2 Obvious, 1 subtle move Erik Spoelstra must make to turn Heat into legit contenders

Miami Heat v Denver Nuggets
Miami Heat v Denver Nuggets / Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages
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Let Jimmy Butler cook

Jimmy Butler doesn’t play like a superstar – with the high usage and shot attempts – much in the regular season but, when he does, the Heat’s playoff ceiling is much more apparent.

Butler ratcheting up the intensity has as much to do with Miami’s recent winning surge as anything else, but there is still room for him to be even more dominant.

Although Butler would be the first to tell you he prefers to share the ball and get his teammates involved, the numbers suggest that the Heat’s offense would be better served if he cleared everybody out of the way and went to work more often.

Among the top isolation scorers in the league, Butler ranks sixth in points per isolation possession (1.12). The problem (if we want to call it that) is that Butler ranks 29th in isolation possessions per game.

So while Butler is as good as an isolation scorer as Jayson Tatum and James Harden in a limited sample, he’s playing out those possessions less than Jaren Jackson Jr. and Cam Thomas.

The Heat know this is something they can go to in the playoffs so there isn’t much need to ramp up Butler’s isos over these next few weeks, but it’s a lever Spoelstra can pull to generate more halfcourt scoring in the playoffs.

Stars win championships, and Butler is every bit the star the Heat need. When push comes to shove in the postseason, they’ll give the ball to Butler and let him cook.