Heat vs. Celtics: Jimmy Butler delivered a Game 6 masterpiece as everyone left Miami for dead


Heat vs. Celtics: Jimmy Butler delivered a Game 6 masterpiece as everyone left Miami for dead

After the Boston Celtics won Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, we had an editorial meeting here at CBS Sports where we began to outline content ideas for the Miami Heat’s eventual elimination. I did not understand. We just saw the Celtics come back from a 3-2 deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round. Why did we write off the Heat?

We weren’t alone. Draymond Green said with all his might that the Warriors would play the Celtics. Almost nobody is keeping the heat up like they deserve, but maybe that’s about to change after what we saw on Friday night when Jimmy Butler and co. pulled off one of the best wins you’ll ever see, 111-103. to stave off elimination and force Sunday’s Game 7 in Miami.

If you have other plans for Sunday night, cancel them.

This game will be a basketball war.

And when I’m in a basketball war, there aren’t many players, if any, I’d rather have on my side than Butler, whose exploits on Friday defied description. Everyone said he was injured. Said he couldn’t get to the basket the same way. I didn’t buy that either. I’m not saying his knee doesn’t bother him, but he just wasn’t aggressive enough in games 4 and 5, where he scored 19 points overall.

That wasn’t a problem with the season at the track. Butler hung 47 points, his playoff career high, with the Celtics in Game 6. Throw in his four steals, and Butler joins Michael Jordan (1988) as the only two players in history to have two 40-point four- Steal games scored in the same playoff series (Butler had 41 and four in Miami’s Game 1 win).

Butler is also the only player in Heat history to have multiple 45-point playoff games (he had 45 in Game 2 against the Hawks. If we talk about Heat history, Butler’s 47 also represents Miami’s second-highest postseason -Score: one better than Dwyane Wade’s 46 and two behind LeBron James’ 49.

This seems like a pretty good company too.

The Heat made playing through Butler, who got the matchups he wanted and attacked, a priority. He made his jump stop, spun, and faded in color. He finished by contact, he hit his pull-up mid-rangers. He also conceded four of his eight 3-pointers. dare shots. Boston gave him space and he didn’t hesitate.

The Heat had to heat up from 3 where they got in the game and scored 29 percent overall for the series. The attention Butler drew definitely opened things up and the Heat turned the ball well, but they had a few prayers answered too. You can’t do anything about it:

Or this:

Max Strus hit three 3-pointers and they all felt huge. Kyle Lowry, who looked ready to retire in Game 5, was superb (if you can take his acting, which I personally can’t) and finished with 18 points (4 of 9 of 3) and 10 assists in 36 tank drains Minutes I never thought he had in him. He hit a 28-footer wrong-footed forward.

To put these posts in perspective, Lowry and Strus shot 1-for-28 together across Games 4 and 5, including 1-for-19 from 3. Those aren’t typos. Answering the bell like this with the season on the line is what the Heat is all about.

Butler is the best player, of course, and it’s not just about the Heat. If he scores goals aggressively, he’s the best player left in the playoffs. I really think so. And Miami, especially without Tyler Herro, needs Butler to score aggressively. Otherwise you just don’t have enough impetus. I probably should have been a Butler creditor before this postseason based on what he did in the bubble, but I just wasn’t. I knew he was really good. I hesitated to give it to him Great Label. I’m an idiot.

But that means Miami is a team. Some teams have one or two players tasked with playing hard and doing the little things, but in Miami everyone does those things and is actually led by their best player. If you want to puke every time you hear the phrase heat culture, you’re not alone, but it didn’t come out of nowhere. This team, this franchise, is full of courage. There was no way the Heat were going to lie down in Game 6. And now they’re getting Game 7 at home. That’s why they’ve rallied to wrap up the season and secure the No. 1 spot. As I said, cancel your plans for Sunday. It could get bloody.

You May Also Like