Jimmy Butler’s affection for “disciplined gambles” — as Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra once described them — has given him a greater appreciation for what his new teammates bring to the table defensively.
The Heat already had two of the better steal artists on their roster with Butler’s instincts in passing lanes and Andre Iguodala’s knack for swiping the ball from players while they’re in their shooting motion, and two of the team’s latest additions will only make it more difficult for opposing teams to maintain possession.
Trevor Ariza’s 2.53-percent career steal percentage ranks No. 6 among active NBA players, while Butler (No. 8 at 2.47 percent) and Iguodala (No. 15 at 2.3 percent) give the Heat three players in the top-15 of the aforementioned rankings according to basketball-reference.com.
Victor Oladipo’s 2.5-percent steal percentage would rank No. 7 behind Ariza and ahead of Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (2.49 percent), but he hasn’t recorded the 15,000 career minutes basketball-reference’s database requires for the rankings.
He’s played 14,910 minutes ahead of the Heat’s (26-24) matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.