The Miami Heat evened the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets by stealing Game 2 on the road. Despite the win, Skip Bayless surprisingly called out Jimmy Butler for the disappearance of ‘Playoff Jimmy,' via Undisputed.
"We haven't seen Playoff Jimmy [Butler] now for 7 straight games. He is going through an issue with his father who is not well… I think he might be a little distracted, if not a little drained, by going through that."
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 5, 2023
“The truth is, Mr. Sharpe, we haven't seen Playoff Jimmy now for seven straight playoff games.”
After beating the Nuggets 111-108, Jimmy Butler and the Heat would probably be surprised to hear criticism in the media. However, coming from Skip Bayless, it really can't be a surprise at all.
The Heat were paced by an overall team effort in their Game 2 win, one that saw Gabe Vincent finish as the leading scorer. Although Jimmy Butler did not put up gargantuan numbers, he still poured in 21 points and was the prevailing calm on the court for the Heat throughout the entire contest.
At one point in the win, the Heat surrendered a 40-14 run by the Nuggets. Their ability to withstand this run and still come out on top is a testament to the cohesiveness of this unit and a lot of that can be accredited to Butler. The Heat go as Jimmy Butler goes, and his ability to keep his unit motivated throughout an entire contest is a facet of ‘Playoff Jimmy' in itself.
Butler has been vocal that he does not view himself as a superstar and just wants to win. The fact that his numbers have taken a little dip definitely means nothing to him, as his number one priority is winning an NBA Finals which looks firmly in sight after stealing Game 2 on the road. In Skip Bayless' eyes ‘Playoff Jimmy' might have disappeared, but for the Heat, he is alive and well with the series tied 1-1.