NBA Defensive Player of the Year power rankings: Bam Adebayo rising to the top

Bam Adebayo is slowly creeping into the Defensive Player of the Year conversation again. This could be the year he finally wins the award.

Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers
Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages
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4. Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis
Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Anthony Davis has consistently been one of the best defenders on the planet. Similarly to another Kentucky Wildcat on this list, AD has never lifted the Defensive Player of the Year trophy.

He's finished in the top five of DPOY voting on three separate occasions — with 2020 being his strongest case to be named a winner—many of the traits he displayed that year are back in front of us.

Only a few guys can guard one through five, though social media will tell you differently. That statement is tossed around Willy Nilly, but Davis truly exemplifies how that statement is correct. Davis is a terror guarding in space. His light feet allow him to quickly shuffle laterally in either direction. If quick guards weaponize their quicker feet, they still must worry about AD tracking them down with his freaky alien length.

Guarding bigs came naturally to the former Wildcat, even though he hasn't been thrilled to play the five in recent years. He is a stout one-on-one defender, plus he's a nightmare at the basket. Teams are shooting 2.3% fewer shots at the rim against the Lakers with AD on the floor.

He can guard in space, protect the rim, and allows teammates to press the ball more because they have AD behind them ready for anything. Another lanky big is doing the same thing in Sooner Land.