Miami Heat: 3 Obstacles Impeding Jimmy Butler’s DPOY Campaign

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) spins the basketball on his finger (Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) spins the basketball on his finger (Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Miami Heat
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) attempts to shoot the ball between Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) and center Bam Adebayo (13)(Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Miami Heat have two players worthy of top-DPOY contention, both Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler

The first reason has, sort of, been broached already. It’s his teammate.

Bam Adebayo

While it may seem counter-intuitive, that’s how these things work in the NBA. If you want the most poignant example ever, you can look to Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and the MVP award races they had.

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Pippen’s highest ever finish in the MVP award race was the 93-94 season, where he finished third in voting, behind Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson. While Pippen should have never rightfully won the MVP over Jordan or been ranked higher, outside of the 94-95 season that still saw Jordan manage to finish 11th in voting despite only playing in 17 games that year, the fact that he played with Jordan did hurt him.

When Jordan was there, the lights were obviously bright but even when he wasn’t during his retirement, his aura still shone brightly over the place where Scottie played and that team. That’s the phenomenon at play here.

Though the comparison isn’t exactly apples for apples, as Jimmy is the better player right now, that effect is what’s happening to Jimmy Butler. With Bam currently being ranked three on the NBA’s DPOY Ladder and being the defender that he is, that hurts Jimmy, who’s ranked somewhere in the bottom five of the voting right now.

That’s their words. That’s his first obstacle.