Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler took his talents and winning attitude to South Beach

NBA Miami Heat Jimmy Butler (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
NBA Miami Heat Jimmy Butler (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat are off to a superb start to the regular season and thanks to Jimmy Butler they are looking like Eastern Conference threats

The Miami Heat are 6-2 and off to their best start since the 2012-13 season. While there are many factors to Miami’s hot start such as the emergence of undrafted rookie Kendrick Nunn, lottery pick Tyler Herro and the improvement of second-year big man Bam Adebayo, the one factor that can’t be overlooked is Jimmy Butler.

Jimmy “Buckets” left what many people would consider at the time a better situation. The Philadelphia 76ers were a few bounces away from possibly knocking off the eventual champs Toronto Raptors and being in the Conference Finals. All signs pointed towards possibly running it back with the same core, but Butler bet on himself and took his talents to South Beach, an organization known for its toughness and grit. It was a match made in heaven for Butler.

What strikes you right off the bat about Jimmy Butler’s time in Miami so far is the chemistry and feeling of comfort Butler has on the court playing his game.

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There were some reports throughout last season about Sixers head coach Brett Brown and Butler not seeing eye to eye and that’s just the opposite of what you hear in Miami.

Butler missed the first two games of the season to attend to the birth of his first child. In an interview with TNT last week he talked about the gratitude he had for his head coach having his back and showing his care beyond basketball. Stuff like that matters to Jimmy and that’s why Miami was the perfect fit for him.

As for as on the court, its been a seamless fit so far. In terms of scoring numbers, Butler was averaging just 15 points per game (before a 34-point explosion Thursday night) but there is plenty of time for him to find his rhythm with his shot. He’s only attempting 12.8 shots a game, his fewest since the 2013-14 season (10.3). One has to figure that his scoring numbers will go up the more comfortable he gets on the court with his new team.

On the other hand, he’s averaging a career-high in assists (6.5) and rebounds (7.0). He’s doing a phenomenal job of setting up his teammates and instilling confidence in the likes of rookies Nunn and Herro.

To no surprise, Butler has been getting it done on the defensive side. The Heat currently sits fourth in the association in defensive rating and Butler has contributed to that averaging a career-high 3.8 steals on the young season to go along with one block.

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The Heat are showing they can be a team to reckon with in the East and it has a lot to do with one Jimmy Butler.