The Miami Heat have won two games in these NBA Finals, including a dramatic one in Game 5 Friday night to keep their season alive. In the two games Miami has won, Jimmy Butler has been dominant: A 40-point triple-double in Game 3, then his 35-point triple-double in Game 5 where he scored eight points in the final two minutes. All of that while being the primary defender on LeBron James. Butler his having his moment and leaving it all on the court to the point of exhaustion.
Just how special has Jimmy Butler been? He’s been 2016 LeBron in the Finals special. Check out this stat from Frank Urbina at HoopsHype.
By leading his team in points (29.0), rebounds (8.6), assists (10.2), steals (2.6) and blocks (0.8), Butler is just the second player in NBA history to lead his team in every major statistical category in a Finals series.
The only other player ever to have done that? That’d be Butler’s championship foe this year, LeBron James, who did just that in 2016 for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
That would be the year LeBron led the Cavaliers back from 3-1 down to upset the Golden State Warriors in seven games.
A lot of things had to break right for the Cavaliers that year — Draymond Green‘s Game 5 suspension, Andrew Bogut’s injury, and Kyrie Irving sinking the series winner over Kevin Love — but none of it would have been possible without peak LeBron.
Now peak Jimmy Butler is giving the Heat a chance.
We saw something very close to peak LeBron in Game 5 this year, he had a 40-point performance. Jimmy Butler just made a couple more plays and got a little more help when it mattered.
These 2020 NBA Finals have been entertaining to watch, a real battle of top talents, and the reason is simply Butler has been able to match vintage LeBron. Butler is having a Finals for the ages.