Heat's Bam Adebayo: Block on Celtics' Jayson Tatum Is Best Play I've Ever Made

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2020

Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler, bottom left, and Jae Crowder (99) look on as Bam Adebayo (13) blocks a shot attempt by Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum (0) in the closing seconds of overtime of an NBA conference final playoff basketball game, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo was a highly regarded high school prospect, an All-SEC performer at Kentucky and an All-Star in the NBA this season, but he said he has never made a better play than his block in Tuesday's 117-114 victory over the Boston Celtics.

According to Mark Medina of USA Today, Adebayo called his block on Tatum in overtime his "No. 1 play" he's made at any level of basketball.

With Miami nursing a two-point lead in the final five seconds of overtime in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Adebayo blocked a Tatum dunk attempt as the Celtics star came storming into the lane at full speed.

Adebayo was far from the only one impressed with the block.

Hall of Famer Magic Johnson went as far as to call it the best defensive play he's seen in the history of the playoffs:

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Jimmy Butler agreed, saying, "That’s what it takes to win championships," per Medina. "I would agree with him. What Bam did to save the game to make sure we win it by putting his body on the line? That is a really good play."

It was part of a solid overall effort for the big man, who finished with 18 points, nine assists, six rebounds, two blocks and one steal. Goran Dragic (29 points), Jae Crowder (22 points) and Butler (20 points) spearheaded the offensive effort.

It was Butler's and-1 on the play before Adebayo's block that put Miami up for good, as he powered his way through Tatum and found the basket through contact with what appeared to be the game's most important play.

Miami continues to impress in the playoffs as the Eastern Conference's No. 5 seed that already beat the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, and it now has an incredible defensive highlight to add to its reel of success at Walt Disney World Resort.

It will look to seize firm control of the series in Game 2 on Thursday.