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Thursday, December 08, 2022

Bam Adebayo, PJ Tucker back in the heat mix ahead of Sunday’s playoff opener vs. Hawks; Capella out for Atlanta

202204161602Tms Mngtrpub Sports Bam Adebayo Pj Tucker Back Heat 1 Fl5

Bam Adebayo was back in Miami Heat practice on Saturday feeling essentially the same as he had spent the past six days in NBA health and safety protocols. , , Perfectly fine.

And, with that, the versatile center was back in the mix ahead of Sunday’s 1 p.m. NBA playoff opener against the Atlanta Hawks at FTX Arena.

“I was fine,” he said. “I didn’t have any symptoms. I feel fine.”

And, again, engaged.

“It was a really boring process at the time,” he said of his NBA-mandated quarantine after returning a positive COVID test. “But it’s good to be back around the team, it’s good to be back in this environment. It’s one of those things when you’re gone for a few days, you start to realize how much you really cherish those moments.” .

The whole time, Adebayo said he remained at work.

“I’ve got the Versa Climber at home now, so it’s my newbie to conditioning,” he said.

He added that he is also focusing on the challenge at hand.

“Just keeping in touch with my teammates,” he said. “Everyone’s got a different perspective and different knowledge about the game, and they’re practicing.”

It also included a lot of conversation with coach Erik Spoelstra.

“It was great to not only be able to see him in person on FaceTime,” Spoelstra said after Saturday’s practice at the FTX Arena.

Also confident of returning without complications was power forward PJ Tucker, who missed the season-ending road loss to the Orlando Magic last Sunday due to a strained right calf.

“It was nice, it was nice to take a few days off,” Tucker said, “for everyone, trying to be as healthy as possible and do everything we can to get our bodies right. But this one The week we’ve had some really good exercises and some good focus sessions. So it’s been good.”

Tucker is listed as a suspect, but he said, “I’m playing.”

The rest of the Heat’s injury report also listed Markiff Morris (hip), Dwayne Deadman and Heywood Highsmith (hip) as suspects, with Gabe Vincent (toe) listed as probable.

For Hawks, the primary injury questions are John Collins (finger, foot) and Clint Capella (knee), with Capella’s hyperextended right knee expected to keep him out for at least a week, if not longer.

“You prepare accordingly,” said Spoelstra. “You have to anticipate that those guys will be available at some point in the series. So it’s about whatever is needed.”

quick change

Sunday’s opening tip would come in less than 39 hours, when the Hawks eliminated the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night to secure a No. 8 playoff seed. But Spoelstra said that’s familiar enough.

“We’re playing an Eastern Conference team, so we played them four times,” said Spoelstra, after the Heat won the season 3–1. “What is unique is that we played them thrice in 10 days two months ago. I think both the teams are very familiar with each other.

“It’s going to be about great competition. The competition is either going to level up the game of the team or you have to manage a lot of things.”

departure point

With Atlanta’s Trae Young on Friday’s 38-point performance in Cleveland, the initial focus will certainly be on the point guard this time around to go up against the Heat’s Kyle Lowry.

“He’s the type of player who needs a deep scouting report,” Spoelstra said of Young. “He’s playing great basketball and he loves this type of environment.”

Lowry said he is ready to face the challenges of the playoffs.

“My regular season is always about preparing for this time of year,” he said. “I mean, 16 years old, I’m still happy to be able to play this game and play regular season games, but that’s what you’re here for. That’s what you play for. You train for it. These are the positions you’ve been waiting for.”

Lori said that she knows very well what lies ahead.

“Trey’s going to do it,” said Lori. “Trey is going to have some great games of his own. He’s going to highlight something. He’s going to do whatever he’s got to do to help his team win. He is now one of the most dynamic point guards in our league.

“You just have to know that he’s going to do some great work. But what we have to do is wear it, make things a little harder, no matter what.”

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