Bleacher Report has been ranking the top 15 players at each position throughout this week. And it’s pretty promising for Heat fans. The Miami Heat players placed three times on these top 15 lists.
Having two starters be placed as small forwards might not make much sense, but this is their list not ours.
Either way, here’s where the Heat players were placed…
#14 Small Forward: Duncan Robinson
Duncan Robinson has been one of the most surprising players in the NBA this season. Coming into the season, nobody even thought he’d be getting playing time, let alone start. As mentioned by Bleacher Report, Stephen Curry and Steve Novak are the only players in league history to match his volume and efficiency from three.
His importance to this team as a Heat player by his outstanding shooting ability is what catapulted him to 14 on this list. As seen throughout the season, even if he’s not helping the offense with his shooting, he helps by opening up the floor for others once he begins to get double teamed out on the perimeter. It should also make Heat fans happy that he was ranked one spot higher than a familiar opponent, TJ Warren.
#3 Small Forward: Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler has been one of the most consistent stars on these lists throughout the last few years. He ranked three on this list, only behind LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard. This makes Jimmy the number one small forward in the East this season. It’s great that they acknowledge how great he’s been this season without just viewing stats.
Though he’s had a pretty great stat line this season other than his shooting, his defense and leadership is what puts him in this elite category. The playoffs is what will truly separates him from others since the player ranked one spot behind him, Khris Middleton, seems to shrink in playoff games. And Jimmy being 12 spots higher than TJ Warren truly proves “he’s not in his league.”
#5 Center Bam Adebayo
Bam Adebayo edging his way into the top 5 centers in only his third season is truly remarkable, especially because he doesn’t really start at center when Meyers Leonard is healthy. The players who ranked above him were Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Rudy Gobert. When they did this same exact list at the start of the season, these were the top four centers.
But Bam wasn’t ranked in the top 5. He wasn’t even ranked in the top 15. The jump he made in a matter of months is something you don’t see very often. What makes Bam so intriguing is that he has the ability of being an offensive guy like Joel Embiid or Nikola Jokic. And he also has the defensive capabilities of Rudy Gobert. His ceiling is a mixture of the four players listed above him. This has the team, fans, and the league all excited about his future.