When it comes down to last minute crunch time situations, NBA teams have their go-to plays to get as best a look as they can for a potential game-winning or game-tying shot. For the Miami Heat, they ran one of those plays on Friday against the Houston Rockets. With the scored tied at 95 and 0.7 seconds left on the game clock, the Heat had possession with Gabe Vincent inbounding the ball. Jimmy Butler came off a screen from Tyler Herro and found himself open at the basket. Vincent delivered a perfect pass and Butler slammed home the game-winner. After the game, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra revealed that it was the first time they had used that play which had originated in the 2020 Orlando bubble as per Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
“We were scrimmaging all the time. We were doing late-game situations. We were doing a scrimmage. It was basically the same exact situation and Jimmy got the dunk on the play and hung on the rim and pointed at me and said, ‘We’ve got to use this play,'” Erik Spoelstra said. “And it just took us three-plus years to get back to it. But that’s one of those benefits of all that time we had in the bubble. It was a school of basketball for those 98 days.”
Jimmy Butler has been the Heat’s top option in crunch time and he executed that play to perfection. This season, Butler has been averaging 21.9 points per game, 5.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.1 steals while shooting 51.5 percent from the field and 30.1 percent from the three-point line.