Jimmy Butler may be the straw that stirs the Miami Heat‘s drink, but as the six-time All-Star puts it, Bam Adebayo has been the “engine” fueling the club’s fourth-ranked defense this season. As incredible as he has been in that regard, though, he fell well short of taking home Defensive Player of the Year honors.
And he just drew the short stick with NBA awards voters once again.
On Friday, the league announced its All-Defensive teams for the 2021-22 campaign. For the third straight year, Adebayo was relegated to Second-Team status. Not only that — Miami’s anchor finished just one point shy of beating out Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. for a First-Team spot.
The team selections and voting results shook out as follows:
Needless to say, Heat Nation was less than impressed by Adebayo’s snubbing.
Heat Fans Sound Off on Adebayo’s Second-Team Selection
While there was a smattering of fans on Twitter that were still upset over Adebayo’s Game 2 performance against the Boston Celtics, a larger number of them were fuming over the announcement.
“Media voting is such a joke lol no reason he shouldn’t be first team,” tweeted one angry Heat fan.
“How Bam on the second team behind Jaren Jackson. How you finish 4th in voting and end up on the second team,” wondered a second supporter, referencing the fact that Adebayo had two more First-Team votes than Jackson. “Make it make sense.”
Meanwhile, there was a similar response to Adebayo’s First-Team exclusion over on Reddit’s /r/Heat.
“Was bam listed only as a Center or was he listed at forward and C? If it was only C it kind [of] makes sense, but if he was in with F too then he was robbed, he should be in over JJJ easily,” read one comment.
“If we win the chip, I guarantee you he makes all defense first next year. This is how people and media works, you gotta be highlighted and on prime time multiple times for them to know your name” opined another Redditor.
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Adebayo Had an Impressive Résumé
In addition to being the key cog in a front that conceded just 108.4 points per 100 possessions during the regular season (again, the No. 4 mark in the Association), a multitude of other statistics painted an equally impressive portrait of Adebayo as a defender.
Per tracking data logged by NBA Stats, opposing players’ field goal percentages dropped 4.8% overall and 5.8% from three-point range on attempts when Adebayo was the closest defender. Meanwhile, the big man boasted the league’s No. 8 defensive box plus/minus score (2.1) and 13th-best defensive real plus/minus number (5.64).
Adebayo also ranked 14th in the Association in defensive win shares (3.5). And he managed all of this while being one of the few pivot men in basketball who can come out and legitimately lock people down on the perimeter.