Jimmy Butler has a reputation of being a difficult person to work with, but he’s made a name for himself these playoffs as a clutch performer. Leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a 2-1 series lead over the Toronto Raptors, Butler has been most dominant playing point guard.

When All-Star point guard Ben Simmons goes to the bench, Butler has become the main floor general and has flourished playing alongside the second unit. Rather than giving the minutes to backup T.J. McConnell, head coach Brett Brown has allowed Butler to serve as the de-facto backup point guard and the results speak for themselves.

Butler dished out a playoff career-high nine assists in the 76ers’ 116-95 victory over the Raptors in Game 3. He added 22 points, nine rebounds, a block and three steals in an extraordinary all-around outing.

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As the team’s main distributor when playing with the reserves, Butler has guided the offense for the 76ers, who shot a remarkable 51.7 percent from the field. Butler heaped praise for the second-unit—which is averaging 32 points per contest in the postseason—following Thursday’s win.

“They're comfortable, they're confident in the role that they play,” Butler said.

James Ennis, in particular, has thrived off the bench. He registered 10 points and five rebounds in Game 3, following his 13-point, six-rebound performance in Game 2.

“I'm sure that the Raptors guys they work on their game as much as anybody else does, but I see it every day at practice with our bench guys and the whole thing is you've just got to star in your role,” Jimmy Butler said.

Butler has taken over down the stretch in each of the past two games as the top facilitator, even while playing alongside Simmons. With Simmons guarded by two-time Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard, it makes sense for the 76ers to put the ball in Butler’s hands as often as possible.

Spearheading the offense, Butler has created open shots for himself and his teammates. He led the way in Monday’s road win in Toronto with a team-best 30 points, to go along with 10 rebounds and five assists. But he deferred to his teammates more on Thursday, specifically Joel Embiid (game-high 33 points), as Philadelphia won its second consecutive contest of the series.

The 76ers acquired Butler, a four-time All-Star who is an impending free agent, in a midseason trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves in part because he gives the team another dominant ball-handler. They had to give up Dario Saric and Robert Covington in the deal—both of whom were fan favorites in Philadelphia because of their commitment to fulfilling their assigned role—but Butler has demonstrated this postseason why the 76ers rolled the dice in trading for him.

Butler has elevated his play in the playoffs and Embiid has taken notice.

“I’m noticing a difference,” Embiid said after the 76ers’ thrashing of the Raptors. “Playoff Jimmy is a different player.”

“Playoff Jimmy” is a different player because he has dictated the offense by handling the point guard duties. He has become more of a playmaker—which is where he is at his best. Point guard Butler has flipped the script for Philly, which got pounded in Game 1 but is now just two wins away from reaching the Conference Finals.