3 Miami Heat players with a legit shot to win an NBA award

The All-Star break is behind us and award season is amongst us. Three Miami Heat players are in contention for various awards, but will any of them win?

Miami Heat v San Antonio Spurs
Miami Heat v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages
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Did you know that Erik Spoelstra (NBA top 15 coach ever) has never won Coach of the Year? Out of the 15 coaches, he's one of the few never to reach that status. There can't be an anti-Miami Heat bias in the air, right?

Bam Adebayo has suffered the same fate in the Defensive Player of the Year race -- voter fatigue for an award he's never won. Bam has finished in the top five in DPOY voting in the last four years. 

Defensive Player of the Year

It's pretty dumbfounding how the other names rotate, but Bam's name is the constant in the race. He's done enough to reach that pedestal. Marcus Smart winning in 2022 won't sit right with historians. Bam missed a lot of time that year, but that is not the case this season.

Still, DPOY might be the only award that's s already settled. Minnesota Timberwolves defensive stalwart Rudy Gobert is running away with the hardware. The Timberwolves are the No. 1 defense by over 2 points per 100 possessions. Gobert takes the lion's share of the credit, as opponents don't even look his way when he's at the rim. 

Bam has been an everywhere defender this season, but team ratings hold so much weight in this race. The best defender on the No. 1 defense seems to be the recipe for winning it in the 2020s (Jaren Jackson Jr. won it last year, with Memphis having the No. 2 defense). The Heat are eighth in defensive rating -- good, but not dominant.

Bam is approaching his prime and keeps Miami's defense afloat. His time is coming, but Gobert has it locked up this year.