Bam Adebayo left out of top 3 in DPOY voting in NBA’s midseason survey

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Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo doesn’t seem to fully get the respect he deserves from people around the league, and in a recent midseason survey, he was left out of the top three in Defensive Player of the Year voting.

The top three consisted of Milwaukee Bucks big man Brook Lopez, Memphis Grizzlies center Jaren Jackson Jr. and Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen.

All of those players are stellar defenders, but it seems like Adebayo continues to be underrated. During a recent interview with Mark Medina spoke about the feeling of not being respected enough.

“I feel like I’ve been the best defender in the last two seasons,” said Adebayo. “There’s no excuse. The media doesn’t like hearing about undrafted guys. The media wants to hear about the No. 1 picks and the top picks. They want to watch them on TV. We have a team that is made up of almost all undrafted guys. It sounds like it’s a great story to talk about, but they don’t want to see it. It discredits us with what we’ve accomplished with making it to the Eastern Conference finals [last season]. It’s those little things.

“But I feel like I’m the best defender in the league. I can guard one through five and I can guard anybody on the court. In past seasons, that’s how I got on the court. Defense is how I got to where I am today. That’s never going to be away. I’m always going to have the mindset of wanting to be in the top five on both units.”

Of course, there’s still plenty of time for Adebayo to change the minds of media members, but it seems like he might miss out on the Defensive Player of the Year award once again.

Last season, he finished in fourth place in the race, receiving 13 first-place votes. It was the third straight season he finished in the top five for the honor.

Throughout his career, he’s been named to three All-Defensive teams and averaged 1.0 steal and 0.9 blocks per game. The Heat tend to switch on defense most of the time, so Adebayo tends to end up guarding smaller players out on the perimeter instead of protecting the paint.

Adebayo is one of the few players in the league that can defend all five positions on the floor, a skill that is very valuable. He offered a simple explanation when asked by Medina what it takes to guard every single position.

“It’s just me reading the scouting report, knowing the scouting report and knowing the personnel,” he said. “That’s really it.”

It’s clear that winning the Defensive Player of the Year award would mean a great deal to the University of Kentucky product. However, it seems like he won’t be a serious candidate for it this season unless the Heat move up the standings.

Miami currently sits in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with a 21-20 record. The squad has dealt with plenty of injuries and inconsistency all season long.

Its next game is at home on Tuesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry and Caleb Martin have all already been ruled out for the contest.

Adebayo’s next chance to show off his defensive skills will come on Thursday against Lopez and the Bucks.

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David is a Miami native and University of Maryland graduate with experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.