Blog

Jimmy Butler plays Dwyane Wade as the Miami Heat takes control of the series

"Would you ever want to give Dwyane Wade an open 3 in these moments of truth?" said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "You wouldn't because he's a murderer," Spoelstra said. (Author: Gardener)

Jimmy ButlerMiami Heat's Jimmy Butler hangs on the sidelines after a big dunk against the Atlanta Hawks in the second half of their first round playoff game Tuesday at FTX Arena. The last time the Miami Heat saw a player take over entire arenas, topple entire playoff series and mercilessly crush opponents at pivotal moments, it was a name canonized with a jersey in the rafters. "Would you ever want to give Dwyane Wade an open 3 in these moments of truth?" said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. "You wouldn't because he's a murderer," Spoelstra said. Jimmy Butler. Jimmy Bucket. "Jimmy Freakin' Butler," as Charles Barkley said on TNT after the Heat star posted a career playoff-high 45 points in Heat's Game 2 win over Atlanta. "To me, he has a lot of those qualities," Spoelstra said. We love the idea of ​​magic in sports. magic games. magic works. Magical Seasons. There are magical names too, and none is more magical with the Heat than Wade. So Spoelstra knew what he was doing here. He knew the magic comparison he made, even the carrot he put to Butler to reach playoff night after night. The question revolved around how Butler, like Wade, was a donkey of a 3-point shooter until the money hit the playoff table. Then he took over FTX Arena. Butler, a 22 percent shooter on 3 points this season, went 4 of 7 in Game 2. He picked up an otherwise unremarkable heat night in a way that, yes, Wade once did. Butler is not Wade. He did it in Game 2. He did it as the Heat ran to the finals in Orlando's pandemic bubble two years ago. "If it's about winning, they'll find a way to kill you," Spoelstra said. "Look at a scouting report, look at the numbers, but ... next game, it could be the free-throw line, it could be attacking, it could be playmaking and, you know, that's part of his genius." You see how the dots connect on nights like this. This is an ensemble cast of a heat roster, one of half a dozen players capable of bearing the brunt of a night. Duncan Robinson was the star of Game 1, making 8 of 9 3-pointers. That prompted LeBron James to tweet, "Player development is damn good there." Robinson went five Game 2 minutes without a shot. It's that weird Heat way. "An organizational win," the idea is for the names they uncovered. Butler is the ultimate organizational asset. The Heat coveted him as three franchises spat him out. One of them, Philadelphia, is next looking for the heat in the second round. But Butler can also be a handful. He can make the Heat look divided and vulnerable, as he did last month on a timeout with Spoelstra and veteran Udonis Haslem. That's why Wade told him that Miami best suited his behavior. That's why Butler said when he signed with The Heat, "When I heard about their hard-hearted culture, I knew I needed that in my life." Butler made the Heat the Heat again. Atlanta challenged Butler to beat them in Game 2. Atlanta coach Nate McMillan said how their defense hugged shooters like Robinson and Tyler Herro. So Butler or Lowry had to find the vacancies. Butler did that night in a way that ended the series. The Heat not only lead 2-0. You have Atlanta that needs to win four of the next five. "If the umpires let them be as physical as they are and don't get calls, I mean it's going to be hard to really do anything anyway," said Atlanta star Trae Young. The question for the Heat remains who are they. Some of that hinges on Butler being able to be Tuesday's hero more often. There's a choir of singers on this list, but he's the lead. They pick players who win as much as teams in the NBA. Spoelstra dismissed a question about the need for the traditional star, saying, "Everyone looks for the same conventional box to win a championship. It can happen in many different ways.” Only three Heat players have 45 points, five rebounds and five assists in a playoff game. LeBron. LeBron. Jimmy. That's all you need to know about Butler's Game 2. He was Wade. He was Wade. Jimmy Effin' Butler.

Read

Butler, "a different player now," propels Heat at 45

After scoring a career-best 45 points in the playoffs to go 2-0 up the Heat in his streak with the Hawks, Jimmy Butler said he was a "different player" than he was during his dominant 2020 finals run in the NBA -Bladder. (Author: Gardener)

