Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler proves lightning does strike twice

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) shoots the ball against Los Angeles Lakers (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) shoots the ball against Los Angeles Lakers (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Miami Heat needed another masterpiece performance from Jimmy Butler on Friday to keep their Finals series alive. They got it.

The Miami Heat came into Friday night’s Game 5 with a certain set of circumstances before them. They could either win to keep their season, series, and hopes alive.

Or they could lose. Then it would all be over.

That would be this run, the bubble experience, and the NBA season. The Miami Heat said that tonight would not be the night on Friday.

In order for them to get it done, many assumed that it might take something wild and wacky. We had already seen a Jimmy Butler Masterpiece in Game 3, so that was surely not going to happen again.

What were the Miami Heat going to be able to pull out on Friday in order to get another much-needed victory? They went right back to the same well.

Jimmy Butler proceeded to put on another show of brilliance on Friday night. He started out the game going 7/10 from the field and putting up over 20 points in the first half. Though he would finish with a triple-double in the game, his second of the series and across only three games, it was how he got the numbers that mattered.

The Miami Heat would need a touch of ‘greatness’ from someone to keep their series alive. Jimmy Butler heard the call… and then he answered it.

Coming down the stretch and after the Lakers had once again closed a gap that the Heat had maintained for much of the game, something they’ve done a few times this series, the Lakers started going to LeBron James exclusively. It was working.

They went up. Then Jimmy put the Heat up.

They went up again before Jimmy would put the Heat up again. This went on for a few possessions to close the game until the Miami Heat finally double-teamed LeBron to get the ball out of his hands.

Basically, Jimmy Butler went toe to toe with the best player in the world and the second greatest player to ever lace them up, again, for the second time in three games and in the biggest of moments.

That’s what you want your stars and the leader of your team to do. Here’s is what Coach Spo had to say of Jimmy after the game, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

Jimmy Butler would finish the game with 35 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, five steals, and a block. He finished 11-19 from the field, 1-3 from distance, and most importantly for him and his game, 12-12 from the charity stripe.

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You absolutely love to see him take full advantage of the free ones he works so hard to get to the line for. The Miami Heat got another complete game from Jimmy Butler in this Finals series, proving that lightning does indeed strike twice.

That was the biggest takeaway from this game for me. Sunday evening will see them do it all over again and we can’t wait!