Miami Heat: All-NBA Honors For Jimmy Butler Were Much Deserved

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat in action against the New York Knicks(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat in action against the New York Knicks(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Although the Miami Heat were unsuccessful in their attempt for a return to the NBA Finals, the 2020-21 season was still a good one for the organization. Through much adversity, they made adjustments on the fly and managed to garner yet another postseason birth.

However, much of Miami’s success this year should be attributed to their top star Jimmy Butler — who was deservedly recognized on Tuesday afternoon for his outstanding play. The Heat’s 31 year-old star was announced as a 2021 All-NBA  selection for the fourth-time in his career, this time of the Third-Team variety.

Butler, who was announced on Monday to the NBA’s All-Defensive Second-Team along with Bam Adebayo, has done more than give outstanding effort (and results) on the defensive-end. Along with a league-leading 2.1 steals per game, Butler led Miami in both scoring (21.5) and assists for the second year in a row.

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The Miami Heat got a great year from Jimmy Butler this past season and his All-NBA Third Team nod all but proves it.

He’s solidified himself as a credible first-option on most nights, while showing a willingness to get his teammates involved too. In the 2020-21 regular season, Butler finished among league leaders in these areas:

  • Fourth in Box-Plus Minus (7.5)
  • Fifth in Player Efficiency Rating (26.5)
  • Fifth in Offensive Win Shares (6.6)
  • Seventh in Value Over Replacement Player Rating (4.2)
  • 11th in Offensive Rating (127.0).

Butler was simply an elite player throughout the entire year and those numbers speak for themselves. It could be argued that an All-NBA Second-Team nod would have been the most appropriate for Butler, but in a league with plenty of competitive talent, it’s still an amazing feat to be recognized among the league’s best.

In 2020, Butler was selected for the the All-NBA Third team, along with Russell Westbrook, Ben Simmons, Jayson Tatum, and Rudy Gobert. And for a player who was in consideration for the league’s Most Valuable Player award earlier in the season, it would’ve been criminal to leave Butler off of any of the teams again this year.

There wasn’t a candidate among the three teams that brought more intensity and a stronger individual will-to-win on both ends than Jimmy Butler did for the duration of the 2020-21 season. Though banged up a bit, doing so across 52 games played was a valid sample-size.

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Jimmy Butler was that dude all year long— and recognition from the league was well deserved. Hopefully, he’s resting up to do it all over again beginning in October.