The Miami Heat (13-9 straight up, 13-9 against the spread) will have to play without 24-year-old Bam Adebayo for at least the next six weeks.
Adebayo, who made his first All-Star Game last season, needs surgery on a torn UCL in his right thumb, the club announced Wednesday. He is averaging 18.7 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game.
Adebayo injured the thumb in Monday’s 120-111 home loss to Denver. He scored 24 points and snagged 13 rebounds in the losing effort.
Without him and Jimmy Butler last night at home, the Heat lost 111-85 to Cleveland as a three-point favorite. Butler is ‘questionable’ to return in Friday’s game at Indiana.
Miami is also playing without Victor Oladipo, who is hoping to make his season debut later this month after sustaining a knee injury late last year. Markieff Morris (7.7 PPG, 2.8 RPG) also remains out indefinitely with neck injury.
The Heat are one game behind Washington for the lead in the Southeast standings of the Eastern Conference. Miami is in the fifth slot in the East’s postseason picture, trailing tjhe Bulls, Bucks and Wizards by one game for the 2-4 spots. Erik Spoelstra’s team is one game ahead of the Cavs, Hawks and Celtics.