Bam Adebayo drops out of top 20 as Sports Illustrated unveils latest NBA player rankings

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The Miami Heat’s players aren’t receiving a ton of love in Sports Illustrated‘s 2021-22 NBA player rankings.

Heat star Bam Adebayo, who came in at No. 20 last year, is starting this season at No. 22.

“No ceiling,” wrote Rohan Nadkarni. “That’s how Erik Spoelstra likes to describe Adebayo, who is arguably the most versatile and effective defensive big man in the NBA. Adebayo’s absurd defensive skills alone make him top-25 worthy. When you add in his growing offensive repertoire as both an initiator and scorer, he becomes someone that every single coach in the league covets. If Bam develops into a more confident and consistent scorer, he will take another leap up this list.”

Adebayo, 24, has blossomed into one of the best big men in the league.

The University of Kentucky product averaged a career-high 18.7 points and 5.4 assists on top of 9.0 boards per game last season. However, he didn’t make the 2021 All-Star team.

Furthermore, Adebayo’s public reception took a bit of a hit with his subpar performance in the 2021 postseason. The veteran collected 15.5 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game for the Heat in the playoffs.

The Heat were steamrolled in four games by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. Adebayo’s holes in his offensive game were brutally exposed, and he was unable to exert his will on the defensive side of the floor as the Bucks had their way with the Heat.

Nonetheless, it’s safe to assume Adebayo will use last season’s playoff demolition and slight demotion in players rankings as fuel for this upcoming year.

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Born and raised in South Florida, Justin has always been a passionate Miami Heat fan. An avid supporter from the time Miami got its first championship in 2006 to having a league-worst 15-67 record in 2008 to the whole LeBron James era until now, Justin has seen and stuck through it all. His all-around analysis and heart for the game has made him a premier NBA writer. He writes for a variety of sites but his commitment to the Heat is always top priority.