The Miami Heat shocked the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, beating them 115 to 104. The Heat now have 1 game in hand, as the series rests at 2-1 in favor of the Lakers. In the post-game press conference, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has revealed that a Miami Heat legend gave Jimmy Butler the seal of approval.
With injuries to Goran Dragić and Bam Adebayo ruling them out, de-facto leader Jimmy Butler had to step up. Butler’s performance was crucial to their win, with him becoming the third ever player in history after Jerry West and LeBron James to post a 40 point triple-double in the finals, scoring 40 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists. It wasn’t just Butler’s attacking prowess, but his work on defense that stood out, register 2 steals and 2 blocks.
‘Jimmy Buckets’ has been a key part of the Heat’s journey to the Finals, with him leading the Heat in PPG (points-per-game) with 22.1 in the post-season. After disappointing tenures at with the Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Philadelphia 76ers, Butler seems to have found a home with the Heat.
Dwayne Wade always believed in Jimmy Butler
During the post-game press conference, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said “Look, how do you — how else do you say it other than Jimmy effing Butler. But this is what he wanted, this is what we wanted. It’s really hard to analyze or describe Jimmy until you actually feel him between the four lines. He’s a supreme, elite competitor and we needed it….
But in terms of you saying a Marquette guy, you know, Dwyane (Wade) swore to us, he looked Pat (Riley) and I dead in the eye and said this is your guy. This is the next guy.”
Erik Spoelstra explains that Dwyane Wade swore to him and Pat Riley that Jimmy Butler would be the player who could win these games for the Heat, “This is your guy. This is the next guy.” pic.twitter.com/7rFnU2DFPE
— Will Manso (@WillManso) October 5, 2020
Wade, whose alma mater is also Marquette like Butler, has consistently heaped praise on Butler, and even defended him against critics. In a reply to Will Manso tweeting “Jimmy Butler is in bada** mode”, Wade tweeted “Say it louder for the idiots in the backseat.”
Say it louder for the idiots in the backseat https://t.co/rAQR0xGGbG
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) October 5, 2020
What did you think about Butler’s performance against the Lakers? Could he give this Heat team a second wind against the Lakers?