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
4 of 5

2. Bam Adebayo

Bam Adebayo, Paolo Banchero
Orlando Magic v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Earlier, we told you Anthony Davis was one of the guys who could genuinely guard one through five. Bam Adebayo is the other one and arguably the better of the two Kentucky Wildcats (what's in the water there?) Bam has no holes defensivley.

Dating all the way back to his rookie year when he was getting limited minutes, we've seen him hold his own matched up with superstar point guards like Steph Curry and the most superb ball-handlers of all time, Kyrie Irving.

This season is no different, as his defensive impact shows up every time he laces up his kicks. Miami has a 112.5 defensive rating in the 30 Adebayo games this season. That would be good enough for fifth in the league. Plays like the following illustrate why he's so impactful as a defender.

Honestly, this makes me want to laugh out loud. Centers aren't supposed to move this swiftly while covering so much ground. Count how many times Bam forces offensive players into unfamiliar circumstances.

Recovering from a high blitz is already spooky enough; not only does Bam do that, but he also makes Fred VanVleet throw a jump pass from the 3-point line instead of shooting. Bam then gets back into the play again (!), detering VanVleet from the rim. As Miami is satisfied with the shot, they eventually give up. His presence is everywhere.

For my money, he's the most versatile defender in the league, and it's a shame he still hasn't been named DPOY. He's been knocking on the door for years now. I'll leave you with this. Why does Bam keep finishing in the top five for DPOY, but the players who finish before him are a revolving door?