Bam Adebayo believes he deserved DPOY over Marcus Smart last season and Rudy Gobert year before

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Back in the 2020-21 NBA season, star big man Rudy Gobert was named the Defensive Player of the Year, while Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo finished fourth in voting for the same award.

Last season, Marcus Smart won the award. Adebayo, once gain, finished fourth.

In the opinion of Adebayo himself, the award should have gone to him in both instances.

Adebayo stated that he should “100 percent” be a back-to-back winner during a recent interview with Taylor Rooks.

“It has to translate,” he said. “I feel like Rudy in the playoffs didn’t translate, and Marcus Smart guards 1 through 4.”

The fact of the matter is that the Defensive Player of the Year award is an award for the regular season. Though Adebayo may feel that playoff performances should play a role, voters for the award only consider the regular season when making decisions.

Still, just because Adebayo has not yet won the award in his career does not mean that he is not deserving of one. He is widely considered to be one of the most effective defenders in the league today.

The exciting thing is that while his defense has remained consistent through the years, his offensive play has steadily progressed.

So far this season, Adebayo is averaging 21.4 points per game.

If he can keep it up, the 2022-23 season will be the first time the University of Kentucky product averages more than 20 points per game.

Unfortunately for the Heat, Adebayo’s dominance on both sides of the court hasn’t translated to consistent winning. The Heat are just three games over .500 at 32-29 on the season and are slipping in the standings.

They’ve lost four games straight and have not looked like a team that has what it takes to delve deeply into the playoffs.

Miami has lost both of its games since the All-Star break, and things aren’t going to get easier anytime soon. Their next seven games all feature matchups against teams within the top eight seeds in the Eastern Conference.

The good news is that with that challenge comes a great opportunity. If the Heat can turn things around and come out of the upcoming stretch with a favorable record, chances are good that they’ll substantially improve their own standing in the conference.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.