The Miami Heat currently find themselves at a 2-1 series deficit to the Denver Nuggets after dropping game three at home by a final score of 94-105.
Despite this not being a favorable spot for the Heat to be in by any means, this is still a series they are more than capable of closing out. However, one player in particular likely holds the result of the series in their hands.
Bam Adebayo has been tasked with trying to find a way to slow down Nikola Jokic. Jokic has been on an incredible tear through the postseason, and no one has been able to stand in his way. If Adebayo is able to stop The Joker, the Heat could have a very clear path to winning the NBA title.
In game one, Bam had a very strong showing on the offensive end. He finished the game with 26 points on 25 shots and five assists. Along with this, he pulled in 13 rebounds.
However, he struggled on the defensive end trying to slow down Jokic who finished the contest with 27 points on only 12 shots, 10 rebounds, and 14 assists. Jokic was getting anything he wanted on offense, and Denver took a 104-93 win over the Heat.
In game two, Adebayo had another very solid performance on offense. He put up another 20-point performance with 21 points on 14 shots, he dished out four assists, and pulled in nine rebounds.
While this is a very respectable stat line, he struggled once again on defense trying to slow down Jokic. In game two, Jokic was scoring at will and finished the game with 41 points, four assists, and 11 rebounds. Despite the incredible game from Jokic, the Heat would still win by a final score of 111-108.
Game three would be a very tough matchup for the Heat. Despite having a great run at home through the playoffs up to this point, they were dominated and lost by a final score of 94-109.
Despite scoring 22 points, Bam would finish the game shooting 33% from the field. However, he would have a dominant night on the boards, pulling in 17 rebounds. On the defensive end, he once again struggled to stop the two-time MVP.
Jokic put up a monstrous 32 points, 21 rebounds, and 10 assists in the first game of the series in Miami. If Adebayo is able to even slow down Jokic as a scorer and passer, it would leave the Nuggets without a consistent source of offense.
While no signs are pointing to Bam being able to clamp up Jokic through the remainder of the series, if he finds a way to flip a switch and lock him down, the Heat would have a cakewalk to a title.
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