The Miami Heat got a number one option when they signed Jimmy Butler this past summer. Is ESPN’s First Take right in ranking him 15th in the league?
The Miami Heat needed a number one option bad as last season waned down the closing stretch, which prompted Pat Riley to say that he was hunting a whale in this past offseason. Little did we know, but to most of our presumptive delights (and destiny, of course), our whale was battling it out with the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Fast forward almost a year later and here we are, days into the month of May, for which we were supposed to have started the NBA playoffs weeks ago. Due to the current situation of our world and most understandably so, there have been no Miami Heat or NBA games at all since March 11.
With the lack of live sports, and thus actual fresh content, it has brought us to a place of digging into that in which we already have. It led ESPN’s First Take to a very common place in sports, rankings.
On Monday, they started their rankings for what they call the First Take Primetime Player list, which will rank the best players in the league from 15-1. As we stated, they would start on Monday and guess who was number one? The Miami Heat’s very own, Jimmy Butler.
While Jalen Rose would be correct in his assessment, Jimmy Butler is the most underrated player in the NBA, they would also be correct in their total assessment as far as where he is ranked on their list. This is how it all breaks down for me.
The top 5-8 players in the league are pretty concrete and solid where they are in their proper places. From 9-20 though and definitely from 9-15, you could switch and swap any combination of a certain group of guys into any of those slots depending on your preferences, if they are hot or cold over the stretch when you are ranking them, or what they’ve done from a team winning perspective and how you value that or not.
He is definitely in the 9-15 range and that is undeniable, perhaps even higher, but no higher than 7. For what he lacks in the traditional things that you want to see from your modern-day NBA superstars, he more than makes up for with this winning mentality, attitude, will to win, work ethic, and doggedness about everything he does.
First Take got this one right for the most part, “finally”, some are probably saying. Either way, we are glad to have him, as he is ranked numero uno in our books.