The Miami Heat’s plan was clearly to bring along their talented-but-green rookie slowly, to sparingly insert him out of necessity due to foul trouble, injuries, or, in last night’s case, WEI (Whiteside Effort Issues).

Well, Bam Adebayo’s electric performance against the Cavs took a 12 gauge to that way of thinking. To play so blatantly well it forces Erik Spoelstra to carve a role for him.

In 18 minutes of action amid a double-digit loss to Cleveland, Adebayo racked up 19 points, six rebounds, two assists, and block while making all seven of his shots and sinking all five attempts from the line. He provided the Heat not only with a dose of energy that was lacking early on, but skilled and impactful play on both ends of the court.

Some quick highlights:

1. Screen and slam

Good things usually occur after solid screens, as Hassan Whiteside still quite hasn’t learned yet. Adebayo sets a solid pick before diving to the rim for an alley oop from Dion Waiters.

Bam has only 11 plays where he’s the roll man (due to limited minutes) this season but has an incredible 1.73 points per possession on those actions (98th percentile), per NBA.com.

2. Passing awareness

Bam screens, the Cavs trap the ball handler, and Goran Dragic does a nice job of passing through the double team to a well-situated Bam in the center of the lane.

The key is he’s able to quickly recognize the help defender on his back, leaving a poor angle for Kyle Korver to help down on James Johnson, who gets the bucket and the foul.

My guess is Spo, Pat Riley, and even Bam’s own mother had no idea he was capable of orchestrating this type of a play, which a 20-year-old rookie has no business making.

The speed at which Bam is able to diagnose and react to this sequence is really impressive for someone with just one year of college ball under his belt while logging over 10 minutes in an NBA game just five times entering last night.

3. Hustle plays

On the very next sequence, Bam out-hustles his opponent to snag Johnson’s missed free throw before getting fouled. Add in two makes from the stripe and Bam’s responsible for four points on one possession.

4. The defense

Defensively, where he was thought to provide the most impact early on in his career, Bam shows the chops to not only provide rim protection in help situations…

… but also the ability to cover perimeter players on the outside, which is incredibly valuable because it affords the Heat more defensive versatility, giving them the option to switch on screens. Whiteside is an elite rim protector when engaged but hasn’t shown the ability to effectively defend the perimeter.

Watch Bam clamp down on LeBron. He halts the penetration of one of the best attackers in NBA history and doesn’t go for the pump fake en route to fundamentally sound defensive basketball.

5. He can shoot too?

Apparently he can shoot too.

After the game, Spoelstra praised Bam’s game-to-game patience and his two-way impact. There’s no question he’s earned more minutes — we’re also talking about an 18-minute sample in what essentially was a blowout loss — but finding those minutes won’t be simple barring an injury or trade.

The Heat’s established big man trio of Hassan Whiteside, James Johnson, and Kelly Olynyk are netting a combined $51 million this season and represent three of the team’s five highest-paid players. They’re all locked up for at least the next three seasons counting this one. Justise Winslow is also playing a decent amount at the four.

While it’s still a bit early to say Bam makes Whiteside expendable, things could trend in that direction. Bam is more of a classic Heat player, who’s going to give them maximum effort nightly and excellent defense. He’s also showing glimpses of an offensive game that has a much higher ceiling than anyone could have anticipated. He shot under eight times per game at Kentucky.

Whiteside, when his head is right, gives the Heat a dynamic edge on the defensive end but his play continues to raise concerns over effort, soft screens, and minimal offensive impact.

While one-game samples do not make a trend, Bam Adebayo’s monster performance against LeBron and the Cavs — at the very least — has to put some pressure on Spo to find him more opportunities and could eventually push Riley toward unloading Whiteside sooner rather than later.