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"Would you leave Dwyane open in a big moment? You would not" - Erik Spoelstra outrightly compares Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat superstar to Wade

Jimmy Butler in action for the Miami Heat
Jimmy Butler in action for the Miami Heat
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Anujit Vijayakumar

Miami Heat guard Jimmy Butler is known for his cutthroat and ruthless nature in his approach to the game of basketball. At the same time, he may very well be the NBA's most underrated player.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra emphasized the value Jimmy G. Buckets brings to the team while displaying winning basketball:

“That’s just elite two-way basketball that he exhibited tonight (Tuesday). He was doing it on both ends.I thought he was assertive, I thought he was making quick decisions, and we really needed that in the second half.”

Spoelstra compared Butler to Heat legend Dwayne Wade in terms of how Butler is able to propel his performances up a notch in playoff time.

Butler scored 45 points on 15-for-25 shooting (4-for-7 from 3-point range) with five rebounds, five assists, two steals and no turnovers on Tuesday night. That effort led Miami to a 115-105 win and a 2-0 first-round series lead over the Atlanta Hawks.

Erik Spoelstra calls it reasonable to compare Jimmy Butler to Dwyane Wade in terms of being more lethal from 3 in playoffs."Would you leave Dwyane open in a big moment? You would not. Because he's a killer. He's gonna seize that moment. Jimmy has a lot of those same qualities."

When asked about turning the game over to Butler when he's hot, the veteran coach said:

"It's kind of unsaid. Just get the ball to JB."

Jimmy Butler and the Heat: perfect compatability

Miami Heat small forward Jimmy Butler
Miami Heat small forward Jimmy Butler

On July 6, 2019, Butler signed with the Miami Heat via a sign-and-trade with the Philadelphia 76ers in a four-team trade. Butler, now a six-time All-Star, was eager to link up with the South Beach franchise.

Butler led Heat reached the 2020 NBA Finals in the bubble before falling to the LA Lakers in six games.

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The front office has since made solid trades, acquiring Victor Oladipo from the Houston Rockets in a trade and Kyle Lowry from the Toronto Raptors via a sign-and-trade.

They have also done well in the draft, obtaining Bam Adebayo as well as Tyler Herro.

This decision-making from Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley and the front office may very have laid the foundation for the Heat's success for the decade to come.

Heat players to have three or more 40-point games in the playoffs:♨️ Dwyane Wade♨️ LeBron James♨️ Jimmy Butler https://t.co/Iz52e22tdt

NBA playoffs: Miami Heat favorites?

The 2022 Miami Heat
The 2022 Miami Heat

The Miami Heat finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference (53-29).

Miami has a 2-0 series lead over the No. 8 seed Atlanta Hawks as the first-round matchup heads to Atlanta for games on Friday and Sunday. Miami won 115-91 in Game 1 on Sunday and 115-105 in Game 2 on Tuesday, powered by Jimmy Butler's 45 points.

PLAYOFF CAREER HIGH ⚡Jimmy Butler could not be stopped. https://t.co/XyiooOEvpx

Provided Butler can keep performing at an elite level, Miami might just run riot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The Heat have the tenacity, aggression and intensity to make their championship aspirations come true.

SOUND ONWe know about Miami's ball pressure so far in this seriesBut the back-side help and positioning has taken it to another level@5ReasonsSports https://t.co/333qrmhJfj

Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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