Jimmy Butler had himself a game against the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2 of the first round. His 45-point performance led the Heat to a consecutive win over the #8 seed and has put them in a commanding position for the rest of this series.
The Hawks have looked a little flat through the first few games, with the Heat game-planning really well to contain their offense. Butler has been incredibly impactful on both ends of the ball, especially in Game 2. He was aggressively closing out on Hawks shooters, doing a great job defending players on the ball, and we have already talked about his scoring exploits on the night.
Teammate Kyle Lowry had nothing but praises to sing for Butler, who has come under fire recently for not performing to the standards the media had set for him. Lowry called Butler the best two-way player in the NBA while highlighting his big-game performance.
Butler doesn't have the natural offensive game a player like Trae Young has. Jimmy didn't make it to the NBA on account of his offense, something he worked very hard to improve every year. His scoring can sometimes be inconsistent, but he is a proven scorer when his team needs him to do something.
Butler's performances were disappointing during the playoffs last year when the Milwaukee Bucks swept him and the Heat. Butler scored fewer points all series than backup Bucks guard Bryn Forbes. This year is his best opportunity to prove the naysayers wrong, and he has already taken a big step in that direction.
We have seen jimmy lead a team to the Finals. What he needs to do now to firmly establish himself as one of the best of this generation is lead this very talented Heat team to a championship. If he achieves that, his legacy will be set in stone.