There is something to be said about institutional knowledge in the NBA.
Sacramento earned a game seven against some tried and true NBA champions, but LeBron James and the Lakers regrouped after losing game five and simply decimated the Memphis Grizzlies to end their season and take the series.
Jimmy Butler is willing himself into superstardom and playing at an elite level. After weathering a play-in tournament, Butler and the Miami Heat knocked off the team with the best record in the NBA.
It must be said that the Bucks playing a major portion of the series without the two-time MVP hurt Milwaukee’s chances, but Butler’s performance in Game 5 prompts the question — who will be able to stop Jimmy Buckets?
This isn’t the first time Butler has seemed to come out of nowhere. In 2020, he and the Heat surprised both league and fans by making it to the NBA Finals in the bubble. In the end, they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, but the passion that fueled Butler’s drive that year appears to have been kicked into overdrive.
Man, wouldn’t it be great to see the Lakers and Heat face off again with a different result this time?
Fans may recall Butler was unhappy and requesting a trade from Minnesota at roughly the same time Kawhi Leonard was looking for a way out of San Antonio. At the time, I wrote that an even trade would match salary, skill, and position enough that it should be considered. For some, the piece was treated as a joke or at the very least, a bad take. Perhaps, but after what Stephen A. Smith said about Kawhi just before the Clippers were eliminated in comparison to what Butler is accomplishing underscores that some players are just more adept to the game than others and that time often reveals much more than what is expected.
Butler is 33-years-old and this may be his last chance to chase down a ring while at the helm. Sure, he can take a lesser contract in a year or two and jump on whoever looks to be the next stacked team, but does anyone see Jimmy doing that?
Today, the Heat face off against the New York Knicks. The Knicks put together some solid games against the Cleveland Cavaliers and showed that they are ready to rumble. At the time of this writing, Julius Randle’s availability for the game is undetermined.
Either way, one thing is certain — if Jimmy Butler smells blood, he will strike.
Who you rooting for in this series, Pounders?
Who you cheering on in this round?
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New York Knicks
Eastern Conference Semifinals kicks off today at noon CDT on ABC.
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