When it comes to the NBA’s annual award for Most Improved Player, Meyers Leonard says it belongs to his Miami Heat teammate, Bam Adebayo.
The Miami Heat have had an incredible season to start the Jimmy Butler era, and that’s largely in part due to the rise of Bam Adebayo from role player to All-Star. There’s no question if he’s improved from last season, but only if he’s the most improved across the league.
As many of you know, the NBA hands out an award annually for the league’s most improved player from one year to the next. Currently, fans and executives alike are largely undecided between Adebayo and Brandon Ingram of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Not his Miami teammate Meyers Leonard, however, who says that his frontcourt partner is the only answer when asked who’s most improved:
Adebayo was a reliable piece of Miami’s core last season behind averages of 8.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.2 assists nightly. But this season he’s taken the leap to All-Star as the big man was voted in along with teammate Jimmy Butler back in February.
Adebayo’s touching every area of the floor: 16.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game. He’s started in each of the Heat’s 65 games so far and is now healthy headed into the bubble to finish out Miami’s 2019-2020 campaign.
Ingram has impressed this season too, however on a smaller volume of games. In his 56 appearances for the Pelicans, he’s posting: 24.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and a steal per game. They’re currently three and a half games back of the Western Conference eight seed.
His stat lines haven’t seen too large an improvement. It’s been Ingram’s new role that’s put him atop the leaderboard for Most Improved. He’s become the number one option in New Orleans, keeping the ship afloat while the team waited for Zion Williamson to debut in January.
Shams Charania of the Athletic reported earlier this month that votes for the annual awards would be based on play up until March 11th, when the season was suspended.
Given that, wouldn’t Bam Adebayo and his contributions for the Miami Heat make more sense?
It’s still up in the air, but if you’re asking Miami Heat center, Meyers Leonard, he won’t shy away from telling you just why it’s his teammate that’s been the Most Improved and still improving.
Bam Adebayo and the Miami Heat will continue their efforts to get back in the swing of things on Saturday afternoon when they scrimmage against the Utah Jazz. Tip-off is at 4 pm est.