In spite of all the odds, the Miami Heat are now playing for a title in the NBA Finals. They may be the underdogs against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets, but there's no denying that Miami will always have a fighting chance with Jimmy Butler leading the charge. In fact, there's absolutely no denying that the Heat would not be where they are right now had it not been for Butler's heroics.
NBA icon Magic Johnson would have preferred that it was his Los Angeles Lakers that were facing off against Butler and the Heat in the Finals. The five-time NBA champ had nothing but high praise for Butler, who by his own admission, Magic sees a lot of similarities with:
“Team first,” Johnson told Josh Peters of USA TODAY Sports. “Winning first. Making your teammates first. All those things were first for me and first for (Butler).
“That’s why the Heat are in the NBA Finals, and so Jimmy has lifted the play of all his teammates around him. He’s made them better. And because he’s the hardest worker on the team, those guys follow that. He’s tough as nails, so they follow that.”
That sounds a lot like Magic Johnson describing Magic Johnson. He's talking about Jimmy Butler, though, as the Lakers legend expresses just how impressed he is with the Heat talisman.
Miami will need Butler to be his very best in the NBA Finals, though, and that still might not be enough. The Nuggets are just so dominant in every facet of the game that Butler will need to channel his inner Magic Johnson, and then some.