The Miami Heat will walk into TD Garden wounded Friday night.
Arguably the Heat’s top three offensive players all are dealing with injuries as the Eastern Conference finals shifts back to Boston. Jimmy Butler is battling through knee soreness, while a hamstring ailment clearly is hobbing Kyle Lowry. Tyler Herro, meanwhile, missed his second consecutive contest Wednesday when the Heat suffered a 93-80 Game 5 loss to the Celtics at FTX Arena.
As such, someone is going to have to step up for the East’s top-seeded team when it tries to save its season in Boston. Bam Adebayo is embracing the challenge of being that player.
“(Jimmy and Kyle) are banged up,” Adebayo told reporters Wednesday night, per The Boston Globe. “They were going through shooting struggles. So, yeah, put it on me.”
Adebayo should possess a level of confidence going into Miami’s must-win matchup. The fifth-year big man was excellent in the first game of the series at TD Garden when he dropped 31 points with 10 rebounds and six assists in the Heat’s Game 3 win.
Miami, as a team, looked very comfortable going through Adebayo in that contest, and Erik Spoelstra might need to turn to that gameplan if Butler and/or Lowry can’t get it going Friday night.