KEY POINTS

  • Bam Adebayo's status for Game 4 has been upgraded to questionable
  • Goran Dragic remains doubtful for the Finals series 
  • The Miami Heat will look to even the series at two games apiece against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday 

Major help could be on the way for the Miami Heat as the team tries to level the series against the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals on Tuesday.

According to NBA.com, the Heat announced Monday that All-Star big man Bam Adebayo is now listed as questionable for Game 4 after missing the last two games due to neck strain.

"I'm trying to get back as quickly as possible," Adebayo said prior to the team’s announcement. "They're just trying to make sure I'm safe and I'm ready to play. It's really day-to-day. When they say I'm ready to play, I'll be out there."

The 23-year-old has been battered and bruised this postseason. Notably, a shoulder injury from the Eastern Conference Finals series against the Boston Celtics has bothered him.

Adebayo went down hard in the third quarter of Game 1 on what was initially thought to be an aggravation of the shoulder injury following a hard contact with Lakers’ Dwight Howard.

Miami lost the game, and it was revealed that Adebayo suffered a separate injury that is "more concerning" to the team, according to ESPN.

"I don't miss games. That's not me," Adebayo said. "That's not how I'm built. I want to play. I've always been like that. I've always got the thrill of just putting on that uniform and going out there and playing. To be in the Finals and the medical staff is telling me I can't play ... it sucks. But I understand."

But while signs are positive for Adebayo, fast recovery does not seem to be the case for Goran Dragic, who remains doubtful for the series due to a torn left plantar fascia.

"I mean, it's not the easiest thing right now for me to sit down on the sideline and watch my team, how they are battling, how they are playing well, and of course I want to be out there," Dragic said.

"Most of the time I ask myself, I ask the guy above why it has to happen right now," he continued. "It's tough. It's tough. You know, try to look at it this way: Everything is with a purpose, so we'll see."

The Heat has shown great fight despite being undermanned. With guys stepping up in their injured teammates’ absence – and with Jimmy Butler leading the way – the team was able to avoid a dangerous 0-3 series hole.

The victory in Game 3 was a major turning point confidence-wise for the Heat. Whether Adebayo would play on Tuesday remains up in the air, but head coach Erik Spoelstra stressed that his team is ready to engage against the still-advantaged Lakers regardless of his players’ availability.

"You have to compartmentalize as a team," Spoelstra said. "We came here with a purpose and a task at hand, and everybody is just focusing on that, whoever’s available, until if or when we get those guys back. Even those guys just being in the locker room and in the huddles, that moves the needle in whatever way they can."

Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat Photo: Getty Images | Kevin C. Cox