The two-man game that has been so productive for the Miami Heat this season will be reduced to a solo act at the NBA All-Star Game, with center Bam Adebayo the team’s lone player named Thursday as a reserve.
Bypassed in the selections of the seven East reserves in the vote of conference coaches was forward Jimmy Butler, who has missed 15 games this season.
Butler was the Heat’s lone All-Star selection last season. He still could be added as a replacement selection for the Feb. 19 game in Utah if an injury replacement is needed.
Butler went into Thursday night’s game against the New York Knicks leading the Heat in scoring, at 22 points per game, with Adebayo second, at 21.4. Adebayo, however, has missed only five games this season.
Adebayo was bypassed for selection last year when he missed seven weeks at midseason due to thumb surgery.
The Heat were seeking to have two All-Stars for the first time since Butler and Adebayo represented the Heat in the 2020 All-Star Game.
The All-Star rosters will not be determined until a draft immediately before the game between Giannis Antetokounmpo, who received the most combined votes among Eastern Conference starters, and LeBron James, who received the most combined votes among Western Conference starters.
After Team Giannis and Team LeBron draft their opening lineups from the 10-player starter pool, they then each will draft seven reserves from the 14-player reserve pool.
There is no East-West delineation at the All-Star Game.
It is the second All-Star berth for Adebayo, who becomes the ninth player to make multiple All-Star appearances as a member of the Heat, joining Butler, James, Chris Bosh, Tim Hardaway, Alonzo Mourning, Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade.
Adebayo was selected despite the Heat’s middling record in the Eastern Conference and low-scoring offense.
Coaches in each conference had to select three frontcourt reserves, two backcourt reserves and then two players at any position. Coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own rosters.
The Heat do not figure to have any additional participants at All-Star Weekend, with no players invited to the Rising Stars game for first- and second-year players and no logical selections for the 3-point and dunk competitions on All-Star Saturday.
Previously selected starters from the Eastern Conference were Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell and Kyrie Irving. Previously selected starters from the Western Conference were James, Zion Williamson, Nikola Jokic, Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic.
Added as Eastern Conference reserves Thursday were Adebayo, Joel Embiid, DeMar DeRozan, Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday and Julius Randle.
That left two East teams with a pair of All-Stars (the Celtics with Tatum and Brown; and the Bucks with Holiday and Antetokounmpo)
Among those who also had been considered in contention for the seven Eastern Conference reserves spots were Butler, Jalen Brunson. James Harden and Pascal Sialkam.
Heat guard Tyler Herro had been considered a longshot candidate.
An Eastern Conference berth could open due to the knee issue that has had Durant out since the Nets faced the Heat last month.
Added as Western Conference reserves Thursday were Paul George, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jaren Jackson Jr., Damian Lillard, Lauri Markkanen, Ja Morant and Domantas Sabonis.
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