Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo came up with one of the great defensive plays of the NBA playoffs to seal the Heat's Game 1 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.
With seven seconds remaining in overtime and the Celtics trailing by one, Celtics forward Jayson Tatum drove to the basket. Tatum blew by the Heat defense and rose for what looked like a rim-rattling dunk, when Adebayo met him at the rim, stopped the ball in midair, and sent it back.
The Heat then knocked down two free throws to go up by three. Tatum had a chance to tie it at the buzzer, but his three-pointer rimmed out.
Many in the NBA world called Adebayo's play the block of the year and one of the best blocks in NBA history.
Bam Adebayo’s block on Jayson Tatum’s dunk attempt was the best defensive play I’ve seen ever in the playoffs!!!!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) September 16, 2020
Wow . That was incredible . Timing and block with the left for the game— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) September 16, 2020
Bam Adebayo with one of the best blocks in playoff history. And no doubt the best since LeBron’s chasedown on Andre Igoudala. I still can’t get over it. THIS IS UNREAL pic.twitter.com/GHVNU1YeI2— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) September 16, 2020
This is a prisoner of the moment tweet: That Bam block is one of the greatest defensive plays in playoff history— mark folkloretta (@CTowersCBS) September 16, 2020
Bam for block of the year!— Jordan Clarkson (@JordanClarksons) September 16, 2020
Bam just had the best block of the year‼️????— Kev (@KevKnox) September 16, 2020
LeBron James could quibble with Magic Johnson's assertion above, as could Marcus Smart, who had a clutch chasedown block in Game 7 of the second round of the playoffs. But Adebayo's incredible play nonetheless moved the Heat three wins away from a Finals appearance.