45Jimmy Butler comes onto two straight possessions with clutch buckets to seal the Heat's Game 2 win over the Hawks. Jimmy Butler comes onto two straight possessions with clutch buckets to seal the Heat's Game 2 win over the Hawks. MIAMI — The vision of Jimmy Butler falling over a baseline barricade in the Orlando bubble during the 2020 NBA Finals was painted onto the league's collective consciousness. In that series, the Miami Heat star went toe-to-toe with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, notching 35- and 40-point triple-doubles while pushing L. The Butler, who had a career-best 45 points in the playoffs, Heat's 115-105 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series has changed since that crucial run, he said. "I'm a different player now than I was then," Butler said after a personal 7-0 run in the final minutes of the fourth quarter of Game 2 increased Miami's lead from three to ten to secure the win. “I just want to always play basketball properly and do whatever it takes to help this team and this organization win. After joining the Heat as a free agent in 2019, Butler led the team to within two wins of the championship title. But Miami was eliminated in the first round by eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks last year. His transformation was sparked by the addition of Kyle Lowry , who brought championship experience to the table when he left the Toronto Raptors to sign with the Heat last summer. "I'm not as ball-dominant as I was in the bubble," Butler said. And if I can't score, pass the ball. We're a different team, I'm a different player." On Tuesday, Butler was also a different player from the regular season when he shot just 23.3% on 3-pointers. Butler went 4-for-7 from deep in Game 2 while Atlanta shooter Trae Young shot 2-for-10 to 3s, bringing his total to just 2-for-17. Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said Butler's sudden outside blast reminded him of the only other player besides James in team history who could rival Butler's three 40-point playoff games in his career for the franchise: Dwyane Wade. "It's actually a good comparison because when you're in those moments of pressure and those moments of truth when you're on the other side, would you ever want to just give Dwyane Wade an open 3? You wouldn't," Spoelstra called. And Jimmy has many of those qualities. Only he will do it his way. On Tuesday afternoon, Butler whiled away the time leading up to the tip by sharing on his Instagram Story that he was listening to the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" and playing the card game Spades. "They also cheered their tails," Butler said of the card game. "I'm a huge Backstreet Boys fan and I just love to compete in everything." Lowry said Butler's fun-loving personality is only part of the equation. "I think you have to have that dark side and that attitude to push others to be better," he said of Butler. And he's showing it. He had zero turnovers and zero fouls to his 45 points, becoming the first player to post such a postseason stat line since Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins in 1988 Bringing turnovers to the game -- a record for a Heat playoff opponent. "As impressive as his offense, he's done some amazing things on defense," Spoelstra said. The butler of yore took the Heat to the abyss at a champagne celebration , only to narrowly fail. His coach said the player, who leads the Eastern Conference No. 1 team this season, is built to go all the way to the championship. It can be done in many different ways. Jimmy is a top guy, a go-to guy, a killer," Spoelstra said. He knows how to win, he knows how to help teams win, and the game is played on both sides of the floor, and it's played with IQ, it's played with toughness, it's played with, in those winning moments to make moves. "He's just a winner and he showed that tonight."

Read

Jimmy Butler scores 45 points as Miami Heat defeats Atlanta Hawks for 2-0 lead

The Heat held off the Atlanta Hawks 115-105 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series Tuesday night. (Author: Gardener)

Jimmy ButlerMIAMI — Jimmy Butler got off the floor when his night shift was over, raised his arms in the air and was heard a packed arena serenade him with screams. But Butler was just as good Tuesday night as he was during that bubble run — and the Miami Heat needed all his exploits. Butler posted a playoff career-high 45 points, including a personal 7-0 run down the stretch to decide the game, and the Heat held off the Atlanta Hawks 115-105 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series Tuesday night. "We go as he goes," Heat Warden Gabe Vincent said. Butler was 15 of 25 from the floor, 11 of 12 from the line, and 4 of 7 from three-point reach. This means the top seeded Heat go to Atlanta with a 2-0 lead. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 19 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter for Atlanta. Trae Young got his scoring touch back — he had 25 points in Game 2 after being held to eight in Game 1 — but also had a career-worst 10 turnovers for the 8th-seeded Hawks. De'Andre Hunter had 16 and John Collins finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks. Butler's previous playoff best was 40, made twice, both in the bubble, as The Heat advanced to the 2020 NBA Finals. Bogdanovic's three with a 3:15 left put Atlanta within 104-101. "Great basketball from a great basketball player, one of the best two-way players in the game," said heat guard Kyle Lowry. Butler had a dunk, a three-pointer and another dunk - all in a span of 56 seconds - to take things from iffy to locked, taking Miami to 10 with 1:20 minutes remaining and ensuring the Heat could take the victory would end. "Just stay aggressive," Butler said. The first half saw 16 fouls from Atlanta and 14 from Miami -- a season-high for the Hawks, one off-season for the Heat, and those 30 personals didn't even include a double technical, which Lowry and Hunter got for facing each other . to face. Young picked up a technical error for arguing a foul on him late in the third round, the capper to a period that saw the Heat go from just ahead to holders of a double-digit lead in the final 12 minutes. "I think the difference in tonight's game was turnovers," said Hawks coach Nate McMillan. "You can't have 19 turnovers in a playoff game and expect to win games. They scored 21 points from our turnovers. The first half was back and forth, the game closed for much of those first quarters, and Kevin Huerter's stepback three with 8:59 in the third drew Atlanta within 64-62. The Hawks went almost three minutes without another goal, and the game looked very different after those three minutes. The Heat went 4 to 4 in that stretch - three-pointers from Butler, P.J. Tucker and Strus, with a layup from Butler - and it added up to an 11-0 run that extended the lead to 75-62. The lead stayed at at least eight points for the next 11 minutes before Atlanta began to fight back. Young hit Collins with a hit for a layup, and Bogdanovic's long jump put Atlanta 94-90 midway through the fourth. But the Hawks never took the lead. He said a conversation with Tucker Monday night resonated — Tucker basically told him to score more — and Butler was clearly listening. "Just elite two-way basketball that he showed tonight," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. Hawks: Atlanta had three players (Hunter, Huerter and Bogdanovic) with three fouls at halftime for only the second time this season. Among the adjustments the Hawks attempted: Collins started Game 2, and Huerter opened the game by guarding Lowry. Heat: Duncan Robinson, who made eight threes and scored 27 points in Game 1, went without a shot in seven minutes. At the end of the regular season, Miami is 8-1 in their last nine games. Miami is now 5-1 against Atlanta this season. Teams that go 2-0 up in a best-of-seven match eventually win the series 92.4% of the time. The Hawks have never recovered from 0-2 down in a series (0-25) and the Heat have never squandered a 2-0 lead (17-0) — but there have been four such rallies in the playoffs of the last season, two from the Los Angeles Clippers and two more from Milwaukee. Atlanta is now hosting Games 3 and 4. As of Jan. 17, the Hawks are the NBA's top players at home, 20-3.

