On ESPN's morning radio show "Keyshawn, JWill and Max," former Chicago Bulls player Jay Williams drew comparisons between Jimmy Butler and Michael Jordan. Williams believes that Butler is playing at the same level that Michael Jordan used to. Jay Williams said:
"The dude is averaging and he's shooting over 50% from the field. The numbers are stupid for what he's doing right now. He's playing at a MJ-like level right now, stat wise and what's he's doing for his team."
Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat won Game 1 comfortably as the final scoreline read 118-107. Butler dropped 41 points on 12 of 19 shooting. He remarkably attempted just two shots from the perimeter.
Jay Williams highlights the importance of Jimmy Butler
The Miami Heat and Jimmy Butler came into this season hoping to contend for a championship. Looking at the competition in the Eastern Conference, though, their goal seemed unrealistic.
However, with the way things have unfolded, the Heat are truly in contention.
Miami finished the regular season as one of the most consistent teams in the East, despite suffering injuries to key players such as Butler and Bam Adebayo. They finished as the conference's first seed.
Their trump card is Jimmy Butler as the superstar has elevated his game in the postseason and is playing like a man on a mission in the playoffs this year.
He is averaging 29.8 points and 7.7 rebounds in the postseason while shooting 53.5% and 34.8% from the perimeter, albeit on 4.2 shots per game from that range.
Butler is a bona fide leader for the Miami Heat as his rough-rider mentality, along with his ability to take over a game, makes him an invaluable asset.
The chemistry and balanced mixture of experience and youth that the roster possesses is complemented by superb coaching from Erik Spoelstra and Butler's dominance.
The Miami Heat have what it takes to come out of the Eastern Conference and return to the NBA Finals, having reached that stage just two years ago.
Jay Williams may be right about Jimmy Butler playing at an "MJ-like level" in the postseason this year. He has been the go-to man for the Heat throughout the playoffs and will be considered a top-five player in the league if he leads the team to a championship.