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Jared Johnson breaks down why Jimmy Butler is one of the league's best players and why his managers have to be ecstatic with his play this season.
JARED JOHNSON: Back in January when Jimmy Butler was forced to miss a string of games due to the NBA's health-and-safety protocols, the Miami Heat were only able to cobble together two wins over a 10-game stretch, and their defensive rating dipped to 113.7, which ranked 22nd in the league. However, since he got back to the court, Miami has gone 15-6, jumped to number four in the Eastern Conference, and their 106.6 defensive rating has been the best in the league.
Over that stretch, Jimmy Butler has ranked inside the top 10 with averages of 23.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 8.8 assists, and a league-leading 2.2 steals per game on 47.2% shooting from the field and 83.6% from the line. He's on track to hit career highs in dimes and steals this season, and with Miami likely to be fighting for seeding late in the year, I'm not particularly worried about him getting hit with random rest. The second round of fantasy drafts was loaded with landmines this season, but if you were one of the savvy managers who came away with Jimmy Butler, you have to be feeling pretty good about yourself right now. Congrats.