Jimmy Butler has hackled his way through the playoffs with nothing but stellar performances, game after game. He was patiently waiting for his prey in Miami and pounced on the Boston Celtics as soon as they set foot in his domain. Miami pulled out a formidable comeback against the Celtics in the 2nd half, to breeze past them 118-109, at the FTX Arena. The Heat took a crucial 1-0 lead over 2nd seed Boston, as they continue their campaign in search of a Second Conference Championship in 2 years. The media is fickle minded and often misses out on the better moments of the player, focusing on the weaker ones, something which infuriates Butler.
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. Boston were thriving in the Heat until halftime, then Butler set foot on the court for the 2nd half, steely-eyed, with one mission, destroy, obliterate and overcome. The former Olympic-Gold Medalist cranked it up a notch as he dazzled defenders and shot free-throws with pinpoint accuracy.
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. 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. Tatum had 21 points in the first half, but finished the game with 29 points, owing to PJ Tucker masterclass, while Jaylen Brown added 24 points indefeat for the Celtics
“Imma show you all what I’m made of” – Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler’s name has been dragged through the dirt a lot in the past, even overlooked this season despite having his 3rd 40+ points game of the 2022 Playoffs. The Heroics of Game 1 against Celtics have earned him a lot of praises, and even comparisons to NBA All-Time Greats. NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith and even Charles Barkley were not favoring him, but especially after his stellar performance, they acknowledge his efforts. But now that he is back on top, Butler isn’t feeling gracious enough to let the media off the hook. According to Stephen A. Smith, he called out the media and told them that they had been sleeping on him all season.
After the preliminary game of the Eastern Conference Finals , ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith revealed that Butler texted him after the Heat beat the Philadelphia 76ers, 4-2 in the second-round of the playoffs, and said
“You and everybody else have slept on me. Imma show you what I’m made of”
Versatility is a skill, and Butler takes the concept of being able to do multiple things on the court to a new level. This highly acclaimed Celtics defense had done a commendable job on shutting Kevin Durant and marooned Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Bucks, but Jimmy Butler was too good to chain down. Although they were missing their DPOY, Marcus Smart and veteran Al Horford, 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.
In a recent episode of ESPN’s, ‘First Take’, Stephen A Smith did agree to having criminally underrating Butler’s outrageous performances, subtly hinting that he very well realizes the staggering numbers Butler has been putting up. However, he still picks Boston Celtics to outfox the Heat in this series, when Horford and Smart make a return from injury. It was inevitable the Heat would beat the Celtics, when they are without 2 of their regular starters.
“The fact of the matter is Mad Dog Russo, you have underestimated Jimmy Butler. Now Jimmy Butler thinks it’s all of us, he thinks it’s all of us, I mean he’s walking around thinking ‘Hey y’all have underestimated me, I’m gonna show y’all something’. But we also understand that with stars, they create things, they manufacture things to elevate their level of motivation so they take on particular opponents. I’m not taking it personal, no problem at all, the bottom line is I got the Celtics in this series.” Smith explained.
“Because Horford and Smart were out yesterday I, pretty much knew they would lose this game, which is what I said prior to the game. They weren’t going to win this game without Smart and Horford, they need at least one of them, particularly Smart, I might add when you consider the level of toughness that the Miami Heat put on display last night.”
“ I still think the Celtics will win this Series in 7 games but that’s with the assumption that both Smart and Horford will be available. I think the 3rd quarter showed us why, they came out ,we got to put this in this proper perspective doggie, they came out of the locker room and ‘bum rushed’ the Boston Celtics for the 3rd quarter. They punked the Boston Celtics, that’s why you saw Marcus Smart screaming at them, that’s why you saw Ime Udoka making faces like we’ve never seen him before.”
From ‘Rags to Riches’, the story of Jimmy Butler making it to the highest stage in the NBA and finally proving his worth, is quite inspirational. Butler has proven his worth as one of the top players in the modern NBA era and he’s done marvelous things for the Heat this season, and will hope to relinquish his thirst of an NBA Championship this year.
Butler isn’t one to normally be fazed by what people are saying about him. He has always let his game do the talking and taken the next step whenever possible. It may be too early to tell but if Butler hackles the Celtics defense for the next 4 games, the series might be over soon. Beware of Jimmy Buckets, Boston Celtics !