The Miami Heat have had a tremendous 2021-22 season. Despite early injury struggles, the Heat have maintained a sizable lead in the Southeast Division and have even stood atop the Eastern Conference for a stretch in January.
Most of this success can be attributed to spectacular coaching and playing team basketball. That being said, the All-Star reserves have been announced and the Miami Heat find themselves with just one lone All-Star.
While Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry were making cases for an All-Star bid, Jimmy Butler was announced as the only Miami Heat All-Star for the 2021-22 season. That makes this Butler’s sixth career All-Star selection.
Let’s see how he earned the honor.
Despite missing nearly 20 games so far this season, Butler remains a top-tier NBA player when he is healthy. He ranks 26th in points per game and 20th in assists per game.
While these numbers look great in a box score, there is so much more to Butler’s game that has earned him the All-Star nod.
Shooting 48.7 percent from the field, Butler has been hyper-efficient this season. Ranking third in free throws made and attempted, Butler is currently eighth in free throw percentage among qualified players.
His ability to score efficiently from the field and the line make Butler that much more valuable. In a league that is heavily emphasizing three-point shots, Butler breaks the norm and does his scoring the old-fashioned way— mid-range, layups, and free throws.
He also finds himself in elite defensive company. Currently tied for third in steals per game, Butler has been an incredible perimeter defender for as long as he’s been in the league.
Speaking of rare company, Butler is one of only six players to be averaging at least 20 points, six rebounds, and six assists per game. The other five guys are quite the list of names.
With this many factors in his favor, it is clear that Jimmy should be an All-Star this season. He is the Miami Heat’s best player by a pretty large margin and Miami is winning games at an alarming rate this season.
While it may be disappointing that the Heat only have a single All-Star, the NBA picked the correct player to represent Miami at the All-Star Game in Cleveland.
With the drama of the selection decisions cleared up, the Heat can get back on track and focus on winning games heading into the All-Star break. If they can continue their winning ways, the Heat may be able to make more of a splash in the end-of-season awards.