The Miami Heat had a magical playoff run; they made the playoffs as the fifth seed and made it to the NBA Finals. In the first round, Miami took out the Indiana Pacers; the No.1 seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the second round, then the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. Before falling to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.
Heat guard Jimmy Butler led Miami’s playoff charge. In the postseason, Butler averaged 22.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 6.0 assist per game. But in the NBA Finals is where he showed the world what he is capable of doing.
After being down in the series, 2-0 to the Lakers, in-game three, Butler led the Heat to a 115-104 victory. Butler posted a 40 point triple-double adding 11 rebounds and 13 assists. The heat star proved that he good go toe to toe with LeBron James.
Facing elimination in game five, Jimmy Butler rose to the occasion again, leading the Miami to another victory and posting another triple-double. Butler scored 35 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists, becoming the first NBA history player to post two triple-doubles in his first finals appearance and have two 35 points or more triple-doubles.
In the NBA Finals against the Lakers, Butler averaged 29.0 points, 10.2 assist, and 8.6 rebounds. He took his game to another level in the postseason; Butler was always criticized for not being aggressive enough. We all knew Butler was a fierce competitor and an excellent defender, but scoring and playmaking at the rate he did in the Finals, he looked like a superstar.
So what’s next for Jimmy Butler? He needs to continue to build upon his success. Butler averaged 19.9 points per game last season; I would like to see him more aggressive and get that up in the 22-24 point range. Also, Butler should improve on his three-point shooting; he only shot 24% last season from three. Jimmy is a capable three-point shooter, and he should be able to get the percentage up.
Butler showed he capable of playing with some of the NBA’s best players; now, he must do it consistently. It will be interesting to see if he can.