NBA executive says Lakers will 'neutralize' Heat's Bam Adebayo in Finals

NBA executive says Lakers will ‘neutralize’ Bam Adebayo in NBA Finals

The Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat will face off in the NBA Finals— a critical element to the series will be Bam Adebayo. He made a major impact against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, but can he follow that up on the biggest stage?

Part of the advantage that Adebayo faced against the Celtics featured a lack of size with Daniel Theis in addition to a lack of defensive prowess from Enes Kanter. That’s not going to be the case against the Lakers between Dwight Howard and Anthony Davis.

According to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, an NBA executive expressed his belief that Bam Adebayo will be ‘neutralized’ by the Lakers— similar to what Los Angeles did against Nikola Jokic ‘to a degree.’

“I think the Lakers just play much, much better defense than Boston did. The perimeter defense that the Lakers are going to play on the Herros, on the Butlers, on the Duncan Robinsons (will be better than what the Heat have faced so far). … L.A. is too strong defensively, too connected, too athletic. You’ve got LeBron, you’ve got KCP, you’ve got Rondo, (Kyle) Kuzma and obviously A.D. and Danny Green firing on all cylinders.

“I think Bam is going to be neutralized, like (Nikola) Jokic was, to some degree. Bam is going to have a harder time facilitating with Anthony Davis, LeBron James or Dwight Howard guarding him.

Regardless of whether or not Adebayo will manage to make a strong scoring impact, he will be able to facilitate and make a strong defensive impact. The Heat should be able to rely on him to still provide a play finishing impact— especially if the Lakers fail to contain dribble penetration.

Bam Adebayo has managed to transcend matchups that anonymous NBA executives didn’t believe he’d be able to overcome. Let’s not forget, there was one executive that expressed a belief that a Adebayo-Theis matchup against the Boston Celtics wasn’t a clear edge for the Miami Heat.

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