Read

Miami Heat plays Atlanta Hawks in the first round. How the teams have fared this season

Knocked out of the playoffs by an Eastern Conference finalist last year (eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks), The Heat will open the postseason Sunday against last season's other Eastern conference finalist. The top seeded Heat learned Friday night that their opponent in the opening round will be the Atlanta Hawks, who picked up the eighth seed by defeating the Cavaliers, 107-101, in a play-in Friday night... (Author: Gardener)

Miami HeatMiami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) scores in the final seconds of the game against the Atlanta Hawks at FTX Arena on Friday, April 8, 2022 in Miami, Florida. Knocked out of the playoffs by an Eastern Conference finalist last year, The Heat (eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks) will open the postseason Sunday against last season's other Eastern finalist. The top seeded Heat learned Friday night that their opponent in the opening round will be the Atlanta Hawks, who won the eighth seed in a 107-101 win over the Cavaliers Friday night in a play-in game in Cleveland. The Heat's first round series begins at 1 p.m. Sunday at FTX Arena, Game 2 is scheduled for Tuesday night at 7:30pm. The series then moves to Atlanta for Game 3 on Friday night at 7 on ESPN and Bally and Game 4 on Sunday night at 7 on TNT. In the Hawks, the Heat gets an offensively gifted, flammable opponent with an elite scorer in Trae Young, who led Atlanta past Cleveland by 38 points on Friday, including 32 points in the second half. The Hawks allowed 113.7 points per 100 possessions this season, ranking 26th in the league and worst among playoff teams. The Heat, on the other hand, ranked fourth in this defensive rating category, scoring 108.4 points per 100 possession. Additionally, the Hawks' top defensive lineman and rebounder, center Clint Capela, exited Friday's game with a sprained knee, putting his status for Sunday in question. Miami beat Atlanta twice in three days in January - 115-91 and 124-118. The Hawks won 110-108 in Atlanta 10 days after the second of those meetings. The Heat shot 50.9 percent from the field and 39.7 percent on three points in the season series against the Hawks. Bam Adebayo averaged 22.5 points and 6.0 rebounds against the Hawks but missed two games in the season series. The Heat was 14-2 with Max Strus starting, and three of his starts were wins over Atlanta. He averaged 12.5 points against Atlanta and sank 12 of 26 three-pointers. Kyle Lowry averaged 12.3 points in three games against Atlanta, with an assist-to-turnover ratio (16 to 8) that doesn't meet his standards. On defense, of course, the focus is on slowing down Young, who on 43.9 percent shooting averaged 25.5 points against the Heat and sunk 33 of 37 free throws. But Miami kept him at 31.4 percent shooting at three-pointers this season (11 for 35). And Young credited Heat coach Erik Spoelstra with changing up the defensive approach from us Miami during his 3 for 12 shooting performance in the second half during their game against the Heat last week. Hawks forward John Collins averaged 15.7 points and 7.7 rebounds in three games against the Heat, but his status is unclear as he was out with a right foot sprain and plantar fascia tear and a right ring finger sprain. He didn't play against Cleveland on Friday. Like Collins, Bogan Bogdanovic has averaged 15.7 points against the Heat this season. Capela averaged 11.5 points and 10.0 assists in two games against Miami. Atlanta shot 47 percent from field against the Heat in four games but made 63 turnovers compared to 89 assists. In the four games, the Heat also had 63 turnovers, but Miami gave away 108 assists. The Hawks finished the season 43-39, 10 games behind the 53-29 heat. Heat players Strus and Gabe Vincent said they want to carefully follow Friday's Cleveland-Atlanta game with no distractions around them. "I try to get some tricks of the trade for each player, see what they like to do, figure out what type I'm compatible with and how they play," Strus said after practice on Friday. "They're fun to play against, no matter which side we're playing against," said Vincent. One thing is clear: Catching the No. 1 gave Miami a clear advantage for two reasons, aside from home field advantage in the Eastern Conference playoffs: Their opponent only has one day to prepare for Game 1. The Heat will not play any of the East's top three betting favorites -- Milwaukee, Boston or Brooklyn -- until the Eastern Finals. The Heat would play the Philadelphia-Toronto winner in round two. "The Heat benefits somewhat from the bracket they're in," TNT analyst Stan Van Gundy said on a conference call Friday. "That's why you play for seeding. Of course you would rather play the eighth seed in the first round. “Same in the second round [without having to play Boston and Milwaukee. Boston has long been the best team in the east. Not having to face them or the defending champions in the second round is a big help.”

