You can say what you want about Jimmy Butler and his type of leadership but this man has proven time and time again that he can take a team to compete and have good chances to win in the postseason. We’re seeing the prime sample of that this year, where Butler is leading the Miami Heat to dominate the Eastern Conference, being two wins away from reaching the NBA Finals for the first time since 2014.
Whenever he’s gone, Butler has taken his teams to compete. In nine years of NBA career, Butler has played in four teams, the Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat. You can find proof that Jimmy is THAT dude if you take a look at the last time each of these teams was competitive enough to make the playoffs and have good runs with the swingman as their leader. Butler took the Bulls and Timberwolves to their last playoffs appearance, led the Sixers’ best playoff run of the decade and now has taken the Heat to their first ECF appearance since 2014.
The Chicago Bulls last made the postseason in 2017 with Butler leading the way. That year, Chicago ranked 8th in the Eastern Conference, losing in the first round against the Boston Celtics of Isiah Thomas.
After he was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, his first season with the team was relatively good. In 2018, the T-Wolves made the postseason and the Houston Rockets eliminated them in five games in the first round.
Last year he was part of the Philadelphia 76ers. That team had a big chance to play in the Finals until Kawhi Leonard defined Game 7 and the series with one of the most memorable shots in playoffs history. That was the end of Butler’s tenure in Philly.
This season, amid plenty of doubts, Butler has become the leader the Heat needed and is taking the team to be one of the hottest squads in the postseason. Right now the Heat is 2-1 against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. They have only lost two games and have dominated all their series, including the one against the #1 seed in the East, Milwaukee Bucks.
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Butler is a fighter, he is a dog and that leaves everything on the court every time he plays. You can say anything about him, but after he left Chicago, Minnesota and Philadelphia, those teams have struggled to be good again. Meanwhile, the Heat are on their way to the Finals with Butler impacting the game on both ends of the floor.