Butler, who’s in his first season with Miami, has guided his team to a 14-6 postseason record, trailing the Lakers 3-2 in the Finals despite coping with key injuries to Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo since Game 1 of the series. He willed his team to victory in Game 5, pouring in 35 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists and five steals in over 47 minutes.
“His will to win is remarkable,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said postgame. “To do that in 47-plus minutes and take the challenge on at the other end — every young player coming into this league should study footage on Jimmy Butler.”
Miami has surprised the basketball world these playoffs, sweeping the Pacers in round one, upsetting the Bucks 4-1 in round two and defeating a star-studded Celtics team 4-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals. The team has generated its momentum behind the likes of Butler, Dragic and Adebayo, plus the emergence of Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson.
There’s more out of Miami tonight:
- The Lakers learned in Game 5 that Duncan Robinson can be exceptionally deadly from three-point range once he catches fire, Jeff Zilgitt of USA TODAY writes. Robinson scored a career-high 26 points on 7-for-13 shooting from deep on Friday, further solidifying himself as one of the league’s elite shooters. “Obviously, they’ve done a really good job scheming to take things away, but for me, it’s just about finding a way – whatever it takes to get to my spots,” Robinson said. “If you continue to do that, you’ll have your openings. You’ll be able to find spots here and there. If I catch the ball and can see the rim, it’s going up, pretty much.”