Read

Butler scores 45 points, Heat defeats Hawks 115-105 for a 2-0 lead

MIAMI (AP) - Jimmy Butler went off the floor when his night shift was finished, ... (Author: Gardener)

MIAMIMiami Heat guard Max Strus, left, and forward Jimmy Butler (22) move up court for a heat possession and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young loses control of the ball in the first half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball playoff Series First Round, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Miami. Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) goes to the basket and is tackled by Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) during the first half of Game 2 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, April 19 2022, fouled in Miami. Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry (7) is fouled by Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (3) during the first half of Game 2 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, April 19, 2022 in Miami. Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins attempts a basket while Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) during the first half of Game 2 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, April 19, 2022 in Miami defended. Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) drives to the basket while Atlanta Hawks guard Delon Wright (0) drives in the first half of Game 2 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, April 19, 2022 in Miami defended. Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, left, is fouled by Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins in the first half of Game 2 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Miami. Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (3) shoots during the first half of Game 2 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, 19 Miami. Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) shoots while Atlanta Hawks forward De'Andre Hunter shoots during the first half of Game 2 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, May 19. April 2022, defended in Miami. David Beckham and his daughter Harper Seven Beckham pose for a photo with Miami Heat mascot Burnie during the first half of Game 2 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series between the Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks, Tuesday, May 19 Miami. David Beckham stands with his daughter Harper Seven Beckham during the first half of Game 2 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series between the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Miami. MIAMI (AP) -- Jimmy Butler got off the floor when his night shift was over, raising his arms in the air and heard a packed arena serenade him with screams. But Butler was just as good Tuesday night as he was during that bubble run — and the Miami Heat needed all his exploits. Butler posted a playoff career-high 45 points, including a personal 7-0 run down the stretch to decide the game, and the Heat held off the Atlanta Hawks 115-105 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series Tuesday night. Butler was 15 of 25 from the floor, 11 of 12 from the line, and 4 of 7 from 3-point range. This means the top seeded Heat go to Atlanta with a 2-0 lead. Tyler Herro scored 15 for Miami while Max Strus scored 14 and Vincent added 11 for top seed Miami. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 19 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter for Atlanta. Trae Young got his scoring touch back — he had 25 points in Game 2 after being held to eight in Game 1 — but also had a career-worst 10 turnovers for the 8th-seeded Hawks. De'Andre Hunter had 16 and John Collins finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks. Butler's previous playoff best was 40, made twice, both in the bubble, as The Heat advanced to the 2020 NBA Finals. Bogdanovic's 3-pointer with 3:15 left put Atlanta within 104-101. "Great basketball from a great basketball player, one of the best two-way players in the game," said heat guard Kyle Lowry. Butler had a dunk, a 3-pointer and another dunk - all in the span of 56 seconds - to take things from iffy to locked, taking Miami to 10 with 1:20 minutes left and ensuring the Heat could beat the As might be expected in a playoff series, pleasantries began to be exchanged with greater regularity. The first half saw 16 fouls by Atlanta and 14 by Miami -- a season-high for the Hawks, one below a season-high for the Heat , and those 30 personals didn't even include a double technique that Lowry and Hunter got face Young picked up a technique because he argued a foul on him near the end of the third round, the capper to a stage where the Heat from just ahead went to holders of a double digit lead going into the last 12 minutes. He played the entire third quarter but only managed two shots in that span - made both - and failed to get to the foul line while committing five turnovers in that period alone. "I think the difference in tonight's game was the turnovers," said Hawks coach Nate McMillan. "You can't have 19 turnovers in a playoff game and expect to win games. They scored 21 fewer than our turnovers back and forth, the game ended for much of those first quarters, and Kevin Huerter's stepback 3-pointer with 8:59 in the third drew Atlanta within 64-62. The Hawks went almost three minutes without another goal and the game looked very different after those three minutes. The Heat went 4 to 4 in that stretch - 3 points from Butler, P.J. Tucker and Strus, with a layup from Butler also in it - and it added up to an 11-0 run that pushed the lead to 75-62. The lead stayed at at least eight points for the next 11 minutes before Atlanta began fighting back. Young hit Collins with a layup shot, and Bogdanovic's long jump took Atlanta to 94-90 in the middle of Game 4. But the Hawks never went in the lead, he said in a conversation Monday night on with Tucker resonated — Tucker basically told him to score more — and Butler listened intently. "Just elite two-way basketball that he showed tonight," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. Hawks: Atlanta had three players (Hunter, Huerter and Bogdanovic) with three fouls at halftime for only the second time this season. Among the Hawks' adjustments attempted: Collins started Game 2, and Huerter opened the game by guarding Lowry. Heat: Duncan Robinson, who made eight 3s and scored 27 points in Game 1, went without a shot in seven minutes. Going back to the end of the regular season, Miami is 8-1 in their last nine games. Miami is now 5-1 against Atlanta this season. Teams that go 2-0 up in a best-of-seven match eventually win the series 92.4% of the time The Hawks have never recovered from 0-2 down in a series (0 :25) and the Heat have never squandered a 2-0 (17-0) lead — but there were four such rallies in last season's playoffs, two by Los Angeles Clippers and two more by Milwaukee. On Jan. 1, the Hawks are an NBA best 20-3 at home.

