Jimmy Butler Made Crunch-Time Demand In Heat’s Series-Clinching Win

Butler was 'that guy' for the Heat -- again


Apr 27, 2023

Jimmy Butler once again was the hero for the Heat on Wednesday night, as his clutch efforts helped send Miami to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

But had Butler not put his foot down when pressure was at its highest for the East’s eighth seed in Game 5, the Heat might be preparing for another go-around with the Bucks.

Trailing Milwaukee 118-116 with 2.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter at Fiserv Forum, Miami took a timeout to map out a potential game-tying or game-winning basket. Butler wasn’t the designated shooter in Erik Spoelstra’s initial draw-up, and that didn’t sit well with the Heat superstar.

“He looked me dead in the eye and he just said, ‘No. Let me be that guy,'” Spoelstra told reporters after Wednesday’s game, per ESPN.

Butler’s assertion paid dividends for the visitors, as he took an into-the-paint inbound pass and pushed it into the basket to send Game 5 to overtime. Miami rode the momentum from there and earned a 128-126 win that eliminated the top-seeded Bucks from the postseason. Butler finished with a game-high 42 points to go along with eight rebounds.

Next up for the Heat are the New York Knicks, who also wrapped up their first-round series Wednesday. Game 1 of the second-round series is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

Thumbnail photo via Michael McLoone/USA TODAY Sports Images
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