Why Playoff Jimmy Butler Is SO Good In The NBA (Ft. Clutch Buckets, Heat)
Jimmy Butler has been leading the Miami Heat in these NBA Playoffs and now they are against the Celtics, but why is Butler so good in the NBA playoffs. #Butler #NBA #Heat
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Jimmy Butler is the solution, not the problem. He kept a falling Bulls team afloat, a Timberwolves franchise to the playoffs for the first time since 2004, a Sixers team one shot away from beating the past NBA champions and now leading a Heat team to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time after the LeBron era. Jimmy Butler has been a winner everywhere he has gone. I mean just look at teams after he’s left. This is usually the LeBron argument, but LeBron has left with teams going into rebuild mode. With the exception of the Bulls, both the Timberwolves and Sixers were trying to get better by getting rid of Butler. And look at their success without Butler. The Timberwolves failed to make the playoffs. The Sixers looked like a mess and now Brett Brown got fired.
The media ran with Jimmy Butler being a locker room problem, that it was his way or the highway which would rub players the wrong way. But that is dead wrong. People forget that Joel Embiid and Butler were good friends and still support each other. JJ Redick had Butler on his podcast and Butler explained his philosophy. In fact, he was mad for Ben when the coaching staff decided to give him the ball after going to Ben the whole year. KAT had an issue with Butler.
And now we look at the Heat. The team is grit and grind. They trust one another completely. They hype each other and they have a sense of structure on the court. They know who to go to when the game is going down to the wire. They have leaders like Dragic who also is a calming presence. It’s not as if Butler has alienated his teammates here, in fact they’ve embraced him fully and look at the results.
One of the stories throughout the regular season was Butler’s horrible shooting. He was shooting 24% from 3 which is his lowest 3 point percentage since his rookie season, but the Heat were winning. And Butler’s solution to that was to not take them. But unlike Russell Westbrook, Butler can hit the long midrange at a higher rate. On top of that, he gets to the free throw line more simply by being methodical in the paint. Because Butler has what I like to call, grown man strength, he really bumps a lot of defenders off of him and a lot of times takes a sort of mini-jumper right near the paint.
Butler’s done this without adding the biggest weapon in the NBA today, a 3 point shot. Yeah, Butler is shooting 50% from 3, but he’s only taking 2 per game. In fact, those 3 point attempts come at very important moments in the game. It’s not as if Butler doesn’t get left open. He just denies the 3 point shot and attacks. Butler’s game is all about adjustments. Whether it’s adjustments in reading a defense, or in his jumpshot, even on his layups. The entirety of Butler’s game is to leave what I like to call exit options. He gets into his offensive bag in the 4th quarter because that’s what he’s built for, a half-court offense. It might not look like it, but Butler has pretty much every shot in the arsenal. He has the side-step 3, the stepback midrange, the turnaround jumper, pull up, going right, going left, and he can muscle his way for layups. Specifically his midrange game. That paired with the fact that the Heat have shooters all around gives Butler the space to go for whatever shot he wants. It’s not necessarily that he’s the league best at any of those, it’s just that he’s capable of taking and making any of those shots. Watch the 4th quarter run against the Bucks in Game 3 with Butler hitting every type of shot. Go back to Game 1 against the Pacers.
That’s why Butler is so much to handle, because he has developed his game to have multiple options. And not only that, he can be a playmaker with the way the Heat move without the ball. They move in response to Jimmy, it’s a unit and that’s a credit to Erik Spoelstra who always makes the Heat a tough team to play against.
There’s also the whole IQ aspect to Butler. We’ve established he has grown man strength and he uses that defensively to sorta be a wing wall. He’s a defensive quarterback. He makes winning plays. And that’s the difference. He’s not worried about stats, not worried about what people think. It’s all about putting forth the best effort and winning. And I can get behind that.
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