Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson believes that Heat big man Bam Adebayo should be a lock to make an All-NBA team this season.
Adebayo has never earned an All-NBA nod despite being named an All-Star two times and All-Defense four times in his NBA career.
This season, Adebayo has taken things to another level on both ends of the floor. The former University of Kentucky star is averaging 23.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game while shooting 52.9 percent from the field. He is also averaging 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.
“Not a lot of guys can do that,” Richardson said. “I can probably count on one hand the guys in the NBA who can do the things that he’s doing right now.”
Despite playing in just 15 games this season, Adebayo has already tallied 1.9 win shares for the Heat. He also has posted a box plus/minus of 3.2. Last season, Adebayo finished with a box plus/minus of just 1.5.
Plus, the Heat big man has been forced to take on a bigger role on offense with Tyler Herro limited to just eight games so far this season due to an ankle injury. Adebayo (15 games) has played more than both Herro and star Jimmy Butler (14 games) so far this season.
“I think he should be a lock for All-NBA this year,” Richardson said. “He’s really been carrying a lot of the load for us this year.”
There’s still a long way to go for Adebayo to earn All-NBA honors, but his current numbers show that he’s taken a major step.
The two-time All-Star is averaging the most points and rebounds per game of his NBA career, and he’s posting his highest blocks per game average since the 2019-20 season – the campaign where he earned his first All-Star selection.
While the Heat (10-8 this season) have lost three straight games, the team is still the No. 7 seed in the East at this point in the 2023-24 campaign.
If Miami pushes for a top seed in the conference this season and Adebayo can sustain this level of play, he could be looked at as the driving force to the team’s success.
There are certainly other centers (Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid) that will compete for All-NBA selections with Adebayo, but it’s hard to deny the Heat star’s impact on his team so far this season.