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Miami Heat Center Earns First All-Defensive First Team Honors

Bam Adebayo was named to first-team All-Defense.

Individual awards keep stacking up for the Miami Heat as three-time All-Star center Bam Adebayo was recently named to first-team All-Defense and earned third place in the Defensive Player of the Year race.

Miami Heat Center Earns First All-Defensive First Team Honors

Bam Adebayo Earns His Fifth Consecutive All-Defensive Nod

Miami Heat center and paint stalwart Bam Adebayo was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team yesterday. This is his fifth All-Defensive Team selection in seven years with Miami. Notably, this was Bam’s fifth straight selection good for the longest active streak in the NBA. Furthermore, Adebayo joins Heat stars Lebron James and Alonzo Mourning as First Team selections, both of whom achieved it at least twice. James earned the award three times. While Mourning was a two-time DPOY with the Heat.

Familiar names surround Adebayo for the First Team as they did for Defensive Player of the Year. Rudy Gobert of the Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs’ rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama equally notched All-Defensive First Team nods. Anthony Davis and Herb Jones from the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans rounded out the First Team selections.

Adebayo Led Miami’s Top-Rated Defense

Earning the third-most points with 91.0 including three first-place votes for Defensive Player of the Year, the three-time NBA All-Star finished the 2023-2024 season with a 109.3 defensive rating. He averaged 1.1 steals and 0.9 blocks on top of 19.3 points and 10.4 rebounds. The Miami Heat center was heavily relied on this year to play a heavy offensive role due to Miami’s ever-present rash of top-roster player injuries. Besides guarding almost every position efficiently, his performance on the offensive side of the floor didn’t hinder his defensive game.

Miami’s struggle to score points was evident throughout the regular season and into the playoffs. However, Miami’s impressive and stout defense ranked them third in points allowed per game. Additionally, opponent field goals made per game, and opponent offensive rebounds per game contributed to that ranking. Much of this success was mainly due to Adebayo’s paint presence and ability to be strong on the boards.

Heat President Wants More From His All-Star

Eligible for an extension, Adebayo and the Heat will likely reach an agreement over the summer. However, in recent weeks, it has become apparent that Miami Heat President Pat Riley is looking for more from Adebayo. 

Riley has remarked that Adebayo needs to sit down with Head Coach Erik Spoelstra to look at how he can improve his game to an even higher level. Considering that he had to pick up after Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro for large parts of the season due to injury, one could argue that Adebyao has pulled his weight more than ever. Riley, contrarily, wants to see more. Likening Adebayo’s current situation to that of another former star under Riley’s ranks, Magic Johnson, Riley simply wants Adebayo to expand his game, as Magic did with the Los Angeles Lakers. Riley and Johnson had a conversation that resulted in Johnson changing his game. From that point forward, his play and presence on the floor grew exponentially. 

Off To Paris For the Miami Heat Center

Adebayo should look to continue his success at this summer’s Olympics as Team USA looks to bring home the gold. Expectations will continue to be high for the Miami Heat center going into next year’s regular season.


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