Heat Notes: Adebayo, Lowry, Vincent, Strus, Lillard

The Heat didn’t need much offense from Bam Adebayo to get past the Bulls in Friday’s play-in game, but that’s likely to change in their series against the Bucks, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Miami eliminated Chicago even though Adebayo shot just 1-for-9 from the field and finished with eight points and four turnovers. He made up for it with 17 rebounds and a stellar defensive performance that included a late blocked shot to wrap up the victory.

“The reason I love Bam is even if you don’t make shots, you can affect the game in a lot of ways,” Jimmy Butler said. “That’s the definition of a star player, a superstar player. When you lock in on the defensive end, that’s the part that gets everybody excited.”

Jackson notes that Adebayo has seen a reduced role in the Heat’s offense over the past two months. After averaging 21.6 points per game before the All-Star break, he has fallen to 16.6 PPG since then. Miami is 11-5 this season when Adebayo scores at least 25 points, but that hasn’t happened since March 15.

“I’ve got to shoot my shots, pick my spot and live with the results,” he said. “I feel I had a big impact on that game (Friday) even though my shots weren’t falling.”

There’s more on the Heat:

  • Kyle Lowry left Friday’s game early in the fourth quarter after aggravating his sore left knee, but he doesn’t believe it’s a long-term concern, Jackson adds. “I’m good. Just a little tweak, little pressure on it,” Lowry said. “But I’m OK. All good. I’m ready to go on Sunday. If coach would have asked me to go back in the game, I would have gone back in the game.” Lowry is listed as questionable for Sunday’s series opener in Milwaukee, as is Gabe Vincent, who’s dealing with a right hip pointer.
  • Max Strus scored 31 points in 36 minutes against the Bulls, but it might be hard to keep him on the court against a bigger Bucks team, notes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Winderman points out that the Heat were able to use a small-ball lineup Friday because Chicago didn’t start a traditional power forward, but it will be difficult for the 6’5″ Strus to defend either Giannis Antetokounmpo or Brook Lopez. The matchup may require more minutes from Caleb Martin and Kevin Love.
  • The Heat are ready to pursue another star player this summer, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN (video link), who considers them a team to watch if Damian Lillard asks the Trail Blazers for a trade.
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