Last year the NBA world witnessed what was thought of as unthinkable when the Miami Heat made it all the way to the NBA finals and even won 2 games against the Los Angeles Lakers. Who, everyone thought would sweep the eastern conference champions. Whether you think that it was a fluke for them to make it that far or not, It was magical to Heat fans like myself. The team had a great formula of players and a great strategy on how to incorporate them all at the perfect times whether it be defense or offense.
Consistent players hitting shots on a nightly basis and we even began to see Jimmy Butler become the all around player he destins to be. Couple triple doubles, multiple double doubles. It was looking like Jimmy was on the verge of playing like a lebron-esque type of player.
That was last year though. fast forward to now and the Miami Heat are down 0-3 in the first round of the NBA Playoffs to the Milwaukee Bucks.
This season Jimmy is still doing his best to play the same or better than last year but the team surrounding him has not been consistent throughout the whole season. Between players getting covid *including Jimmy* and injuries all around, the team was just falling apart slowly. STILL, Jimmy does what he can to get his team involved and even averages 1 more assist a game then last season.
The issue here *In My Opinion* is Jimmy is passing way to much and at the worst times of the recent playoff games.
8 out of 10 times Jimmy drives to the basket he just throws it out to a player beyond the arc and 6 of those 8 times the player usually misses the attempted shot. Last season Jimmy was averaging 9 free throw attempts a game, this season he is down to 8 a game.
In this first round of the playoffs the Miami Heat kept it close and competitive and lost in overtime in game one, Where Jimmy shot 10 free throws. Game 2 & 3 Jimmy shot a total of 8 free throws! And in those last 2 games Miami got dismantled by over 25 points each of those 2 games.
Compare Jimmy to Giannis and Giannis has shot 27 free throws in those 3 games combined.
GRANTED, yes. the Bucks would just not miss in game 2 so even free throws would not help then. But instead of trying to shoot a three to match they should have kept being aggressive and attack more then shoot.
ALSO, Lets please not forget that the refs throughout this whole NBA season have been ATTROCIOUS and miss an INSANE amount of calls that change the outcome of games *just like the end of game 1 which the ofcourse admit to AFTER the game* But when thats the case then you have to literally force the refs hand. Just about everytime Jimmy drives into the lane as i said he passees the ball all the way out to a shooter behind the threepoint line. Instead, he needs to be aggresive and keep driving and attempt to get body contact and get to the line to shoot his free throws.
Ref dont call it that first time? try again, they dont call it a second time, try again. Cleatly the team can not keep up with the distance shooting from the Bucks so they need to adjust and get as many close baskets as they can.
Ofcourse it would be perfect if the shooters made their shot but we arent loaded with shooters like Steph or Klay or someone like that where you can throw a pass to them from anywhere and chances are they make the shot. But they are not.
Passing the ball around is KEY, but not the way its being done right now.
Now, am i putting ALL the blame on Jimmy, Ofcourse not. Basketball is a team game and you win as a team and the other players Need to hit their shots, Issue is that doesnt seem to be happening and chances are wont just miraculously start next game. I can easily go on a giant rant and critique every player and say what each need to do BUT, Jimmy IS the leader and captain and he needs to get ahold of this ship before it finishes sinking and the MAIN thing i want to see is Jimmy getting mean and aggresive more than i want to see anything else from any other player right now.
The Bucks have zero fear in the Heat right now and it shows with how freely they are just chucking up shots with defense right in their faces. That needs to end ASAP
Game 4 is this Saturday May 29th and the Heat have only this chance to get it together.
Jimmy can be an all around player another time. RIGHT NOW though, Miami NEEDS the aggresive and in your face Jimmy Buckets that was on the Bulls.
Am i confident for the next game, not really. But regardless if this is the last game of our season then it is what it is and we try again next year. But either then or now its still & will forever be "Lets Go Heat" for life!
Let me know your thoughts and opinions on the topic. Would love to discuss with other die hard Heat fans !
Hope you guys enjoyed the read.
- Sani Nabi