Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are 1st-Team Defenders

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)
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 are known for a few things. Hard work, effort, toughness, the fact that no matter who you are or what you’ve been as a player, when you come to Miami you’ll end up in the best shape of your life, and of course, defense.

With that in mind, their two best players, Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, also excel in that area. To be frank and though they are both talented all-around guys in their own rights, they are both much better defensive players than they are offensively.

While Bam has a chance to catch his offense up to his defense, with everything that he is capable of, being one of the best in the league as a defense-first guy has worked out well for Jimmy Butler. Meaning, if it only continues to develop slowly from an offensive perspective, Bam will still be one hell of a player.

As you want him to continue developing on offense though, as that’s only better for the Miami Heat, defense is still his and the Miami Heat’s calling card. So, it’s no surprise that both Jimmy and Bam made the NBA All-Defensive Team.

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The Miami Heat are known for their defense, fueled by Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler. The way they do it is only ‘first-team’ worthy.

However, they only made the second-team. Let’s look at the teams, starting at the top with the first-team.

Now that you have that one, here’s the other. The NBA All-Defensive Second Team is as follows.

Here’s the thing. The 10 guys that were chosen for these teams were, in a few words, spot-on.

The bigger issue here is who made which team and why. The Miami Heat were a consistent highly ranked defensive team in the league, up until the end of the year as they geared up for postseason tinkers and adjustments.

That effort though, where they were among the defensive elite, was fueled by both Jimmy and Bam. As individual defenders, their resumes are well-documented and have been lauded above, as it’s no secret that they are stoppers.

When you look at the first-team of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Draymond Green, Ben Simmons, Rudy Gobert, and Jrue Holiday, it’s tolerable. For keener eyes though, Rudy Gobert and Giannis didn’t even have their best defensive years this season.

Also, should it be important that they are able to be themselves, their elite defensive selves… via the help side? They wait for players to take one player or the whole team, before swooping in to swipe the shot away.

That’s an elite ability and needed but shouldn’t be equitable or as valuable as a guy who guards from perimeter to cup, man on man the entire time, someone who doesn’t just swoop in to finish the help but someone who does the work the entire time. Shouldn’t there be more value placed on those guys?

That’s how Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo get it done. Plain and simple.

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That’s why, though, the 10 guys mentioned are the right guys to recognized as the 10 best defenders in the league, they aren’t correctly prioritized. Bam and Jimmy should have made the first-team because what they do defensively, is more strenuous than the way that some of the guys on the first-team do it, namely Giannis and Rudy Gobert.