Heat stalwart Bam Adebayo, who finished fourth in the defensive player of the year voting, was named to the All-Defensive second-team for the third straight season, the league announced Friday. He joined Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III, Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday and Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle as the second-team selections.
Adebayo finished with 152 points in the All-Defensive voting, 63 more points than the player with the next-most (Holiday - 89). As a result, Adebayo came one-point shy of making the first team in the final forward spot, which went to Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. He also came five points shy of overtaking two-time defensive player of the year Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Miami’s 6-foot-9 24-year-old got more first-team votes (57 to 55) than JJJ, but less second-team votes (43 to 38). Players were awarded two points for first-team votes as opposed to one point for the second-team.
His 57 first-team votes combined to be more than the first-team votes for the other four second-team honorees combined (40). His 38 second-team votes were also the second-fewest second-team votes, the least being Green (24).
Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart of Boston and runner-up Mikal Bridges of Phoenix received the most voting points in balloting for the 2021-22 Kia NBA All-Defensive Team.— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) May 21, 2022
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Voting results ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/dUxDi2L2oc
In 56 games, Adebayo averaged a career-high 1.4 steals with 0.8 blocks per game, in addition to 10.1 rebounds per game (2.4 offensive). The versatile center led the team in total blocks (44), defensive rebounds (427), total rebounds (564) and was second in steals (80). He also led the team in rebounding 43 times, in blocks 22 times — both team highs — and in steals 16 times.
According to Cleaning the Glass, the Heat were a team-best 6.6 points per 100 possessions better on the defensive end — placing in the 93rd percentile amongst bigs — when Adebayo was on the floor compared to when he wasn’t. The aforementioned figure ranks fifth amongst NBA-bigs that have played 1,500 minutes — trailing back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic (8.2), Rudy Gobert (8.4), Domantas Sabonis (9.2) and Jusuf Nurkic (11.0).
One notable omission from the All-Defensive team was two-way stalwart Jimmy Butler, who played in 57 games. He averaged 1.6 steals — down from his league-leading 2.1 steals per game in 2020-21 — and 0.5 blocks per contest. Butler has been named to the All-Defensive second team five times without any first team honors.
Alonzo Mourning and LeBron James are the only two Heat players in franchise history to get All-Defensive first team in their time with the 305. Adebayo and James are now the only two Heat players to be named to the All-Defensive teams in three consecutve seasons with Miami.