Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler has not replicated previous outstanding performances since his ankle injury against the New York Knicks in the conference semifinals.
In the first six games of the playoffs, Jimmy Butler averaged 35.5 points on 58.5 percent shooting from the field and 43 percent shooting from 3-point range.
However, in comparison to his later games, since he hurt his ankle, he is averaging 23.5 points on 42 percent shooting and 32 percent from downtown. “Playoff Jimmy” has looked more like his regular-season self as the postseason progressed, which affects the Heat. They boasted a 5-1 record before his injury but have been 8-5 since.
Butler scored 21 points in Game 2 against the Denver Nuggets, scoring eight in the fourth quarter. Still, it’s hard not to compare that to his consecutive 40-point performances in the first round against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Obviously, the competition gets tougher as the postseason advances. The decline in scoring could be a change of scheme, forcing Butler to facilitate more since teams are targeting him.
However, he doesn’t seem to be attacking the basket like before to draw fouls. His field goal attempts have reduced, meaning he’s taking fewer and less efficient shots.
But then, Jimmy Butler is still who he was, and as he said, will continue to be one of the star players of the Miami Heat.
“I’m gonna keep playing basketball as far as I can,” Butler said. “Making plays for others, score whenever I get the opportunity. Through all else, just find a way to win. I think we did that tonight as a group, and we’ll continue to do that as a group.”