Heat's Bam Adebayo Enters Health and Safety Protocols Ahead of NBA Playoffs

Doric SamApril 10, 2022

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 5: Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat looks to pass the ball during the game against the Charlotte Hornets on April 5, 2022 at FTX Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

The Miami Heat will be without a key starter for at least the next five days.

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Sunday that Heat center Bam Adebayo has entered the NBA's health and safety protocols, ruling him out through Friday. Winderman noted that Adebayo could be ready to return in time for the playoffs.

After being drafted 14th overall in 2017, Adebayo has developed into one of the best big men in the league. He scored a team-high 24 points and had the go-ahead dunk to lead the Heat to a comeback win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.

In his fifth season, Adebayo is averaging a career-high 19.1 points with 10.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists while shooting 55.7 percent from the field. But he's been limited to 56 games this year, largely because of surgery on his right thumb in December to repair a torn ligament.

Adebayo's injury-riddled year is just a microcosm of Miami's season. Six of the team's top seven scorers were forced to miss 10 or more games because of injury or illness. Despite this, the Heat have a 53-28 record and locked up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference heading into the postseason.

The NBA playoffs begin on April 16 after the completion of the play-in tournament. If Adebayo were forced to miss any games, veteran center Dewayne Dedmon would likely move into the starting lineup. Dedmon has made 15 starts this season and is averaging 6.3 points and 5.8 rebounds.

The Heat will face the Orlando Magic in Sunday's regular-season finale.