Bam Adebayo and the Miami Heat surprised a lot of people with their march through the NBA playoffs last year.
Despite being an average at best squad for much of the regular season, Miami turned it on when it mattered most and ran roughshod through the Eastern Conference in postseason.
It all culminated in an impressive dismantling of the Boston Celtics in the Conference Finals. Although Boston obviously rallied to drag it out to seven games, given that they were considered the league’s best team for large swaths of the season, what Miami did to them was truly remarkable.
That being said, in the NBA Finals – the Heat had nothing for Denver.
This week Adebayo spoke to the media and broke down why, in his opinion, Miami struggled against the Nuggets.
“I feel like we just came up short because we had [among the most] injuries in the 2022-23 season,” he said.
“[Through] all those ups and downs throughout the season… I feel like fatigue had a toll.”
There is no denying that Miami dealt with a lot of health woes last season. Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Gabe Vincent missed a combined 47 games. Herro then suffered a pair of broken fingers at the beginning of the playoffs and was rendered unavailable the rest of the way.
Midway through the playoffs, both Butler and Vincent ended up missing time with injuries.
Health was a factor, for sure.
That said, it’s also hard to ignore that the Nuggets were just objectively better than Miami on paper. They were the league’s deepest squad and ran through a much tougher set of opponents on their way to the NBA Finals than the Heat did.
There’s a reason that a Heat cheerleader’s wild photos was the organization’s highlight in the Finals. It’s because the on-the-court product wasn’t exactly stellar.
The new Suns uniforms are causing quite the stir. https://t.co/3jrlDBnZRp
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 1, 2023
Injuries played some part in what happened, but not a huge one.
Will Adebayo and the Heat be able to regroup, get right and get their revenge on the Nuggets come next season? Time will tell.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.