It was not something that Bam Adebayo chose to bring up, but considering he has spent the past several days on the Miami Heat injury report listed with a strained left hamstring, it also was a reality he was asked to address.
So, yes, it has not been the complete Adebayo amid his uneven play over the past week.
“Constant treatment, 24 hours,” said Adebayo, who was listed as probable for Wednesday night’s Game 5 against the Milwaukee Bucks in the teams’ best-of-seven Eastern Conference playoff series.
Adebayo spoke Wednesday morning at Fiserv Forum after sitting out the team’s morning shootaround.
“In the treatment room, three, possibly four times a day,” the 25-year-old All-Star center said. “And just trying to make sure I’m healthy enough to play and keep playing.”
He said there was not a specific moment that he could cite being injured.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I just know I woke up one morning and I was hurting. So for me, it’s take it slow, take it easy, and be healthy for the game.”
Adebayo appeared in 75 of the 82 regular-season games, having missed only one due to injury since Jan. 10, when he sat out the April 1 home victory over the Dallas Mavericks due to a bruised right hip. He also was given the night off for the April 7 road loss to the Washington Wizards, when the Heat effectively were locked into their postseason seeding.
The Heat already are shorthanded, with guard Tyler Herro out after breaking his right hand in the series opener against the Bucks, and with guard Victor Oladipo out for months due to a torn patellar tendon in his left knee suffered in the Heat’s Game 3 victory.
Not the time
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra went into Wednesday night one win shy of joining Phil Jackson (229), Pat Riley (171), Gregg Popovich (169), Doc Rivers (108) and Larry Brown (100) with at least 100 postseason victories.
“That’s not, and I say that as humbly as I possibly can, that’s not on my radar,” said Spolestra, who took over as Heat coach in 2008-09. “In general, I pinch myself every day that I get to carve out a role in this Association and make a living for a long period of time.
“That’s the ultimate blessing.”
The play-in factor
Spoelstra was asked Wednesday about the unusual road traveled this season, a path that included a play-in round loss to the Atlanta Hawks and a play-in victory over the Chicago Bulls, and whether those games steeled his team for the opening round against the Bucks.
“I just think we embraced that experience and it gave us an opportunity to compete and have to beat a good team, in Chicago,” he said. “Whether that means anything now, I don’t know.”
Spoelstra said each playoff path has its own story.
“This playoff run has been new for us,” he said. “We had to go through a play-in, which was an amazing experience, to be a part of that. And then to be an eight seed playing against a number-one seed that we have great respect for.
“I want our guys to embrace all these different experiences. And, ultimately, you have to find a new way to conquer them.”
The Butler influence
Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray said he channeled his inner Jimmy Butler in his 35-point effort Tuesday night to close out his team’s series against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Murray said Butler’s 56-point performance in the Heat’s Monday night victory over the Bucks provided ample motivation, including a decisive Butler jumper.
“You know when you watch something, you get like goosebumps or your heart skips a beat or something?” Murray said. “Jimmy was incredible. You could see his emotion when he hit that shot. He was feeling that kind of energy. He just felt absolutely unstoppable, which he was.
“I had a couple moments like that,” Murray said. “I felt pretty good.”
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