P.J. Tucker’s convincing argument on why Bam Adebayo should win Defensive Player of the Year

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Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo is one of the leading candidates for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award, and one of his teammates thinks he deserves the honor.

Heat forward P.J. Tucker explained how Adebayo’s value late in games is extremely important to look at when determining who should win the award.

“You can’t be the Defensive Player of the Year if you can’t play in most fourth quarters. That’s insanity to me,” Tucker said, referencing how the game has changed with teams like Brooklyn playing Kevin Durant at the five in closing lineups. “Just look at fourth quarter lineups, that’s the game.”

Adebayo has been the defensive anchor for the Heat this season, as he is averaging 1.5 steals, 0.8 blocks and 10.2 rebounds per game. Adebayo has registered a defensive box plus/minus of 2.2 and 3.1 defensive win shares despite playing in just 48 games this season.

Rudy Gobert, Draymond Green and Mikal Bridges are just a few of the contenders for the award along with Adebayo, but the Heat big man has as good a chance as anyone to win this season.

Adebayo is extremely valuable for Miami because of his ability to guard multiple positions, as he can switch in pick-and-roll scenarios as well as bang down low with the league’s best centers.

The Heat big man has also been a force offensively this season, as he is averaging a career-high 19.2 points per game.

Tucker and the Heat know how valuable Adebayo is to their success, and it will be interesting to see how voters place Adebayo in the Defensive Player of the Year race.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.