‘What Great Players Do’: Miami Heat Coach Lauds Jimmy Butler After Clutch Performance During Win Against Magic

Published 03/12/2021, 8:42 AM EST
Feb 26, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) drives to the basket past Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley (10) and guard Donovan Mitchell (45) in the second quarter at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports


Miami Heat kicked off the second half of their season with a commanding victory against the Orlando Magic. Despite missing their starting center Bam Adebayo, the rest of the Heat side stepped up for the win.

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The standout performer for the Eastern Conference champions was talisman Jimmy Butler. In the 36 minutes he was on the court, Butler almost had a triple double, scoring 27 points, 11 assists, and 8 rebounds in the 111-103 victory.

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Erik Spoelstra impressed with Jimmy Butler

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra was certainly ecstatic with the 32-year-old’s performance. In his post game press conference, Spoelstra was all praises for Butler and hailed him for his all-round performance.

“At the end of the day, that’s what great players do, great competitors, and winners do. You know, he puts his imprint on the game and it’s a series of winning plays that put you in position to come out of it with a W.”

He added, “There was a big steal which put the ball in his hands and had smart execution going down the stretch, and that didn’t mean that he necessarily had to make the play every time he got off the ball when it was needed.

“He made some big defensive plays, you know, the back of the zone as well and helping us out a rebound. You know with you know, our best rebounder out.”

Butler is certainly the most important player in this rather young Miami Heat team. Be it his playmaking or ability to take over the scoring or his rebounding skills, the 32-year-old does it all for the Heat.

His impact for the Heat is clear in the team’s record with and without Butler. The Heat have a record of 15-8 with Butler on the floor and a record of 4-10 without him. The Eastern Conference champions will hope that the 4-time All-Star can lead the team to a victory.

Can Jimmy Butler lead the Miami Heat to the finals?

Last season, when the Heat reached the NBA finals, it was a pretty big surprise. They were a bunch of young talented players led by a 4-time All-Star in Jimmy Butler who was rather considered an erratic teammate in the 76ers and the Timberwolves.

If not for the injuries to big man Bam Adebayo and veteran Goran Dragic, the Heat could have gone all the way to the championship against the Lakers. This season, though their young core of players like Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo have stepped up, Butler has certainly been the key to their resurgence in form.

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Jan 4, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) is defended by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Darius Bazley (7) and guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

The increase in quality of the other teams has also led to a much more competitive Eastern Conference. They now have multiple teams like the 76ers, the Bucks and the Nets challenge for the Eastern Conference crown.

The Miami Heat have always proven their doubters wrong. Given the players they have, they are still a competitive team in the East. With the trade deadline coming soon, the Heat can also add some players.

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Can Butler lead the Heat to another surprise finals appearance?

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Aditya Mohapatra

869 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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