Miami’s Bam Adebayo has his sights set on winning Defensive Player of the Year in 2023-24

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Bam Adebayo Heat pic

Last season, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo were Miami’s two best players. At 26 years old, Adebayo is still developing his game but has been one of the league’s best defenders. He’s had elite defensive skills since entering the league in 2017-18. Ahead of the 2023-24 season, Adebayo has his sights set on one individual award. The two-time all-star wants to win Defensive Player of the Year. 

During the 2023-24 season, Bam Adebayo averaged a career-high (20.40 points and (34.6) minutes per game. His offensive game is still growing each season. Adebayo’s defensive skills differentiate him from the average NBA player. While he hasn’t won DPOY in his career yet, Adebayo has been close.

The one statistic that he’s missing that can give him the edge he needs in blocks per game. Seven of the last eight DPOY winners have averaged at least one block per game for the entire season. In six seasons with Miami, Adebayo has only averaged over one block per game just twice.

To win DPOY next season, Bam Adebayo needs to start his 2023-34 campaign strong

The 26-year-old has four All-Defensive selections in his career. However, all four are second-team honors. He’s finished top five in four of the last five seasons but has never finished higher than fourth. Media members around the league last season argued that Abebayo should have been one of the finalists for DPOY.

Brook Lopez, Evan Mobley, and the 2022-23 DPOY Jaren Jackosn Jr. were the three finalists for the award. In the league’s new CBA, players are now required to play in at least 65 games to be eligible for end-of-the-season awards. Last year’s winner of the award, Jaren Jackson Jr., only played in 63 games for the Grizzlies. Under the new CBA, he wouldn’t have been eligible to win.

Playing in 65 games shouldn’t be an issue for Bam Adebayo. He has done that in four of his six seasons, in one of those years, he played in 64 games. If Bam Adebayo can average at least one block per game and start the season strong, winning DPOY could be a realistic goal. At six-foot-nine, Adebayo is not the traditional big man in the NBA. He uses his athleticism as a tool to keep up with quick guards while playing defense. Heading into year seven, DPOY will be on Abebayo’s mind all season long.