Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler Under Immense Pressure This NBA Postseason?

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) is introduced prior to the game against the Sacramento Kings(Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) is introduced prior to the game against the Sacramento Kings(Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Miami Heat are days away from kicking off their 2022 postseason and the gears of the mind are turning. Well, you know that they are inside of the Miami Heat’s building and likewise, inside the mind of the very best player in Jimmy Butler, but they are also turning outside of that building.

Starting at the top, the Miami Heat did find themselves ever so fortunate enough to escape what’s sizing up to be the most difficult side of the Eastern Conference Playoff bracket, also escaping an early meeting with the Brooklyn Nets.

Waiting on their potential first-round opponents to sort things out, they’ll know, for certain, who to prepare for after Friday night’s contest between the Atlanta Hawks and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Important for several reasons, mostly so they actually know who to prepare for, some are even estimating that the Hawks could take the Heat down in the first round.

While that isn’t important here or even something to consider, as the Miami Heat are, simply, the better team on both sides of the ball and showed as much, beating Atlanta in comeback fashion in their final fully deployed regular-season game of the year. There is one topic though that is also floating around in that same hemisphere that is intriguing.

If you take into account the thoughts of Stephen A. Smith, ESPN superstar and feature host of ESPN’s First Take, Miami Heat superstar, Jimmy Butler, is under immense pressure this postseason.

The Miami Heat have an amazing opportunity this postseason. However, does that leave their best player, Jimmy Butler, under immense pressure?

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To be specific, SAS has Butler ranked as the player under the fourth most pressure in this upcoming NBA playoffs.

While there is a sense of agreeance to what Smith is saying, as Jimmy Butler has the team, the seeding, and the opportunity on the easier side of the bracket to lead his team to another berth in the NBA Finals, that’s just it. He, quite literally, just led his team to the NBA Finals a year or so ago in the NBA Bubble.

That proves he’s capable. To go deeper on that topic though, it was in that series in which he went toe to toe with, quite arguably, the greatest player to ever touch the Spalding in the NBA, LeBron James.

Jimmy is an elite player, a superstar, the Miami Heat’s best player, and capable of leading his team to the promised land. He just has to do it.

Now, that’s always the hardest part. That’s also where the pressure lies.

There isn’t pressure, so much, as to prove he’s capable, as much as to actually get it done in a year in which he has the prime opportunity to do so. He has a team around that is capable of exploding on offense, while also locking up on the defensive side.

This is one of his best opportunities to do so. With that, Smith’s list can be argued, but it has a bit of merit to it as well.

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However, it may also not be as dramatic, in Jimmy’s case, as it is in some of the other situations on this list. Whatever amount or level that is though, you can bet that Jimmy Butler will certainly be ready.