Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler has led the team to the NBA Finals. His playoff performance was impressive, but he began seeing a bit more inconsistency following the series versus the New York Knicks. According to writer Tommy Beer, Butler's struggles may be linked to an injury he suffered against the Knicks.
“Jimmy Butler's scoring average in the 5 playoff games he played before spraining his ankle vs NY: 37.6 PPG on 60% shooting 2.4 made three-pointers (45%) Jimmy Butler average in the 12 games he's played since spraining his ankle: 23.7 PPG on 42% shooting 0.8 three-pointers (30%),” Beer shared on Twitter.
Could this be a coincidence? Possibly. But it's something to think about without question. Jimmy Butler isn't one to make excuses, so of course he wouldn't blame anything on an injury. So how does this impact Miami moving forward?
The Heat need to step up around Butler in the NBA Finals. Caleb Martin did a tremendous job of leading the offensive charge at times against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Bam Adebayo is a star and will also be important. Tyler Herro's looming return from injury will give the Heat a crucial offensive boost as well.
In the end, Miami will still count on Jimmy Butler to be their go-to guy. After all, he's one of the most clutch playoff performers in the NBA today. In order to defeat Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets though, the Heat will need all hands on deck, especially if Butler's previous ankle injury is still bothering him.