Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat continue to dominate under the radar

Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat continue to dominate under the radar

Published May 14, 2022
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Miami Heat Jimmy Butler (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

Jimmy Bulter and the Miami Heat continue to dominate under the radar. 

Watching the Friday morning NBA coverage on the various national TV networks you probably wouldn’t know it, but the Miami Heat has punched its ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals after beating the Philadelpiha 76ers on the road in Game 6.

As the national media continues to do everything in its power to ignore what the Miami Heat – and specifically Jimmy Butler – have done so far in this postseason, this team continues to move forward.

The Heat has now made it back to the conference finals, their second trip in three seasons, and is now just four wins away from another NBA Finals appearance – perhaps their second since LeBron James departed.

Respect optional, what Jimmy and the Heat have done this season (and in the playoffs) is nothing short of magical. Sure, they’re the No. 1 seed. But, at the same time, this is something that no one outside South Florida could’ve seen coming before the season.

Many laughed at the Heat’s two big offseason moves – in which they acquired Kyle Lowry and re-signed Duncan Robinson to a $90 million extension. And while it’s still fair to question them, the fact that they haven’t held the team back at all in the playoffs is amazing.

The Heat hasn’t missed a beat. Lowry has only played in a fraction of the team’s games in the playoffs this season and Miami still managed to dominate the Atlanta Hawks and Sixers.

It’s understandable why the Sixers are getting all the love (or hate) after this series. Generally, people would rather be haters than lovers. Nevertheless, I don’t think it’s fair to simply gloss over what the Heat and Jimmy have done this season.

Miami is in the conference finals with two undrafted players in the starting lineup, one former all-star (their starting point guard) injured, and a $90 million man riding the bench. Oh, and Bam Adebayo hasn’t even been that consistent on the offensive end so far in the postseason.

Considering all that, it’s a riddle as to why the Heat is in the conference finals. Until you realize how dominant Jimmy Butler has been this postseason.

In the playoffs, Jimmy is averaging 29 points, eight rebounds, and five assists per game on 53 percent shooting from the field and 36 percent shooting from 3-point range. And he’s not just doing it on the offensive end.

He’s putting up these impressive offensive numbers while also being an absolute pest on the other end of the floor, oftentimes guarding one of the opposing team’s best offensive perimeter player.

The Heat will tell you themselves. The job isn’t done. But it amazes me that there aren’t more appreciating what we’re seeing from the Heat. Miami deserves more respect than it’s getting, but there’s nothing this collection of players loves more than operating (and dominating) under the radar.

As Miami waits until a winner prevails between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics, they will continue working on their own craft and getting healthier. And when it’s time to lace them up for the conference finals, they’ll be ready. And probably unrespected.