Erik Spoelstra challenges Bam Adebayo to win Defensive Player of the Year award - Heat Nation

Erik Spoelstra challenges Bam Adebayo to win Defensive Player of the Year award

Ish Smith and Bam Adebayo

Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo showed the NBA how great he was last season.

Now, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra wants Adebayo to aim for the Defensive Player of the Year award.

“I mentioned this two years ago, that, you know, my nickname for him was ‘No Ceiling,’” Spoelstra recently said while speaking to reporters. “That’ll continue to be the case. I don’t know where his game is going to grow. I just know how he’s competitively wired and how much he cares about this organization, about his teammates, about winning. … He’s [All-NBA] defensive second team. I want to continue to see him take another step forward. He has mentioned it before, too. One of these years, I want him in that discussion for Defensive Player of the Year.”

Adebayo, 23, emerged as one of the best big men in the NBA last season.

As a matter of fact, the University of Kentucky product had a breakout campaign. He put up a career-high 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game.

The big man made the All-Star team for the first time in his career.

Best of all, Adebayo’s production helped the Heat advance to the 2020 NBA Finals. During the 2020 playoffs, Adebayo collected 17.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game during the 2020 playoffs.

Furthermore, he had one of the best blocks in NBA history after swatting Boston Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum during Game 1 of the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals. The NBA world was blown away with Adebayo’s rejection.

The Heat recently rewarded Adebayo with a massive contract. He is the burgeoning face of the franchise.

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