Miami Heat's Bam Adebayo Likely To Fall Short In Race For League's Most Improved Player

Shandel Richardson

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo picked the wrong time to have a breakout season in terms of capturing regular season awards.

Adebayo is no doubt one of the league's most improved players and certainly deserving of the honor. The only problem is he is up against some strong competition, including four other NBA All-Stars.

Adebayo is averaging career-highs in points (16.2), rebounds (10.5) and assists (5.1). He's recorded three triple-doubles and leads the Heat with 38 double-doubles.

He was on pace to become just the sixth player in NBA history to average at least 15 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block. The others are Larry Bird, Chris Webber, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Garnett and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Adebayo was also headed toward playing in all 82 games for a second consecutive season. In just his third year, he would be the perfect selection for the league's most improved.

Until you look at his competition.

NBA.com recently put Adebayo on the cusp of the award because there are a few other players who have perhaps made greater strides this season, including Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young. All have propelled themselves into discussion among the league's top 10-15 players, with Doncic already deserving Top 5 mention.

Adebayo may just have to settle for earning his first All-Star appearance and that he is mentioned among players who are considered the future of the NBA.  

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