Miami Heat: Optimism is the fact that Saturday was Jimmy Butler’s worst

Bucks center Brook Lopez lays a hard foul on Heat forward Jimmy Butler during the second half.Mjs Bucks23 25 Jpg Bucks23
Bucks center Brook Lopez lays a hard foul on Heat forward Jimmy Butler during the second half.Mjs Bucks23 25 Jpg Bucks23 /

The Miami Heat are in the thick of a first-round playoff matchup against a team that has, sort of, grown into their rivals over the last few years, the Milwaukee Bucks. Not a traditional rivalry, by any means at this point, the vitriol and competitive juice between these teams is becoming more tangible by the meet-up though.

From sending them home early in last season’s playoffs to a tough fought Game 1 in their opening-round series of 2021, things aren’t sweet betwixt the two sides. With that though, the Miami Heat find themselves down 0-1 in the series.

While the first game was a hard fought slugfest of a game from the very tip, the Miami Heat were able to make it that without nearly being at their best. The team struggled to make shots, as a whole but more importantly for Miami, their best player probably had his worst game ever on this type of stage.

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The Miami Heat are still in a solid position, as they took the Bucks down to the wire on Saturday with one of their worst possible showings.

Going 4-22 from the field and 2-9 from three, where the 2-9 is probably an upgrade to his deep-shot prowess, Jimmy Butler had worst playoff game performance ever. From a shooting perspective and when you consider all of his time as a or the main guy for his team at the time, you have to view it that way.

His next worst performance came all the way back in 2015, when he was still a member of the Chicago Bulls. Across 46 minutes of play in a first-round series against Milwaukee, ironically enough, Jimmy went 5-21 from the field and 2-4 from deep.

He made one more shot from the field in that game and on one less attempt, while his three point shooting was galaxies more efficient in that game, though only taking four attempts. This is all relative to the grand point though.

These are two of Jimmy’s worst playoff game performances of his entire career. That would be across the entirety of his 74 playoff starts, nearly a season’s worth of playoff game starts and appearances (77 total).

Take solace in the fact that the game went down to the wire, with the Miami Heat having a great chance to win, and save for elite-shot making from an elite shot-maker in Khris Middleton, they are up 1-0 right now. If you are being completely honest with yourself, you have to like the Miami Heat’s chances.

In a game where the whole team played poorly on offense and your best player mirrored that fate, you still had just as good chance to win the game as the other team. That’s not awful at all.

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Look for Jimmy Butler to bounce back in Monday’s Game 2. Since the Miami Heat go as he does, look for them to bounce back, as a team, as well.