Read

Heat makes a resounding opening playoff statement, crushing Hawks, Trae Young 115-91

Not necessarily to set the tone in this best-of-seven opening round NBA playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks. Not necessarily stepping on an opponent who had made it through the play-in round just 39 hours earlier. And not necessarily to confirm the off-season makeover that Kyle Lowry and P.J. (Author: Gardener)

HawksHeat guard Kyle Lowry bumps his chest with forward Jimmy Butler after a basket against the Hawks in the first half of Game 1 of their first round playoff series at FTX Arena on Sunday in Miami. That's what the Miami Heat needed when they needed it, Sunday's 115-91 win at FTX Arena. Not necessarily to set the tone in this best-of-seven opening round NBA playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks. Not necessarily stepping on an opponent who had made it through the play-in round just 39 hours earlier. And not necessarily to validate the offseason overhaul that brought Kyle Lowry and P., but to simply clean up the stench of being swept out of the playoffs by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of last season, and on again to evoke the possibilities of a franchise that has progressed too far into the 2020 NBA Finals. And what a statement it was to never allow Trae Young to find his way in a game that was effectively decided in the first half. "They were swept in here last year," Young said, "so they came out with a different energy." So it goes for Tuesday's second game after he picked up a career-playoff-high 27 points from Duncan Robinson, 21 from Jimmy Butler, 16 from Tucker, plus nine assists from Lowry and a solid inside game from Bam Adebayo. "It's always nice to get the first shot," Robinson said, "but by and large it's just the first game. Sheer misery brought on by a Heat defense that limited him to 1-of-12 shots and eight points, his lowest performance of the season and only for the third time in his career he was limited to a single basket. "Miami played on a different level," said Hawks coach Nate McMillan. "We talked in our locker room about how there's another level to get to in the playoffs." It was the Heat's first win at their home arena since the 2016 Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Toronto Raptors, with all their 2020 playoff achievements came amid Disney World's quarantine bubble. "It was an incredible atmosphere," said Robinson, "which I certainly wasn't surprised by... Five degrees of heat from Sunday's game: 1. Attack Mode: After a miserable postseason led to a humiliating 2021 offseason, Butler came out in attack mode. "Just find a way to compete," Butler said of his playoff mindset. He completed 9 of 15 from the field, with six rebounds, four assists and three steals. "We're just concentrating on how to get two zeros up," Butler said. 2. Robinson in reserve: When it comes to the NBA's Sixth Man Award, that remains Tyler Herro's Heat province. But when it comes to the postseason, Robinson seems poised for his own bench testimony. After being replaced on the starting lineup in favor of Max Strus a month ago, Robinson closed 9 of 10 from the field, including 8 of 9 on 3 pointers. "The beauty of this time of year," Robinson said, "is you just have to focus on what's in front of you." The eight 3-pointers set a franchise record and broke the record of seven he previously held shared with Mike Miller and Damon Jones. "I'm just concentrating on what I can do to help us win," said Robinson. Or as Butler said, "We saw the confident Duncan." The Heat needed Robinson's bank boost, and Herro finished with six points on 3-of-11 shooting. 3. His time: After being part of the Bucks' roster that ousted the Heat in the first round of last season's playoffs en route to Milwaukee's championship, Tucker recalled his postseason value. This time it meant 11 points in the third quarter as he shot 4 of 5 from the field while also maintaining his lockdown defense. He closed 6 of 8 from the field with five rebounds. He just does so many intangible things," said Spoelstra, who practically gushed over Tucker's defense. Tucker, who missed last Sunday's season finale in Orlando with a calf strain, said he was by no means satisfied with last season's title. "Same hunger, same intensity, if not more," he said. 4. Staying in form: Just as Spoelstra played it at the end of the regular season, he stayed true to this rotation in the playoff opener. That was what Strus had on the starting lineup alongside Butler, Adebayo, Lowry and Tucker. It also had Herro, Dewayne Dedmon, Robinson and Gabe Vincent off the bench for the first round. As was the case when the Heat closed at the end of the regular season, it meant Victor Oladipo and Markieff Morris were absent from at least the first playoff mix. 5. Numbers game: As you would expect from a veteran, Lowry tried to add perspective. "Every single game in the playoffs is a different game," he said of the magnitude of the blowout. Still, the Heat have won 13 of the last 15 series that have led them 1-0.

