After his 41 points in Game 1, Yahoo Sports ’Vince Goodwill called Jimmy Butler the best player ever left in the NBA Playoffs. He may be right. Butler averaged below Luka Doncic in scoring 29.8 points per game, but he was even better, shooting 54% from the field to the near -ninth line. time at night.
But let’s not forget that one of the reasons Butler is at this last stage of the season is because the Celtics have already finished two previous MVPs and MVP Finals this postseason. And the idea is that Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo are better than Butler, but not everything is perfect because Boston is the one that will take care of them all in 2022.
In Game 2, Butler added a solid performance to his growing playoff start: 29 points on 11-of-18 shots with 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Individually, he was very good, but on Thursday night, like his previous All-Stars, Butler and his team had the same result as the Nets and Bucks last week. hala.
With KD, Giannis, and Butler now, the Celtics have tried, for the most part, to use the same cover for him to stay at home on four players on the floor. In Game 2, little defenders like Payton Pritchard and Jaylen Brown couldn’t match his physical appearance.
Join Marcus Smart.
According to NBA.com’s Stats, Smart was the first cover on Butler in Game 2, keeping him 32 of 63 Heat assets. Against the DPoY, Butler collected five shots. And while he made four with the assist, Smart’s impact was clear and was a big reason for the Celtics to return to Boston with a home win and a 1-1 draw in the series.
“As a defensive player of the year, night after night, taking that tournament and being able to play on both sides of the ball, it’s important for them … you have to be thankful to him and his work, ” Butler spoke of Smart after the game.
Smart’s thing that threatens Butler’s life.
“It’s tough. Jimmy was a brave man. Jimmy has done this for a long time, “Smart said of going up in front of Bull, Timberwolf, and 76er.” He knows the game. He knows how strong he is. He knows how strong he is. So when you have a guy with an IQ like Jimmy, it’s always going to be tough. “
As smart as Butler on offense, Smart on defense. Butler didn’t have much of a three -shot, so Smart dived under the covers on the break. Butler starts dating to get the free throw line, so Smart tries to stay in front of him as much as possible. It’s one of those matchups where you see Smart get excited when you wake up.
“It’s a good thing. I want to go up against Jimmy whenever I can. As a defensive player (a) a competitor, he will encourage you and he will bless you. We knew it was going to be hard. My job is to work hard on him, ”Smart said.
The ripple effect should be maintained when the D singular and Smart are pressed on Butler. For the three teams so far, coach Ime Udoka is better able to cover the best player of a team with one defender – Tatum at Durant, Horford and Williams at Antetokounmpo, and this time, Smart in Butler. Heading into Game 3, Butler knows he needs help.
“I think I have to do a better job of connecting with everyone else, if I’m honest. I have to see that kind of good thing, that good line between time. to argue and time to make sure I can open up to men, ”Butler said. “Normally, I have to do Kyle’s job, convince men where they can be comfortable and very successful. It’s up to me. I don’t think he’s in Spo. I don’t. thinks it’s on Bam.I think that’s my job because I’ve had the opportunity many times to make sure everyone enjoys the pictures they need.
In two games, Butler scored 70 points. His starting team had only 74 combined. If there is a fair balance that Butler is trying to achieve, please let Smart go there to finish it off.