Without a doubt, Jimmy Butler has been the most important guy for the Miami Heat since the playoffs started weeks ago. Since that time, the two-way player has been instrumental in his squad's effort to eliminate the Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers. But while his performance has garnered a lot of hype around the NBA, his body has been showing signs of wear and tear, especially after a horrible Game 4 performance against the Boston Celtics.
In that contest, Butler notched only 6 points on 3-of-14 shooting from the field and went 0-of-2 from beyond the arc. The Heat's All-Star also made 7 rebounds and 1 assist in 27 minutes on the court, which translates to a plus/minus of -30. Only Max Struss had a worse rating of -33 among all of Miami's starters during that game.
Jimmy on his knee: “I’m straight. No excuse for how I played tonight … I’m not too worried about it.”
— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) May 24, 2022
After the game, Butler took up the blame for how he played against the Celtics. In a tweet by Nick Friedell, the Heat's All-Star forward said he had no excuse for this horrible 6-point performance, a factor that led his team lose by 20 points to Boston in a crucial Game 4 in the Eastern Conference Finals. Butler added that he's not too worried about his knee, which caused him to miss most of Game 3 in Boston.
The Heat starters combined for 18 points tonight.
The fewest in a playoff game since the NBA merger. pic.twitter.com/dQc3iNnbEF
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 24, 2022
While Butler's performance for the Heat is certainly ugly, he isn't alone at all. In fact, Victor Oladipo outplayed the entire Miami starting lineup when he scored 23 points against a combined 18 from Butler, Kyle Lowry, P.J. Tucker, Bam Adebayo, and Max Struss. That stat alone clearly indicates that Butler and his fellow starters were really out of the groove during this particular contest, much to the detriment of Miami's chances to make it back to the NBA Finals this year.
Although Butler isn't out of the woods yet with his problematic knee, Heat fans can expect their squad to come out with guns blazing when the series shifts back to Miami. By that point, the All-Star and his fellow starters should have gotten their groove back.