After making it to the 2023 NBA Finals, the Miami Heat didn’t start the 2023–24 regular season very well. The Heat have a difficult situation as a result of their inability to get Damian Lillard; their lack of depth has cost them dearly as they have had a 2-4 season opening. But on Monday night, All-Star center Bam Adebayo made the decision to significantly step up ahead of a challenging game against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Facing a Lakers team that had Anthony Davis at less than 100 percent for most of the night, Adebayo took advantage of a shorthanded Lakers frontcourt. The Heat star center put up a monstrous triple-double of 22 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 assists, to go along with two steals and two blocks, which was enough to hold off the Lakers in a 108-107 win for Miami.
And in doing so, Bam Adebayo achieved a never-before seen feat in Heat franchise history. According to StatMuse, Adebayo is the only player to tally a 20/20/10 game for the Heat in its 36-year history, which is no mean feat given how many talented players have plied their trade for the team over the years.
It’s truly impressive that Adebayo is the only player to have done this in Heat history, especially when the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O’Neal, and Alonzo Mourning, just to name a few, have all been elite for Miami in years past. Moreover, Jimmy Butler has also been able to fill the stat-sheet for the team in recent years, but never before did he tally a 20/20/10 game for the Heat like Adebayo did.
This may also be a good sign that the Heat are relying again on Bam Adebayo’s high-level playmaking from the center position. Ever since his breakout 2019-20 season in which he averaged 5.4 assists per game, his playmaking burden has decreased year by year as the team has relied more on Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro to shoulder that workload. Perhaps this performance against the Lakers gives the Heat more confidence to utilize Adebayo as more of a decision-maker, seeing as it paid off big time in the form of a historically monstrous night.