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Bam Adebayo: “I should have won [Defensive Player of the Year] the last two years”

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Seven

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 29: Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat reacts after dunking the ball against Robert Williams III #44 of the Boston Celtics during the first quarter in Game Seven of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals at FTX Arena on May 29, 2022 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

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For two years in a row, the Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo has finished fourth in the NBA Defensive Player of the Year voting. This past year he had 13 first-place votes and 42 of the 100 media voters had him on their three-person ballot.

Adebayo told campers at the Heat’s youth clinic at Hard Rock Stadium he’s being undervalued, via Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel.

“I should have won it the last two years, and I will win it this year.”

That’s what you say to Heat fan youth campers, but Adebayo will be in the mix. Our partners’ at Points Bet have him tied for third to win the award at +800. The betting odds at Points Bet:

Rudy Gobert +500
Robert Williams III +650
Bam Adebayo +800
Giannis Antetokounmpo +800
Draymond Green +800
Anthony Davis +1000
Mikal Bridges +1200

The challenge for Adebayo as the Heat’s center is the NBA is loaded with high-quality defensive centers — Adebayo made the All-Defensive Second Team as a forward because Rudy Gobert (Jazz, then) and Robert Williams (Celtics) were the two centers on the teams. Standing out in that crowded field is difficult.

It’s the same with All-NBA. Adebayo did not make All-NBA because at center this year it was Nikola Jokic (first team), Joel Embiid (second team) and Karl-Anthony Towns (third team). Adebayo, who was on 20 of the 100 ballots, was fifth among centers, still behind Gobert (not enough voters put Adebayo at forward for him to be considered at that position).

It wouldn’t be a shock to see Adebayo win Defensive Player of the Year, we all know the Heat will have an elite defense, and Adebayo will be right in the middle of it.