Jimmy Butler’s massive G2 impact for Heat goes beyond underwhelming stat line
There’s no stopping the Miami Heat as they pulled off another huge Game 2 victory on Thursday over the Boston Celtics to go up 2-0 in their best-of-seven series. The Heat have been on fire and are now 10-1 in the postseason so far as they continue to roll on pure grit and effort. If you take a look at the stat sheet of their 106-101 Game 2 win, it would appear that Jimmy Buttler had a rather quiet night but if you watch the game or look at the film it’s clear that Butler had his DNA all over the game – especially in crucial plays in the fourth quarter.
Butler only put up 11 shots and knocked down just 4 of these to come up with a quiet 11 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists. But, the four-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team Member had a game-high four steals with three of them coming in key possessions late in the game.
The boxscore won't show it but Playoff Jimmy was so #HEATCulture when it mattered most.@JimmyButler's 4th quarter masterpiece included 3 MASSIVE defensive plays.
🔥🎥 #HEATHighlights pic.twitter.com/6iVK6osssL
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) September 18, 2020
The first major defensive play was one of the biggest turning points of the evening. With the Celtics up by three with under four minutes to go, Jimmy Butler intercepted a Kemba Walker pass and followed it up with a one-handed behind-the-back save the ball. The ball fell to Duncan Robinson’s hands and found its way back to an open Butler in transition to cut the Boston lead to one. This ignited a Heat run which ultimately gave them the lead.
With the Heat now up by five with just a minute and a half remaining in the game, Butler came up with his third steal of the evening. The Marquette alum intercepted an inbound play and was able to keep the ball in play and dropped a last-minute dime to Jae Crowder to push the Heat lead up to seven.
The Celtics had a shot in cutting down the lead as they had one last possession down by five with just seven ticks to go. Marcus Smart tried to lob one up to Jaylen Brown for a quick two but Butler was once again on top of the play and tallied his fourth steal of the night as he tapped away the pass to Crowder to ultimately seal the game.
Plays like these are proof that Jimmy Buckets doesn’t necessarily need buckets to win basketball games. All he needs is an opportunity to lead and be effective however way he can.