MIAMI — Two hours after the Miami Heat opened their pre-season with a dominant 115-91 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday, the National Basketball Association announced the finalists for the 2021-22 regular season awards.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has been named one of the top three nominees for Coach of the Year. Tyler Hero He was one of the top three nominees for this year’s sixth man. However, the Defensive Player of the Year group did not include the Miami big man Pam Adebayo.
“I’m really stunned that Pam is not a finalist,” Spoelstra said after training on Monday. “I don’t know what people are watching. He’s played enough matches, so I don’t want that as an excuse either.”
Adebayo made 56 appearances for the Heat, which was ranked fourth in the defensive rankings in the league. He was superior before Marcus Smart from the Boston Celtics, who played 71 games with the No. 1 ranked defense team; Michael Bridges from the Phoenix Suns, who played 82 games with the No. 3 ranked defense; And Rudy Gobert From the Utah Jazz, who played 66 games for the No. 10 ranked defense.
The Heat’s top man who does it all think the vote was skewed not because of general availability but the number of times the games of the top candidates have garnered the national spotlight.
“Disrespectful,” Adebayo said on Monday when asked about the finalists’ announcement. “I feel like I can do anything two of the three can do, besides, I mean, I can’t teach height. But they all play more on TV than me. So I expect that. They get more TV games and they get more exposure. Likes. People talk about it more. Nobody wants to talk about us. So, that’s anything at that point.”
Heading into the season, the Suns had 34 nationally televised matches. The Celtics had a 32, a Jazz 26, and a Heat 22.
“I feel like that is why so many guys get so many awards, in my opinion,” Adebayo continued. “They always show on TV their talents and just happen to make good games.”
The inclusion of Herro and Spoelstra in the awards announcement is contradictory evidence for Adebayo’s claim. The fact that Miami went 17-9 in the games they missed also indicates that the Heat’s defense was a key factor in Adebayo’s success in it.
But Adebayo’s main sticking point was the national television schedule.
“The frustration is that we’re not getting as many TV games as possible,” he said. “That’s the only frustrating thing because I feel that if I had as many TV games as her, I wouldn’t be a finalist and this, this and the third.”
Spoelstra said the Adebayo effect is off-screen for anyone who can tune in.
“Just watch any of our matches,” Spoilstra said. “You have a defensive system built on his toughness and versatility. And it’s not a cliché, it’s not just something you throw in there where he can literally guard 1 to 5. You can count on one hand collecting a 450 how many players can you legitimately say they can compete with? On the ball from 1 to 5 in all five positions. And he’s at the top of that list. That’s unique in itself.”
Herro is fine with people who spend more time talking about other series, like Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets, rather than what’s going on in South Beach.
“We don’t really want to care,” Hiro said. “You guys can draw attention to the other teams in the east. They should come here anyway, so we’ll see what happens.”
Miami, ranked No. 1 in the East, will be looking to take a 2-0 lead over the No. 8 Falcon on Tuesday night.
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