Heat All-Star Bam Adebayo plans to play Game 4 of Finals vs. Lakers

By Zac Wassink | Last updated 10/6/20

A day after the Miami Heat upgraded 2020 All-Star Bam Adebayo to questionable ahead of Tuesday’s Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the 23-year-old expects to play. 

Adebayo aggravated a shoulder injury in Game 1 of the series and has also been dealing with a neck strain that sidelined him for Game 2 and Game 3. Thus far, he’s played only 21 minutes and scored eight points against the Lakers. 

Adebayo averaged 21.8 points, 11.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists in six games against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals but also dealt with similar physical issues during that series. He nevertheless told reporters on Monday that he’s eager to return to Miami’s rotation. 

“I’m trying to get back as quickly as possible,” he explained. “They’re just trying to make sure I’m safe and I’m ready to play. It’s really day-to-day. When they say I’m ready to play, I’ll be out there.” 

Miami guard Goran Dragic remains doubtful because of the torn left plantar fascia he suffered in Game 1 against the Lakers. Dragic spent 15 minutes on the court in the opening contest of the Finals. 

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10 Players To Watch For In the Tournament

Written by Matt Norlander at CBSSports.com

No matter who wins the games in the first and second round of the NCAA Tournament, stars will be made. Big shots will go down, big performances will pop up, and we’ll look back at a 72-hour period of chaos and be highlighting the teenagers or twentysomethings’ lives who’ve changed forever.

Let’s look at some talented candidates, March Madness breakout players, if you will. Here’s my rule for this: I’m not listing guys that have been All-American candidates or are generally known by casual college basketball fans. So that takes off the likes of Luke Kennard, Josh Hart, Frank Mason, plus standout freshmen such as Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Miles Bridges.

If you’re a top-20 player of renown, you don’t qualify. This is about finding the goods beneath the surface, because the tournament often makes legends out of the guys who aren’t necessarily the stars on a major team. Here are the underappreciated studs, guys with big upside who could push their teams to big wins in big moments and become storylines all to themselves.

Bam Adebayo, Kentucky: Still projected by some as a first-round pick, Adebayo is a beast down low who still hasn’t been in contact with his ceiling. I could see it coming in the tournament, and in fact think that will happen. Fox and Monk are Kentucky’s two best players, but everything changes for UK if Adebayo plays like an NBA-level forward.

Jordan Caroline and/or Marcus Marshall, Nevada: Both are well-known to fans in the Mountain West, but not to the general sports audience. Nevada is a somewhat-trendy pick to beat Iowa State in that 5-12 game. If it happens. these guys will be the reason why. While Nevada’s Cameron Oliver is a sophomore power forward who will be picked in the 2017 draft if he opts to leave, it’s Caroline that does more damage for the Wolf Pack. He put up 45 points against New Mexico earlier this year. He averages 14.8 points and 9.2 rebounds. Marshall leads the team in scoring (19.8) while running the point.

John Collins, Wake Forest: Collins’ national profile has become more well-known in the past month as Wake Forest won its way to a bid. It’s reached the point where this sophomore big, who was once a three-star recruit, is a top-20 talent in the upcoming draft. Wake Forest is the team that could go from the First Four to the second weekend. Collins has personality to match, too.

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Top College Basketball Freshman

Written by Scott Gleeson at USAToday.com

De’Aaron Fox and Bam Adebayo, Kentucky

Of coach John Calipari’s star-studded freshman class, these two are most important. Fox because he’s a slick point guard who can provide a much different type of floor general than we’re used to seeing in Lexington; he’s a ballhawk on defense and wise passer on offense. Adebayo because he gives Kentucky the interior backbone it lacked last season. At 6-10 and 260 pounds, he’s a bulldozing force who can dominate the paint in a variety of ways — on offense by creating second-chance points off the glass and imposing his will on the low block, and on offense by blocking shots or diving for loose balls.

Josh Jackson, Kansas

The No. 1 recruit in the country (via Rivals and 247 Sports), Jackson comes to Lawrence with major expectations. But the best news for coach Bill Self is that the 6-7 wing won’t have to be a highlight-reel alpha dog right away (which was the case withAndrew Wiggins). Instead, he’ll get to grow into a dominant college player with a veteran core, mainly alongside guards Frank Mason III and Devonte’ Graham, to help ease him in. Expectations aside, Jackson is a phenomenal talent with a high motor and soaring athleticism. He easily could be the best player in the country by March.

Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum, Duke

Giles was the No. 1 recruit (via ESPN and Scout) and that’s because he’s 6-10, dynamic and can take over a game. But a third knee injury likely will lead to a slow integration into the title favorite Blue Devils, who are already loaded with talent. That said, if Giles hits his stride, he’ll be a huge factor for coach Mike Krzyzewski. Tatum is the freshman who can make an impact right away. The 6-8 forward is a silky smooth offensive player who can go inside and out, posing serious matchup problems to opponents. The key is how cohesive they can be with Duke’s returning nucleus.

Markelle Fultz, Washington

Fultz can singlehandedly steer the Huskies to the NCAA tournament, and help coachLorenzo Romar keep his job. That’s about as impactful as a freshman can get. While a majority of the NBA-ready freshmen won’t necessarily be the go-to guy right away, Fultz gladly takes that responsibility. The 6-4 score-first point guard has shades ofDerrick Rose with his agility and athleticism, while his shooting stroke — think Brandon Roy — will only get better over the course of the season.

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