Miami Heat Playoffs: Jumper Likely If Jimmy Butler Drifts To Toward Wing

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat shoots a jump shot over Kyle Kuzma #33 of the Washington Wizards(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat shoots a jump shot over Kyle Kuzma #33 of the Washington Wizards(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

As the Miami Heat get set to head into Game 3 of their first-round NBA Playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, let’s take this opportunity to look back just a bit.

While you will go back to the Miami Heat’s last game to set the stage, the inner working of this trip down memory lane contains components from as far back as 4 years or so ago. To set the aforementioned stage though, we must first go back to Game 2 of the Miami Heat’s current playoff series.

As the Miami Heat allowed the Atlanta Hawks to cut a 16-point deficit nearly all the way down later in the game, Jimmy Butler proceeded to do what he had done all game long, exactly whatever the heck it was he wanted to do.

Needing in the worst way, he would go on a personal 7-0 run with about 2:30 left on the clock to seal the deal for the Miami Heat, putting them up, 111-101, at the end of it with just under a minute and a half to play in the game.

The Miami Heat needed all Jimmy Butler could muster up in their Game 2 win over Atlanta. His biggest shot of the game actually looked familiar though.

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While the entirety of that run was special, there was one shot that really stood out. Here it is.

While Jimmy Butler starts at the top of the key from straight away, a typical approach for him, he then begins to get to his right. Specifically, he wants to begin to drift down the right wing.

After getting the defense to where he wants them at, he proceeds to rise up and hit the range shot with beauty and ease in the above scenario from Game 2. The thing about that though is this.

That isn’t so much different that the way he always takes and makes his big shots in the clutches of moments. Take this one for example.

In that same year, while also playing for Philadelphia, this wasn’t Jimmy’s only big three-pointer in a game’s clutch moments. While he hasn’t really shot the three well since arriving in Miami, the way he looked rising up in Game 2 was eerily similar to the Jimmy Butler of the past.

Here is another big clutch shot from Jimmy. Like the one before this one and the one from Game 2, it was one from deep.

Again and to the point made here, Jimmy loves to drift towards a wing before rising up for his biggest shots. It’s something that has come up time and time again across his career when needing a big shot.

Listen, this isn’t to say that every single time he needs to take a big shot, he’s going to drift wingward, with the suffix “ward” meaning “in the direction of”. However, it is where he seems to be most comfortable.

If it isn’t something to get into the paint though, there’s a strong chance that’s how he’ll look to get his most preferable look. There are quite a few pieces of evidence scattered all across his career that say so.

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So, not to give away a trade secret or anything like that, but if Jimmy Butler begins to drift towards the wings in a big moment, he’s just trying to get to his sweet spot. Because well, trust—he’s going to let it fly.