Heat’s Jimmy Butler Says He Turns ‘Into The Greatest Basketball Player In The World’ In Playoffs

During an interview with NBA reporter Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler said he turns “into the greatest basketball player in the world” in the playoffs. 

Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat, NBA news

Butler’s nickname once the postseason starts is “Playoff Jimmy.”

“You mean how can I turn into the greatest basketball player in the world all of a sudden?” Butler said. “I don’t know, man. I’m just different. I think this is when you’re supposed to be playing your best basketball and you have to find a way to get your team to win these games when you’re talking about the playoffs coming around. But even right now, you’re getting everybody into their roles. You’re getting in a rhythm. And with my music, I’m getting in my rhythm. Speaking for myself and everybody else in this locker room, we want to win. That’s our focus.”

Butler joined the Heat in the summer of 2019 via a sign-and-trade deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. Miami has reached two NBA Finals and three Eastern Conference Finals in the Butler era. 

“You just keep a couple things in your pocket all year long, and whenever you do it at a certain point of the year, they deem it something else like ‘Playoff Jimmy,'” Butler said. “But it’s just me playing the long game throughout the season. I know that I’m really good at this game, and I know I could do a lot of things well on the basketball court. There are just times when you have to step it up a notch. You can’t show the opponent everything now. You have to always keep people guessing.”

Butler is averaging 24.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.9 steals and 0.6 blocks with the Heat in the playoffs. Miami lost to the Denver Nuggets in last year’s Finals in five games. 

“Whatever y’all want to call it, ‘Playoff Jimmy,’ or ‘that crazy motherf–ker Emo Jimmy,’ I don’t care,” Butler said. “We’re good, man. I just wanna get into the playoffs. That’s it. We get into the playoffs, then we and I can take care of a lot. But I think us as a group, we’re going to be just fine.”

The Heat are 33-26 on the season. They are in eighth place in the East.

Butler, 34, is averaging 21.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 2023-24 while shooting 50.1% from the field, 44.0% from 3 and 85.4% from the foul line. 

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