The Miami Heat are defying the odds in this year’s quarterfinals matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks, as they now hold a 3-1 series lead over the NBA’s top seed thanks to a historic performance by franchise centerpiece Jimmy Butler during Monday’s Game 4. In what wound up becoming the fourth-best scoring performance in postseason history, the eighth-seeded Heat now gear up for a return to Wisconsin in what they hope to be the series-clinching contest in Wednesday’s Game 5.
Following Butler’s masterful performance, Miami’s head coach Erik Spoelstra sounded off on his star player’s efforts on the night, going as far as to heap praise, not just on his physical abilities on the hardwood, but his mental impact on the game as well, calling him “one of the most intelligent basketball players in this association.”
“He’s highly intelligent,” Erik Spoelstra said of Jimmy Butler. “You can’t do what he does on both ends of the court just by running around and trying to figure things out. He understands what we’re trying to do and he understands what they’re trying to do.
Though coming in hobbled by a backside injury sustained in Game 3, Jimmy Butler played in Game 4 as if his body was made up of pure titanium. In 41 minutes played, the six-time All-Star went on to post a phenomenal stat line led by a whopping 56 points on 67.9% shooting from the field and 37.5% shooting from deep.
He also provided an additional 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block.
Through four contests played Butler has been nothing short of magnificent for the Heat, as he’s sporting per-game averages of 36.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 1.5 steals while shooting a highly efficient 62.8% from the field and 52.9% from distance.