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Heat fall short despite Bam Adebayo return in Game 4 vs. Lakers [UPDATE]

Heat All-Star C had been out the past two games due to a neck/shoulder strain. He was back in the starting five for Miami on Tuesday.

Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat reacts before Game Three of the 2020 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on October 04, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Game 4 final update — Adebayo ended up playing 33 minutes and totaled 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists in Miami’s 102-96 loss. What stood up most was his lack of playmaking. He’ll need to create more for his teammates moving forward to keep this series competitive. Miami has struggled in that department without him and Goran Dragic.

Game 4 halftime update — Adebayo has been a valuable impact player through one half of basketball. The big man has 9 points, 4 rebounds, and. 1 assists in 15 minutes. It appears like his is being limited, but the Heat could ramp his involvement up in the second half if the game is close. The Heat trail 49-47.

UPDATE, Game 4 pre-game — Adebayo will return to the lineup for Game 4 vs. the Lakers on Tuesday night, per Tim Reynolds.

UPDATE: Adebayo is planning to play Tuesday evening in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, per Woj. Adebayo has missed the past two games due to a shoulder strain. The Heat get a much-needed boost with Bam back in the starting five. His defense will be important in the Heat’s effort to contain Anthony Davis. We went over a little bit on how you can approach Adebayo returning in Game 4 betting and DFS.

Miami Heat C Bam Adebayo is being listed as questionable to play in Game 4 of the NBA Finals vs. the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. Adebayo has missed the past two games of the series due to a neck/shoulder strain he re-aggravated in Game 1. The Heat won Game 3 without both Adebayo and Goran Dragic to make the series 2-1.

Adebayo had said after leaving Game 1 that he planned on playing in Game 2. That wasn’t the case and he was listed as doubtful for the past two games. It’s likely the Heat realized that it’s a long series and as long as they took a game from the Lakers before going down 3-0, that there would be a shot Adebayo could return. It appears that’s the case and it couldn’t come at a better time coming off such a huge victory on Sunday.

Fantasy and betting impact: Bam Adebayo injury

So with Adebayo potentially coming back, he’d slot into the starting lineup. If that happens, Bam could be under a minutes limit but I don’t think it will be as strict considering his conditioning should still be fine. I’d pencil in Adebayo for 25-30 minutes if he’s active and starting. As a result, Meyers Leonard should go back to a bench role and likely won’t see more than around 5-10 minutes. Kelly Olynyk would also go back to a secondary role after serving as the primary center option the past two games. I still think Kelly O will play a decent amount given how well he’s looked the past two games.

As for betting, I was already on the Heat at +7.5 before the Bam questionable news came out. The line could move a bit in favor of Miami after Game 3 and with Adebayo possibly returning. If Bam gets back, the line should move a point or two in favor of the Heat. That could make the Lakers the sharper play at some point, so keep an eye on the movement. Adebayo’s return makes it tougher on Anthony Davis, who just had his worst game of the postseason. AD’s player props will be an interesting target. At this point, it’s still wait and see but the Heat spread and ML are favorable if you want to get ahead of the news.

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