Anyone who watches Bam Adebayo play on a regular basis should recognize that he is one of the best defensive players in the NBA. Bam has also stated that one of his goals next season is to win Defensive Player of the Year. However, how much of a chance does have to do so? Let’s get into Bam Adebayo’s chances of winning Defensive Player of the Year in the 2022-23 NBA season.
Health Is a Major Factor for Bam Adebayo
Injuries can certainly derail an NBA player’s season and even their career. However, missing significant time also makes it harder to win awards like Defensive Player of the Year. As a result, one of the conditions for Bam to win DPOY next season is to play in the majority of the Heat’s games next season.
In the 2021-22 season, Bam Adebayo missed 22 games as a result of a thumb injury. Thankfully, Bam has not missed many games over the course of his career due to injury. If Bam can avoid any serious injuries, then that will significantly boost his chances of winning DPOY.
The Heat Need to be a Top 3 Defensive Team
Something else that can increase Bam’s chances of winning DPOY is if the Heat finish as one of the three best defensive teams in the NBA. When you look at past DPOY winners, two of the last three players to win DPOY were on a top 3 defensive team in the league. Giannis won DPOY in the 2019-2020 season and the Bucks finished as the best defensive team in the league.
Marcus Smart won DPOY in the 2021-22 season and the Celtics were the second-best defensive team in the league. Meanwhile, in the 2020-21 season, Rudy Gobert won DPOY and the Jazz was narrowly the fourth-best defensive team in the league. The Heat pride themselves on playing good defense and are typically at least a top 5 defensive team in the league. However, if the Heat is one of the top 3 defensive teams in the league, then it strengthens Bam’s case for DPOY significantly.
Bam Needs to Average More Blocks Per Game
As I’m sure you all know, blocks are simply one stat that indicates a player’s defensive impact and they are not a perfect measurement of that impact by any means. Having said that, when you look at the past DPOY winners from 2012-2022, the majority of them averaged at least 1.5 blocks per game. If Bam increases his block average from 0.8 last season to 1.5-2.0 next season, he has a better chance of winning Defensive Player of the Year. Bam averaged 1.4 steals last season, which is right in line with players who have won Defensive Player of the Year in the past.
Do You Think Bam Will Win DPOY Next Season?
There are quite a few excellent defensive players in the NBA. Players like Anthony Davis, Giannis, and Kawhi Leonard are all likely to be DPOY candidates. In Davis’s case, this does depend quite a bit on his availability.
However, I think Bam is a legitimate DPOY candidate and might be able to win the award next season. You could even bet on Bam winning DPOY if you feel confident about it. Even if Bam doesn’t win DPOY, I expect that he will make an All-Defensive Team next season. Check back in next week for more Miami Heat content.