In the eyes of Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, the lore of ‘Playoff Jimmy' is true regardless of what's on the line. For Spoelstra, Jimmy Butler keeps the same energy all the time, regardless if it's the regular season or the NBA Playoffs.
“He is us. We are him. He is everything about what we believe in, in terms of conditioning and work and preparing your body, all of that. This is not something that just turns on like people are talking about,” Spoelstra said about Jimmy Butler's approach to each game (h/t Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel).
Jimmy Butler is doing an incredible job carrying the Heat on his back in the playoffs. The Heat were not expected to make Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks sweat much in the first round, let alone take a 3-1 lead after four games, but that's the surprising scenario Butler and Miami have created. The Heat have won the last two games of the series, including Game 4's 119-114 come-from-behind victory at home in which Jimmy Butler went nuclear for 56 points.
While it does appear that the Heat will go as far as where Jimmy Butler's energy takes them, it's vital for Miami to provide ample support for their star. So far in the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, Butler is averaging 36.5 points on 62.8 percent shooting from the field. Those numbers are hard to sustain in the long run, but Butler will continue to look to strike while he's hot.
Jimmy Butler can lead the Heat to a series-clinching win this Wednesday night in Milwaukee.