The Heat is by no means asking Bam Adebayo to defend one of the NBA’s greatest shooters of all time. But Miami’s 6-10, 20-year-old rookie center out of the University of Kentucky didn’t back down when he found himself on the perimeter Sunday night guarding Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry. “It’s competitive nature,” Adebayo said. “I just go out there and play hard no matter who I’m guarding or what I’m doing. I’m just going out there to try and help my team.” Commendably, Adebayo has often given those humble responses in his first season in the league. Never miss a local story. Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access. SUBSCRIBE NOW What Adebayo did by staying step for step with the elusive 6-3 Curry, a career 43.5 percent three-point shooter and forcing him to pass up on his shot didn’t have a major impact on the outcome of the Heat’s 123-95 loss to the Warriors. But it showed another glimpse of his athleticism and willingness to take on different challenges as the Heat continues to rely on Adebayo as starting center Hassan Whiteside rehabs his injured knee. Adebayo made his third consecutive start since the Heat shut down Whiteside for the time being to rehab the left knee bone bruise that continues to cause him discomfort. It’s unclear when Whiteside will be back in action, so for the time being Adebayo appears to have the starting spot at center. In the past three games, Adebayo isn’t exactly lighting up the stat sheet, averaging 6.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 22.9 minutes per game. But Heat coach Erik Spoelstra credited Adebayo for doing a lot of little things to impact the game. “Those are the obvious ones that people notice,” Spoelstra said referring to Adebayo guarding Curry. “But he does a lot of little things right. Now, he doesn’t have a firm grasp of our defensive system yet, but he’s learning and he’s picking it up very quickly, so he’s getting more disciplined, understanding the nuances of our pick-and-roll defense in particular, so that’s going to be remarkably different even three months from now. “But, yeah, that [defending Curry] is an example of physical gifts and his discipline. Now,