Read

Jimmy Butler is like Dwyane Wade and better now for the Heat than in the Bubble

"I'm a different player now than I was then, and I'm OK with that," Butler said. Kyle Lowry added: "He won the game for us tonight." (Author: Gardener)

Jimmy ButlerMIAMI — As of Tuesday night, the most memorable moment from Jimmy Butler's season was one the Heat would rather forget. Certainly not Erik Spoelstra, the coach who, almost a month ago, during a break on the bench, got into a roaring match with his best player that ended in tackles and an epic clipboard slam. Spoelstra, who has consistently downplayed it, brought it up in the closing moments of his post-game press conference that followed one of the best games Butler has played. "You should have seen our locker room," Spoelstra said, answering a question that wasn't even Butler related about the Atlanta Hawks beating Miami to a bunch of loose balls in the first half of Game 2. "Do you think whatever that was a month ago, you should have seen us at halftime," Spoelstra said, smiling as the words came out of his mouth, suggesting the way the heat was handling the problem Not getting enough loose balls solved consisted of yelling at each other some more. Nobody yelled at Butler on Tuesday. He ignited Miami in a good way, setting a new career high for points in a playoff game with 45 points and going on a 7-0 sprint late in the fourth quarter to earn a 115-105 win. He could shoot (15 of 25), he could shoot 3s (4 of 7 after shooting just 23 percent from deep this season) and he could make free throws (11 of 12, after a 2 of -7 effort in game 1). Butler maintained his role as the primary defender to Trae Young, who was pushed into the worst 10 turnovers of his career and had five rebounds and five assists. "He won the game for us tonight," said Kyle Lowry. "It's a team game but his performance from both sides was spectacular. “This time of year he has to be bucket fetching and Jimmy Buckets so no conversation needed for him. He understands how to play basketball and understands his spots, and making 3s takes his game to the next level.” If the butler we saw for the Heat in Game 2 is going to be who he is in the playoffs - 45 points or not - he's a changed man from the Butler, who was on the court all season for Miami. And he's, he points out, a very different player from Bubble Jimmy, who dragged the Heat into a sixth game in the NBA Finals as the No. 5 and hit his all-time playoff high of 40 points in Game 5 against the Lakers. He's making more shots, especially at the 3-point line, and making them. Despite being Miami's top scorer this season and last, Butler only averaged two 3s per game in both campaigns and made them rarely. Through two games in that series against Atlanta, which leads Miami 2-0, he's 5-of-8 from deep. "He's finally shooting them," said Gabe Vincent, a key role player off the bench for the Game 2 Heat. Now that he's shooting that 3-ball more confidently, he's making them, and it just takes his offensive play to another level." Butler attributes his spike in 3-point attempts early in the postseason to collective harassment from his teammates "Honestly, everyone just bugs me about shooting more 3-pointers, so I'm out there," Butler said said he had two conversations — one Monday night with P.J. Tucker and another Tuesday morning with Miami assistant coach Chris Quinn — about the need for him to score with a high cut in Game 2 against the Hawks. Not that he did would have avoided in Game 1, his 21 points on Sunday were right in line with his season average, but there was a collective feeling that with fresher legs and sharper game planning on the d he Hawks might have to carry the offensive of the Heat. Butler kept it easy on Tuesday afternoon, listening to Backstreet Boys, playing Spades and posting on his Instagram. Duncan Robinson, the leading man of Sunday's heat, failed to score in just seven minutes. Butler stood behind them. "I'm trying to tell you, my teammates and the coaches and everyone has so much faith in me to hit the ball and ease the ball and stop it, I'm just out there. I just take the shot the defense gives me and they've been going in lately. The larger shift over time is perhaps more important to Butler and the Heat because it relates to how he feels about his teammates and those around him. He was asked if Tuesday's game reminded him of his 2020 playoff run in the Disney bubble, and he was quick to say, "No, I'm a different player now than I was then, and I'm OK with that." When asked after explaining, he said: "I'm not that ball-dominant. We have a point guard and that's Kyle. I love him as a point guard. (If I) can't score, pass the ball. We're a different team and I'm a different player and it's better. That's how we're better.” This is Lowry's first season with The Heat. Butler's usage and assists are down compared to previous seasons, and that's by design. Neither Butler nor center Bam Adebayo are Miami's primary initiator on offense. This is Tucker's first season in Miami. With him here, Butler is no longer the best full-back in the Heat. After Game 1, Butler expressed his confidence and, more importantly, his faith in Max Strus, a first starter who didn't shoot well on Sunday but still defended by Heat standard. Butler similarly praised Vincent for his two-way performance in Game 2. The more teammates Butler trusts, the less burden he carries to do everything. He can do a little less of everything, which gives him the freedom to do something better. After Tuesday's game, a reporter compared Butler and his 3-point shooting to Heat legend Dwyane Wade, a low-percentage shooter who seemed to have a knack for knocking down open 3s at key moments in the playoffs. Spoelstra said: "It's actually a good comparison because when you get into those moments of pressure and those moments of truth when you're on the other side, would you ever want to just give Dwyane Wade an open 3? Compare to Heat Glory's flag bearer. Encouragement to the point of being asked by teammates to shoot. You could say Jimmy Buckets is in a different, better place than picking a time. "You have to have that dark side and that demeanor to push other people to be better," Lowry said. He is always on time and ready to do his thing and go into battle.

