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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Written by Joshua Cornelissen at The Lottery Mafia
While the Heat have blazed to a hot start, Goran Dragic has seen his stats burn down. What’s causing this slump, and can it be fixed?
After a run of four straight Finals and two rings, LeBron James decided to return home to Cleveland, and Miami found itself at a crossroads. Rather than tear down and rebuild, however, Pat Riley made win-now moves throughout last season, bringing in a former All-Star wing in Luol Deng to replace James and, midseason, traded a bounty of assets to acquire Goran Dragic to run the point. Although the Heat fell into our purview here in missing the playoffs last season, this year they looked to step back into postseason play. With an offseason for Dragic to fully integrate himself, Chris Bosh returning from a health scare, and promising rookie Justise Winslow joining the bench, the Miami Heat had their sights set high this season. The optimism seemed to have been warranted, as the Heat are currently 4th in the East and only 1.5 games back of LeBron and Cleveland at the top. They’re one of only four teams across the entire league with a top-10 rating in offense and defense. The Heat seem to be a contender in the East.
The interesting wrinkle in this, however, is that while the Heat have flourished, the former All-Pro Slovenian guard running the point has not. Goran Dragic is having, by nearly all accounts, his worst season in at least five years. His numbers are down across the board from last season, even though his minutes have stayed nearly the same. Is there an explanation to Dragic’s poor start? And can he recover?
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