Bam Adebayo Is Expected to Miss Significant Time, Including Next Week's Matchup with the Bulls

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Bam Adebayo Is Expected to Miss Significant Time, Including Next Week’s Matchup with the Bulls

Chicago Bulls

One of the Eastern Conference’s top teams just got some bad news.

According to the Miami Heat, Bam Adebayo is expected to miss extended time with a torn UCL in his right thumb. The big man will undergo surgery.

While the team wrote that a timetable for a return would be shared post-surgery, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski did provide an “expected timeline” of four-to-six weeks. If Adebayo was able to follow the front end of that recovery period, he would be set to miss the next 15 games. A six-week absence would have him missing roughly 21 games.

Every missed game counts in what looks to be a tight Eastern Conference. Adebayo is the team’s starting center averaging 18.7 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game on a 51.9 percent clip from the field. He has been a pivotal part of the team’s 10th-ranked defense, carrying a defensive estimated box-plus minus that ranks in the league’s 92nd percentile, per Dunks & Threes. In other words, there is no question removing him from the lineup for an extended period of time could be a significant blow to the Heat, who are currently tied for having the 3rd-best record in the Eastern Conference.

Miami also happens to sit right behind Chicago with their 13-8 record, and the two teams will meet up for the second time this season on Saturday, December 11th. The Heat stole the first game of this four-game series 110-107. If the Bulls were not already hungry for revenge, this prolonged absence of Adebayo only makes the upcoming game more important. Miami is a veteran team that can still make plenty of noise as the season goes on, but these next handful of weeks without Adebayo could eventually prove to have a major impact on how the East playoff picture ends up.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.