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It's only 16 games into the season but Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler is already listed among the candidates to win NBA regular season MVP award. 

At 11-5, the Heat are tied atop the Eastern Conference standings with the Brooklyn Nets. Butler is averaging a team-high 24.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.1 steals on 53 percent shooting. His PER of 31.72 ranks second in the league. 

According to NBA.com, Butler is now at No. 5 on the MVP ladder list. He moved up one spot from the previous week. Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors tops the list, followed by Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets) and DeMar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls). 

Here's what NBA.com writer Michael C. Wright wrote about Butler: "Sat out of three games from Nov. 11 to Nov. 15 due to a sprained ankle, but Butler returned like he had never left Wednesday against New Orleans, and blessed the Pels with a triple-double (31 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds). If you thought that was a fluke, Butler led Miami to its fourth-straight win Thursday, scoring 32 points on 11 of 19 from the field while drilling all 10 of his free throws. This team has held its last three opponents to fewer than 100 points, and Butler’s fingerprints are all over the Heat’s last two showings on that end."

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