Jimmy Butler was noticeably (and perhaps criminally) left off this year's NBA All-Star roster. Due to missing a large chunk of time to a battle with COVID-19, the early struggles of the Heat, and the play of other stars in the Conference, it's almost not a surprise that he got snubbed.
But just because Butler was disrespected on All-Star weekend, doesn't mean folks aren't noticing his game.
In a recent segment on his show, "The Herd's" Colin Cowherd called Butler the "most valuable player in the game" outside of LeBron James.
No doubt, the sentiment comes from the Heat's recent revival. After starting the season as one of the worst teams in the East, Butler has (since his return) led them on a charge that has them in fourth place, three games above .500. Through it all, Butler has averaged 21.4 points, 8 assists, and 7.4 rebounds per game on 46.7% shooting.
At this point, if he's able to take the Heat back to the Finals, Cowherd might be proven correct in his assessment.
Of course, we'll have to see how it all plays out. No matter what the Heat do over these next few weeks and months, getting back to their place a year ago is going to present a number of tough challenges.