Read

Butler scores 45 points, Heat defeats Hawks 115-105 for a 2-0 lead

MIAMI (AP) - Jimmy Butler went off the floor when his night shift was finished, ... (Author: Gardener)

MIAMIMiami Heat guard Max Strus, left, and forward Jimmy Butler (22) move up court for a heat possession and Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young loses control of the ball in the first half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball playoff Series First Round, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Miami. Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) goes to the basket and is tackled by Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) during the first half of Game 2 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, April 19 2022, fouled in Miami. Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry (7) is fouled by Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (3) during the first half of Game 2 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, April 19, 2022 in Miami. Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins attempts a basket while Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) during the first half of Game 2 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, April 19, 2022 in Miami defended. Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) drives to the basket while Atlanta Hawks guard Delon Wright (0) drives in the first half of Game 2 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, April 19, 2022 in Miami defended. Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo, left, is fouled by Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins in the first half of Game 2 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Miami. Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (3) shoots during the first half of Game 2 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, 19 Miami. Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) shoots while Atlanta Hawks forward De'Andre Hunter shoots during the first half of Game 2 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, May 19. April 2022, defended in Miami. David Beckham and his daughter Harper Seven Beckham pose for a photo with Miami Heat mascot Burnie during the first half of Game 2 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series between the Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks, Tuesday, May 19 Miami. David Beckham stands with his daughter Harper Seven Beckham during the first half of Game 2 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series between the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, in Miami. MIAMI (AP) -- Jimmy Butler got off the floor when his night shift was over, raising his arms in the air and heard a packed arena serenade him with screams. But Butler was just as good Tuesday night as he was during that bubble run — and the Miami Heat needed all his exploits. Butler posted a playoff career-high 45 points, including a personal 7-0 run down the stretch to decide the game, and the Heat held off the Atlanta Hawks 115-105 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series Tuesday night. "We go as he goes," said heat guard Gabe Vincent. Butler was 15 of 25 from the floor, 11 of 12 from the line, and 4 of 7 from 3-point range. As such, the top-seeded Heat will go Atlanta with a 2-0 lead Tyler Herro scored 15 for Miami, while Max Strus scored 14 and Vincent added 11 for top-seeded Miami Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 19 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter for Atlanta's Trae Young Goal touchback - he had 25 points in Game 2 after being held to 8 in Game 1 - but also had a career-worst 10 turnovers for the 8th-seeded Hawks. De'Andre Hunter had 16 and John Collins finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks. Butler's previous playoff best was 40, made twice, both in the bubble, as the Heat advanced to the 2020 NBA Finals. Bogdanovic's 3-pointer with 3:15 left put Atlanta within 104-101. "Great basketball from a great basketball player, one of the best two-wayers in the game," said heat guard Kyle Lowry. Butler had a dunk, a 3-pointer and another dunk - all in a 56 second span - around the Taking things from dodgy to suspended, taking Miami to 10 with 1:20 minutes left and ensuring the Heat would wrap up the win.As one would expect in a playoff series, pleasantries began to be exchanged with greater regularity. The first half saw 16 fouls from Atlanta and 14 from Miami — a season-high for the Hawks, one below the season-high for the Heat, and those 30 personals didn't even include a double technical that Lowry and Hunter got face-to-face, Young picked up a technical error for arguing a foul on him late in the third round, the capper to a period that saw the Heat go from just ahead to holders of a double-digit lead in the last 12 minutes. He played the entire third quarter but only managed two shots in that span - made both - and missed the foul line while committing five turnovers in that period alone. "I think the difference in tonight's game was the turnovers," said Hawks coach Nate McMillan. "You can't have 19 turnovers in a playoff game and expect to win games. They scored 21 fewer than our turnovers back and forth, the game ended for much of those first quarters, and Kevin Huerter's stepback 3-pointer with 8:59 in the third drew Atlanta within 64-62. The Hawks went almost three minutes without another goal and the game looked very different after those three minutes. The Heat went 4 to 4 in that stretch - 3 points from Butler, P.J. Tucker and Strus, with a layup from Butler also in it - and it added up to an 11-0 run that pushed the lead to 75-62. The lead stayed at at least eight points for the next 11 minutes before Atlanta began fighting back. Young hit Collins with a layup shot, and Bogdanovic's long jump took Atlanta to 94-90 in the middle of Game 4. But the Hawks never went in the lead, he said in a conversation Monday night on with Tucker resonated — Tucker basically told him to score more — and Butler listened intently. "Just elite two-way basketball that he showed tonight," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. Hawks: Atlanta had three players (Hunter, Huerter and Bogdanovic) with three fouls at halftime for only the second time this season. Among the Hawks' adjustments attempted: Collins started Game 2, and Huerter opened the game by guarding Lowry. Heat: Duncan Robinson, who made eight 3s and scored 27 points in Game 1, went without a shot in seven minutes. Going back to the end of the regular season, Miami is 8-1 in their last nine games. Miami is now 5-1 against Atlanta this season. Teams that go 2-0 up in a best-of-seven match eventually win the series 92.4% of the time The Hawks have never recovered from 0-2 down in a series (0 :25) and the Heat have never squandered a 2-0 (17-0) lead — but there were four such rallies in last season's playoffs, two by Los Angeles Clippers and two more by Milwaukee. On Jan. 1, the Hawks are an NBA best 20-3 at home.

