Jimmy Butler was a no-show in the opening game of the NBA Finals on Thursday night. The Miami Heat needed their talisman to be at his best against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets, but unfortunately for Miami supporters, Butler came up way short in Game 1. Unsurprisingly, the Nuggets took control of the contest from the get-go, en route to a dominant 104-93 win for the home team.
It also comes as no surprise that the Jimmy Butler hate train is now on full throttle after his poor showing in the series opener. It seems like the naysayers were already prepared to fire their shots at Butler even before the game started. As soon as it was over, it was an absolute hate fest on the means streets of Twitter:
Jimmy Butler has been really bad out loud for like 9 straight games now. Gets bailed by his teammates shooting at historic clips and y’all mfs on here talking bout “baby MJ”
— Big Steph ☘️ (@stephknowball) June 2, 2023
michael porter jr was 5-15 and only scored 14 pts but still outscored jimmy butler ???? pic.twitter.com/22vNhCmL43
— Coach Rome (@Rome_Beast) June 2, 2023
— BlackieChan (@BC_Owen1) June 2, 2023
“Haywood Highsmith” outscoring Jimmy Butler in a Finals game pic.twitter.com/6nUbPjvIw8
— I 😵💫‼️ (@Ibra_Goat) June 2, 2023
Jimmy Butler since the first round pic.twitter.com/voVG3ovikQ
— ᵖᵇᵐ🎱 (@kgoatyo) June 2, 2023
They went full savage on Jimmy, and in truth, it isn't a complete surprise that the haters were loud and proud after that forgettable performance. In arguably their biggest game of the season thus far, Jimmy fell flat, finishing with just 13 points on 6-of-14 shooting. He did not attempt a single free throw in this one, and he went just 1-of-2 from distance. The six-time All-Star did log seven rebounds, seven assists, a steal, and a block to salvage his line, but in the end, it clearly wasn't enough against the Nuggets.
Knowing Butler, all this noise is only going to motivate him ahead of Game 2. The Heat have thrived as the underdogs and at this point, they have no other choice but to do so yet again for the rest of this series.