Miami is trying its hardest to become the first team in NBA history to blow a 3-0 lead. Boston tried its hardest to blow Game 6. Derrick White made one of the most improbable game-winning shots in the history of postseason basketball. One storyline that is likely at the forefront of Heat fans’ minds, however, is how poorly Jimmy Butler played throughout the contest.
Yes, “Playoff Jimmy” put together a stinker.
Butler scored 24 points, but shot just 5-for-21 from the field and added half his point total via the free-throw line. The six-time All-Star also contributed 11 rebounds and eight assists, but was tentative offensively which hurt the flow of Miami’s offense. He talked about his performance postgame, sharing the words he had for teammates after the loss.
“I let them know that, as good or as bad as we played tonight, we still lost,” Butler said postgame, per NBA-provided video. “We’ve still got a job to do in Game 7. We move together, home, away, on the road. I told the guys on the bench, I told the guys in the locker room, ‘If I play better, we’re not even in this position.’ Honestly speaking. I will be better and that’s what makes me smile, because these guys follow my lead.
“When I’m playing better, I think we’re playing better as a whole.”
There’s no arguing with Butler, who averaged 26 points per game in the Heat’s three wins and 15.6 in their losses. The 33-year-old will need to perform much better in Game 7 at TD Garden if Miami hopes to pull out a win. Tipoff is set for 8:30p.m. ET on Monday.