NBA: The Miami Heat’s Surprising Playoff Run Led by Jimmy Butler

The Miami Heat's Surprising Playoff Run Led by Jimmy Butler

“Playoff Jimmy Butler” has been around for a long time. On Monday, though, with his team Miami Heat behind by ten points with little over five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, he introduced us to “Spoiler Jimmy Butler.”

The Miami Heat are the Eastern Conference’s eighth seed. The Milwaukee Bucks won more games during the regular season than any other team. Miami leads the series 3-1 after Butler went off in the first and fourth quarters of Game 4.

Butler’s 56 points on 19-of-28 shooting propelled Miami to a 119-114 win. It was determined. It appeared out of nowhere.

Jimmy Butler Set a New NBA Record

Jimmy Butler 56 points set a new postseason club record for the Heat and matched him for fourth all-time in a playoff game. Only Michael Jordan (63), Elgin Baylor (61), and Donovan Mitchell (57) have had more on the brightest stage of the game.

And that wasn’t Butler’s only all-out run in the fourth quarter against the top overall seed in the playoffs. He played all 12 minutes of the first quarter, scoring 22 points and shooting 9-of-10 from the floor.

Butler was unquestionably the better player on the court in a game when Giannis had a 26-point triple-double. And his potential to usurp Giannis’ title as “best player in the series” puts the Bucks on the ropes.

Following Miami’s victory, FiveThirtyEight’s prediction method gives the team an 81 percent probability of advancing to the next round. The Heat now have three opportunities to win one game, one at home.

If they remove Giannis, the betting favorite to win the title when the playoffs began, the East (and, in fact, the entire playoff picture) would seem wide open.

Butler is prepared to bring similar havoc to the pro ranks one month after one of the wildest March Madness campaigns ever.

If it happens, Miami will be dissatisfied as well.

Butler and Bam Adebayo, who scored 15 points, eight rebounds, and several critical late defensive stops against Giannis, advanced to the 2020 NBA Finals. Last year, they reached the Conference Finals.

There are plenty of precedents to fuel the competitiveness for a possible second-round matchup with the New York Knicks. They split the season series with the Boston Celtics, who are the current betting favorite to win the championship, according to OKBET Sportsbook.

Looking ahead is risky, but Butler forces us to do just that.

Add This to the Collection of Incredible Playoff Performances by a Player Quickly Becoming a Legend

Game Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks
2022 Eastern Conference Finals vs. BOS, Game 6 47 9 8 4 0
2020 NBA Finals vs. LAL, Game 3 40 11 13 2 2
2022 Eastern Conference Finals vs. BOS, Game 1 41 9 5 4 3
2020 NBA Finals vs. LAL, Game 5 35 12 11 5 0
2022 Eastern Conference First Round vs. ATL, Game 2 45 5 5 2 0


If Miami Advances, It Will Almost Certainly Be an Underdog Once More

That is not an entire list; all of those performances occurred during the previous three years. Butler, though, has a history of creating magic. It implies that he can win a series against nearly anyone. It suggests he can defy expectations and make a Finals run as he did on the bubble.

And the competitive fire that erupts from him after runs like Monday’s demonstrates his desire to return.

According to FiveThirtyEight, Miami is one of eight teams having at least a 4% probability of winning the championship. Those are big odds, but Butler appears to like playing spoiler.

We’ll be here to bring you exclusive insights, expert analysis, and all the latest news from the world of NBA basketball and beyond. So stay tuned and always ready for some thrilling sports action.

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