Miami’s Erik Spoelstra said Bam Adebayo has ‘been the best defender in the league’ and praised his efforts during the Finals

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Bam Adebayo pic

The Miami Heat played incredible team basketball to reach the NBA Finals this season. However, they ran into an almost unstoppable Denver Nuggets squad. After their Finals loss in Game 5, head coach Erik Spoelstra praised his team for their valiant effort. He singled out Bam Adebayo and called said he had been the best defender in the NBA for some time now. High praise from a coach with endless playoff experience. 

In 23 games played for the Heat this postseason, Adebayo averaged (17.9) points, (9.9) rebounds, and (3.7) assists. He was their second-highest scorer per game during the playoffs and also led the team in rebounds. The two-time all-star had the difficult task of trying to stop Nikola Jokic during the Finals.

At six-foot-nine, Adebayo is slightly undersized for the center position. That has never stopped him from being a dominant defender in the NBA. The 25-year-old big man did all he could this postseason, but Miami fell short as a team.

Erik Spoelstra praised Bam Adebayo for his efforts during the 2023 postseason

For the past four seasons in a row, Bam Adebayo has received second-team All-Defensive honors. While there are only a number of spots available for this award, some think Adebayo has been snubbed from first-team All-Defense. He’s been second-team due to players like Jarren Jackson Jr., Rudy Gobert, and Giannis Antetokounmpo getting first-team honors.

Erik Spoelstra acknowledged that Adebayo doesn’t put up the statistical numbers that voters like to see. However, his head coach believes in his defensive abilities and uses him as a true center in the NBA. Nikola Jokic was his toughest matchup this postseason and he did what he could to stop the two-time MVP.