Bam Adebayo was one extra vote away from finally cracking the NBA All-Defensive First Team.
However, Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Memphis Grizzlies just snuck ahead of the former Kentucky Wildcat, knocking Adebayo down to the Second Team. This is the third consecutive season Adebayo has been named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team. The two All-Defensive Teams were announced on Friday night by the league office.
Adebayo, who has spent all five of his NBA seasons with the Miami Heat, received 57 first-place points and 38 second-place points for a total of 152 points. Jackson earned fewer first-place points with 55, but his 43 second-place points gave him a total of 153 points and the First Team nod.
During the 2021-22 season, Adebayo was Miami’s top defender throughout the year when he was healthy. Playing 56 total games, he averaged 19.1 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.8 blocks while playing 32.6 minutes per outing. The Heat finished the season ranked top five in both opponent points per game (4th) and defensive rating (5th).
This season, Miami posted a 104.9 defensive rating with Adebayo on the floor, which would rank as the league’s best mark on its own. With him off the floor, that number jumped to 109.1. Had he played closer to 70 games, it’s likely he makes his debut on the First Team and possibly wins Defensive Player of the Year.
Adebayo’s Heat squad is in the midst of another deep postseason run, currently playing the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. Boston won Game 2 on Thursday to even the series at 1-1. Game 3 is set for Saturday at 8:30 p.m. EST on ABC.
Devin Booker is the only other former Wildcat to earn a point. The Phoenix Suns guard received one Second Team vote.
2021-22 NBA All-Defensive Teams
G: Marcus Smart (198 total points; DPOY)
G: Mikal Bridges (193)
C: Rudy Gobert (171)
F: Giannis Antetokounmpo (156)
F: Jaren Jackson Jr. (153)
F: Bam Adebayo (152 total points)
G: Jrue Holiday (89)
G: Matisse Thybulle (87)
C: Robert Williams III (70)
F: Draymond Green (34)