Five-time NBA All-Star small forward Jimmy Butler leads the Miami Heat into battle with the Los Angeles Lakers in Chapter One of the 2020 NBA Finals.
Falling 116-98 in Game 1 of The Finals on Wednesday night, Miami must rally to try and deadlock the series at 1-1 come Friday night at 9:00 PM EST on ABC. Butler collected a team-high 23 points for the Heat in Game 1, going 8-of-13 from the field and a perfect 5-of-5 from the free-throw line. Miami was pounded by the Lakers on the glass, 54 to 36, and fell short at -9 from the foul line.
With head coach Erik Spoelstra’s Heat cruising through the Orange Roundball League playoffs inside the ‘Bubble’ in Orlando with a startling 12-3 record entering The Finals, there’s zero doubt Mr. Butler has been the key ingredient in Miami’s title run.
In the Twitter video below, watch Jimmy go to work. He provides an all-you-can-eat buffet of hoops’ superiority. Whether it’s feasting on the rim in transition or out of a half-court set, utilizing his strong body and pivot foot to create jump shot separation, splashing triples from the land of plenty with his sweet stroke, dishing the orange like a point guard or displaying his defensive intensity and raw toughness, Butler’s game is in another NBA superstar stratosphere.
Standing 6-foot-7 and weighing in at 230 pounds, the 31-year-old has averaged 20.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.9 steals per game in 15 postseason contests leading-up to The Finals. Not bad, Jimmy Butler.
Best of JIMMY BUTLER in the Bubble! pic.twitter.com/YqWmi393O5
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) September 30, 2020
Jimmy Butler’s opportunity to lead the Heat on this title run almost didn’t come to fruition.
Shortly after the Milwaukee Bucks’ led the way by boycotting Game 5 of their first-round series with the Orlando Magic, the rest of the league accompanied them. In wake of the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, WI, the NBA, and its players made a statement deeply entrenched in the Black Lives Matter movement. Following the league’s decision to return to the hardwood and recommence the 2020 playoffs, player families were granted permission to reunite with their husband’s and dad’s at the gorgeous Walt Disney World Resort.
Although he wanted to see his family, Jimmy Butler didn’t want any part of the distraction. Instead of welcoming his loved ones with open arms, Mr. Butler urged his family to stay home. For Jimmy, he simply didn’t want to lose focus on his one true goal — hoisting the coveted Larry O’Brien Trophy above his head as an NBA champion. This was a business trip all about basketball.
It seems as if Butler’s decision to block his family from entering the ‘Bubble’ has paid dividends. He’s played with extraordinary hyperfocus throughout the entirety of the playoffs while providing the Heat with clampdown defense and shot-making ridiculousness.
Beginning their journey in Orlando as the Orange Roundball League’s No. 5-seed in the East, only a select few could’ve predicted the Heat’s rise to the NBA Finals. Of course, Coach Spoelstra, Jimmy Butler, and his teammates believed, but who else had the Heat in The Finals?
I certainly didn’t, and the rest of you know who you are.
Heat’s Jimmy Butler on Finals: “It’s been like this for a very long time: If you want to win, you’ll have to go through a LeBron James-led team… That’s what it normally comes down to… You’re going to get the same test over & over until you pass it. That test is LeBron James.” pic.twitter.com/zlYYE1vRgr
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) September 28, 2020
We already know about his sensational, blue-collar game. In the Twitter clip above, it’s clear that you shouldn’t underestimate Jimmy Butler’s wisdom either.
Chasing a title against LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the rest of the Lakers’ Purple and Gold, Jimmy Butler’s priceless focus has propelled the Miami Heat one-step closer to NBA glory. Can they finish the job? Only time will tell, folks. The very-best of Orange Roundball League entertainment has arrived on our proverbial doorsteps.
Enjoy the show, my friends.