Jimmy Butler showed the young guns from Boston how its done, as Miami Heat were too hot to handle for the Boston Celtics. Miami pulled out a formidable comeback against the Celtics in the 2nd half, to breeze past them 118-109, at the FTX Arena. Miami take a crucial 1-0 lead over 2nd seed Boston, as they continue their campaign in search of a Second Conference Championship in 2 years. Butler was in sizzling hot form as he dropped 41 points, in what was a scoring, playmaking and defensive masterclass by the Miami Heat talisman.
Marching into elite territory, Butler had his 5th playoff game with 40+ points, just behind Dwayne Wade’s franchise record of 7 such games. Joining the Heat in 2019, Butler is gradually reaching his very best with a wide assortment of teammates by his side. Jimmy Butler dropped a staggering 41 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists in the win, while Tyler Herro added 18 points off the bench for the Heat.
Miami turned up the pressure on defense in the second half, and made life difficult for Jayson Tatum and Boston. Tatum had 21 points in the first half, but finished the game with 29 points while Jaylen Brown added 24 points. While Butler put on a scintillating display, he was in awe of the heroics of none other than PJ Tucker. Tucker kept the shackles tight on Tatum in the 2nd half, as the Boston power forward could only manage 8 points in that period.
” I didn’t know I could fall in love with a player, like I have for PJ” – Jimmy Butler
Boston looked in the driving seat with the seatbelt on at halftime, sitting atop a 8-point cushion while Miami struggled to hit their shots from midrange. Miami entered the tunnel at halftime, after missing its first 7 shots of the half, down by eight points, in dire need of inspiration from the Miami coach, Erik Spoelstra, in the locker room.
Turns out, Jimmy Butler didn’t need one and let his ballgame do the talking. Butler was impeccable throughout this game, but he really got in the ‘Zone’ in the second half where he put up 27 of his 41 points on the night. He did a lot of his damage at the free-throw line, where he racked up 17 points, as he excelled at baiting several defenders into fouling him with fake pump-shots.
The “Tuck Wagon” was listed as questionable on the Miami Heat injury report due to a lingering calf injury. Tucker left in the second quarter to get his right ankle re-taped, then returned for the second half. The tape did its magic as Tucker was rejuvenated in the 2nd half, halting Tatum at every step, not allowing him any space, toiling endlessly to disrupt his concentration. Tatum could manage a measly 8 points in the final 2 quarters as Tucker’s physicality locked him out.
Miami struck back hard in the 3rd quarter with a brutal 22-2 scoring spree, winning the 3rd quarter 39-14 while Boston were left stunned.
‘I continued to play basketball the right way: Shoot the ball when I’m open, attack, hit the open guy, Honestly, it was a team effort. I didn’t know I would fall in love with a basketball player the way I have with PJ. He takes care of his body, comes in, and works on his game every day. He does everything he needs to do to be able to be a great player.” Jimmy butler was all praises for teammate PJ Tucker
A satisfying victory meant Butler was his usual jovial self. So much so, that the 6-time All-Star could not help but confess his irrefutable love for teammate PJ Tucker and the stellar defensive shift he put in today to help his team cross the line. Tucker is proving to be high-value asset for Miami, and his performances combined with Butler’s beastly postseason form, could make Miami’s Championship dreams come true !