Bam Adebayo’s protection on Kyrie Irving was much more spectacular than his game-winning shot


Bam Adebayo ended Sunday’s recreation between the Warmth and Nets with a bang, draining a midrange leap shot as time expired and giving Miami a 109-107 victory.

MORE: Nets’ Kevin Durant leaves recreation vs. Warmth with thigh harm

The buzzer-beater capped off a terrific all-around efficiency from Adebayo, who completed with 21 factors, 15 rebounds, 5 assists and two steals in 33 minutes. That shot represented the work Adebayo has put in to turn into far more than only a rim-rolling athlete. The 23-year-old has already made large strides early in his profession and proven he shall be an offensive drive within the league for fairly a while.

And but, Adebayo’s show on the defensive finish in that contest was much more spectacular than his crunch-time heroics, notably his work towards Brooklyn star Kyrie Irving. Adebayo restricted Irving to zero — sure, that is zero — discipline objectives when dealing with him as the first defender, per ESPN Stats and Data. Be mindful Irving is averaging 27.3 factors per recreation this season whereas approaching 50-40-90 taking pictures splits (discipline objectives, 3-pointers and free throws). 

This was not a case of a deceptive stats. Adebayo discovered himself guarding Irving in isolation conditions all through the sport, together with on the Nets’ last offensive possession. 

Adebayo persistently stayed down in a stance, mirrored Irving’s actions and contested with out fouling.

Forcing one of many recreation’s most inventive scorers into robust makes an attempt could not match as neatly right into a spotlight reel as a game-winning shot, however that is what made Adebayo’s jumper potential within the first place.

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