The 2023 NBA Finals are here with an unlikely matchup. The No. 1 seed Denver Nuggets will represent the West, while the No. 8 seed Miami Heat will represent the East. The Heat are the first team from the play-in tournament to reach the NBA finals. Game 1 will tip off on Thursday, June 1 from Ball Arena in Denver.
We’re going to break down the prominent players in this series on both teams and look at how they’ll impact the matchup. Here’s a look at Heat big man Bam Adebayo.
Bam Adebayo 2023 NBA playoffs overview
Postseason stats: 16.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 3.8 apg, 49.2 FG%
Adebayo left a lot to be desired in the Eastern Conference Finals, so he will need to pick it up here in the Finals. He is normally a stout defender and automatic around the rim. However, there have been moments during the playoffs where Adebayo lacked assertion, but also moments like during the Bucks series when he looked like his All-Star self.
Odds entering NBA Finals (via DraftKings Sportsbook)
Finals MVP: +4000
Scoring leader: +2500
Rebounding leader: +700
Assists leader: N/A
3PM leader: N/A
How Bam Adebayo can win Finals MVP
Adebayo will have his hands full during this series having to guard Nikola Jokic. If he rises to the occasion offensively and holds Jokic in check defensively, he will certainly be in the running for Finals MVP. The odds are stacked against Adebayo because a center hasn’t won Finals MVP since Tim Duncan in 2005. That will likely change this year if the Nuggets win, but Adebayo has a chance to throw his name into the hat and shake up the conversation with strong two-way play.