Erik Spoelstra mum on potential Bam Adebayo matchups with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown

May 27, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) shoots against Miami Heat
May 27, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) shoots against Miami Heat / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The thought of Bam Adebayo having to defend either Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown in the Miami Heat's first-round playoff matchup with the Boston Celtics seemingly had Erik Spoelstra stressed in the aftermath of his team's 112-91 NBA Play-In victory over the Chicago Bulls on April 19.

"I haven't even thought about that," Spoelstra said of Bam needing to match up with the Jays (h/t ESPN). "This was for this kind of deal, to set the tone for the game, to help alleviate any stress or pressure from anyone else in the locker room, Bam had to be that, which he was."

Adebayo has to be the best player for Miami if they intend to pull off a historic upset of the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Not every game, of course, since Caleb Martin or Jaime Jaquez Jr. may just do what Heat role players always do against the Cs -- Martin made himself untradeable in Damian Lillard talks last summer because of his 2023 Eastern Conference Finals showing -- and play above their pay-grade. But without Jimmy Butler, Adebayo represents the only player who can consistently create his own offense, and against the Celtics, the Team USA big man has the profile of a player who can attack Boston's frontcourt with physicality in the paint.

Kristaps Porzingis mismatches can define Boston Celtics-Miami Heat series

If Spoelstra is forced to deploy Bam against the Jays, Kristaps Porzingis should have little issues exploiting the other Heat rotation players. Jaquez, Nikola Jovic, and Haywood Highsmith are all good defenders in their own right, but having to slow down a seven-foot-three unicorn playing his best basketball in years may just be too big of an obstacle to overcome.

For all we know, Miami may just be up for the challenge. Weird things happen when these two teams play, especially last year in Joe Mazzulla's lone postseason series against Spoelstra.

But on paper, this is going to be a nearly insurmountable challenge for the Heat and a favorable one for the Celtics.