The Philadelphia 76ers knew what they were getting when they made a blockbuster trade for All-Star forward Jimmy Butler. With Joel Embiid as the team’s primary scorer at 7-foot-2, they had really no one to rely on come crunch time of important games. In making the move to get Butler, the 76ers not only got their “closer,” but also one of the most clutch players in the NBA.
Is Jimmy Butler the Most Clutch Player in the NBA?
In just his third game with the Sixers, Jimmy Butler made arguably the biggest shot of the season for the team – a step-back game-winning three in overtime against Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Hornets. Just before this, Butler had just blocked Walker’s potential go-ahead shot out of bounds and saved it to give his team a final chance to win the game.
He followed this up just one week and a day later, hitting virtually the same exact shot against the Brooklyn Nets to win the game with 0.04 seconds left. This shot capped off an 18-point fourth quarter from Butler and completed a comeback victory for the 76ers.
Currently, Butler averages 8.5 points in the fourth quarter alone, tied for the NBA lead with LeBron James. He’s shooting 53 percent from the field and 52 percent from three-point range in the fourth quarter, while also leading all qualified players in minutes (10.1) per fourth.
It isn’t just the game-winners either. Butler has a knack for making big-time shots, whether it’s in a comeback effort or to ice a game for his team. Butler is a professional when it comes to hitting the “dagger” shot, most recently doing this in the Sixers’ 117-111 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.
Jimmy Butler lead the Sixers’ comeback victory against Detroit with 38 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals, but continuously kept the game in check with big shot after big shot in the fourth quarter.
In the Sixers’ recent victory against the Memphis Grizzlies, Butler again iced the game, and at a critical time with the Grizzlies making en routes. The lead was cut to six points with under a minute left when Butler hit a ridiculous, off-balance, turnaround jumper with the shot clock running down to put the Grizzlies away.
Jimmy Buckets continues to get the job done when called upon, proving that he is indeed the most clutch player in the NBA right now. We’ve seen players have some pretty ridiculous clutch performances and hit some insanely clutch shots, but no one in the NBA can match the consistency at which Butler does it with at the moment.
Butler understands the risk that comes with taking big shots, and is okay with having that pressure whenever called upon. He is fine with being the “goat,” and keeps his focus on winning basketball games, no matter how it gets done.
“When my time comes, my time comes. Like I said, I’m all for winning. I’m not worried about being an All-Star. I’m not worried about that, any of that stuff,” Butler told Philly.com’s Keith Pompey.
Butler has kept to his word with that statement, as the 76ers have gone 9-3 since his arrival from the Minnesota Timberwolves. It’s going to be fun watching Butler come playoff time, as he continues to prove that he is the most clutch player in the NBA with the league on watch.