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Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo earn NBA All-Defensive Second Team honors

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Neither of the Heat’s two stars made it to the First Team, but were still recognized by the NBA.

Milwaukee Bucks v Miami Heat - Game Four Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

Miami Heat stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo have been named to the 2020-21 NBA All-Defensive second team, it was announced Monday.

Butler made the team listed as a guard, while Adebayo was listed as a forward. Both received 37 first-team votes and 37 second-team votes.

The two key cogs fueled Miami to a top-10 defensive team on the year, especially when they were on the floor together. It surrendered just 108.7 points per 100 possessions with both Adebayo and Butler on the floor, per Cleaning the Glass. That figure placed in the 85th percentile.

Adebayo, who finished fourth in Defensive Player of the Year voting, averaged 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks across 64 contests (all starts) — his second straight season averaging at least one steal and one block a game.

This is his second consecutive season earning All-Defensive team honors, joining Alonzo Mourning, Dwyane Wade, P.J. Brown and LeBron James as the only players in franchise history to do so multiple times.

Adebayo finished with the 15th-most rebounds per game (9.0) and 14th-most defensive rebounds (431); he also ranked in the top-10 in defensive win shares (3.2) and defensive box plus-minus (1.9).

Adebayo’s shown to be one of the most versatile defensive centers in the entire Association. He routinely switches onto lead guards and is an exceptional defender in space. The 6-foot-9 cornerstone also holds his own and imposes physicality against bigger centers and is an all-around defensive specimen.

It’s Butler’s first All-Defensive team appearance since 2017-18 and is the fifth of his career (all on the second team). Butler, who posted a league-high 2.1 steals per game due to his never-ending motor and instincts, finished second in total steals with 108 — 20 fewer than Pacer guard and impending free agent, TJ McConnell. Butler ranked in the top-10 in defensive box-plus minus (2.5).

The Heat have now had at least one representative on the All-Defensive team in nine of the last 13 seasons. It’s the second time in franchise history that multiple Heat players made the team — the other coming in 1998-99 when Mourning (1st team) and Brown (2nd) made it.