Jimmy Butler came up big again when the Heat needed him most. Plus, the latest NBA coaching rumors as the coaching carousel spins faster and faster.
The Miami Heat stole Game 1 from the Celtics, thanks to another enormous performance from Jimmy Butler. He came up with 35 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 6 steals and powered a 46-25 third quarter that helped Miami take control.
Butler has been absolutely phenomenal in these playoffs, coming up again and again in crucial moments. Although this game only briefly met the NBA’s definition of clutch — a margin of plus-or-minus five points at any time within the final five minutes — he helped pull them through when the Celtics tried to close the gap, continuing a remarkable trajectory.
Jimmy Butler is clutch (that’s it, that’s the subhead)
According to Inpredictable and their Win Probability model, Butler has been the most impactful clutch player in this postseason — with a Clutch Win Probability Added of 1.10. That number might feel abstract but, to put it in context, it’s more than the Clutch Win Probability Added of Jayson Tatum and Steph Curry from this postseason, combined. It’s also, in just 13 games, one of the best marks of the past decade.
Vince Carter and Damian Lillard are the only players this decade to generate more Clutch Win Probability Added (clWPA) in fewer games but both players hit game-winning buzzer-beaters in those series — Carter to beat the Spurs in Game 3 and Lillard to win the series over the Rockets in Game 6. At his current pace, stretching his postseason to 20 games would give him the second-best clWPA of the past decade.
What’s remarkable is that Butler’s clutch contributions this postseason have been about a lot more than just clutch shot-making. He has scored 28 points in just over 21 clutch minutes, shooting 8-of-16 from the field and 2-of-5 from beyond the arc, which works out to 46.4 points per 36 minutes on a 65.8 true shooting percentage. But he also has 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and a block — per-36-minute averages of 5.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 5.0 steals and 1.7 blocks.
He’s commanding Miami’s offense but also making contributions all over the court. He didn’t score a single point in the nearly three minutes of clutch time in Game 1 but came up with two steals and an assist. Whatever the Heat need, whenever they need it, Jimmy Butler has been there.
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NBA news and content from around the FanSided network
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Latest NBA coaching rumors
As of right now, there are five head coaching openings in the NBA — the Suns, Bucks, 76ers, Raptors and Pistons — with rumors that a sixth could be coming soon. Here are the latest rumors about who could fill each:
- The Suns are reportedly interested in Ty Lue, which could open the Clippers’ coaching position as well.
- The Bucks are reportedly interviewing Frank Vogel for their head coaching opening. Doc Rivers has also been mentioned as a ‘sleeper’ candidate.
- Joel Embiid was reportedly not informed ahead of time about Doc Rivers being fired by the 76ers and apparently he’s not happy about it.