Jimmy Butler seems to have hit a wall against the LA Lakers. While Game 3 saw him pull off an upset behind a 40-point triple-double, Game 4 went LA’s way. LeBron James and Anthony Davis end up weighing heavily on Miami as a game goes on. LA is proving they have the tools to continue regardless of Jimmy Butler.
Hall of Famer Kevin McHale believes that Miami will struggle because they don’t have an elite primary scoring option, as Jimmy Butler can’t have regular strong games against Anthony Davis.. (h/t The Miami Herald)
LeBron on how valuable it was having Anthony Davis be able to guard Jimmy Butler:
“That’s why he’s the defensive player of the year.”
— Finals Faigen (@hmfaigen) October 7, 2020
“When you watch Miami play, they don’t have a guy you can give it to and say ‘Here, this is the ball. You’re at your spot and go get us a hoop’ [where] the defense knows that’s his spot and they have to double-team him there.
“They sometimes have to have five or six different actions to get a decent shot in this series in one possession. All good championships teams have that guy you can give it to on his spot on the floor… Everybody had a player you can go to. Miami doesn’t have that. They’ve got to generate offense with so much motion. It’s hard to generate good shots against good playoff defense especially after three or four games in a row. They don’t have that guy. Jimmy Butler can’t do this against AD.”
Jimmy Butler proving to be not enough?
While Jimmy Butler has established himself as a top-tier NBA player, he just can’t take on LeBron James and Anthony Davis alone. The team around Butler is great, but a lot of the players are still a little too young to be able to outsmart a team with LBJ and AD.
Every time Butler figures out the Lakers’ defense, they make adjustments to further stifle him. And Miami doesn’t have a reliable scorer outside Butler to help them in those rough patches. Tyler Herro is just a rookie, and Bam Adebayo is still building his offensive game. Sadly, this year might have been a year too early for this surging Miami squad. Even if they fall to LA, they can only progress from this point on.