Read

The Miami Heat have mastered winning with unconscripted talent

Pat Riley and the Miami Heat have signed some of the biggest names in the NBA - from LeBron James to Jimmy Butler - by turning undrafted players into rotations. (Author: Gardener)

The Miami HeatIt was an early April night and the Miami Heat had just gone up 18 points with 1:36 to play the Chicago Bulls. As coach Erik Spoelstra looked down at his bench, he called out a familiar name. Udonis Haslem, now 41 years old and with stray gray hair to prove it, got up, went to the scorer's table and checked in. Haslem, now in his 19th season, was not drafted in 2002 and played a year in France Liga with his hometown club before moving. As Haslem entered the game against the Bulls that night, he stepped on the floor with four other undrafted players: Duncan Robinson, Haywood Highsmith, Omer Yurtseven and Gabe Vincent. Every team uses undrafted players, a reality in a league with 510 roster spots (including two-way contracts) and only 60 drafts per season. However, Miami became the fourth team in NBA history this season to field at least five undrafted players in at least 65 games, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information. Of the four teams, the Heat is the only one with a winning record. The Heat have perfected the art of winning with untapped talent -- because they have to. Pat Riley, Miami team president since 1995, has endeavored to pursue big names through trade and free agency during his tenure. When he first arrived in Miami, he traded for Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway. Odom and Grant were put in the deal to acquire Shaquille O'Neal in 2004. Since taking over, Riley has hit just 14 first-round picks in 26 drafts -- and three of those have been traded in draft-night deals. To do that -- and be successful -- Miami must face its undrafted signers. "That's our organizing philosophy," Spoelstra told ESPN. We're not for everyone, but we love being dream makers." IT WAS Spring 2018, and Chet Kammerer, a longtime member of Heat's player HR department, was drafting players for the upcoming NBA draft -- one in which the Heat actually didn't have any of their favorites.At a private practice session in Los Angeles, he saw a player who didn't make many draft boards, but one he embodied for what his team had so often found: an unheralded prospect, with a defined one Role that could be a mainstay for years to come. That player was Duncan Robinson, ex-D-III transfer turned Michigan. Kammerer reached out to one of the then 24-year-old's representatives. "So, what did the boy before?" Kammerer asked. "I've just had the best shooting practice I've ever seen," he told Spoelstra. The head coach excitedly asked who the promising young candidate was. Duncan Robinson, Kammerer told him. "You mean Michigan's sixth man?" Spoelstra asked incredulously. He has his sights set on the Big Ten's 2017-18 sixth man of the year following his first professional training. After failing to be called up, Robinson signed to be a part of Miami's summer league roster. In seven games in the Sacramento and Las Vegas leagues, Robinson averaged 12.4 points and shot a searing 21 from 38 from long range. That performance helped earn him a two-way contract with the Heat. From there, Robinson spent time with Miami's G-League team, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. By the time the 2019/20 season kicked off, Robinson had earned a starting spot. Last summer, Robinson signed the largest undrafted player contract in NBA history -- $90 million over five years. Robinson's story is well known in the Miami franchise. Step 1: Find a prospect. "We're giving you the same opportunity as the #1 draft pick," says Haslem. "You have to work hard. The Heat's recipe for success really is that simple. While not every player Heat discovers becomes a success story, the organization is consistent in their search criteria. "People who care about the work and this process use," says Spoelstra. "Our coaching staff, most of them are products of our player development program. For his part, Max Strus says it is important for the team to take care of individual players. "They want to work with you and see that you're great," says Strus. “If you fully commit to the culture and the work, you will be rewarded for all the effort you put into it. That's really just the biggest thing that separates The Heat from a lot of other organizations: how much they care and want to develop guys." Spoelstra says player development boils down to the work of veterans like Haslem. "It's really our biggest thing You can put all the work into it, but when the veterans don't really encourage and enable that, it's really tough for young people in this league," says Spoelstra. "Our vets were outstanding." And the biggest vet of them all leads the charge "The reason we can get these guys to work hard is before we even approach them about basketball, we let you know that you're part of the family and we want what's best for you," says Haslem "As an undrafted guy you go into this organization and you wear that jersey, you don't have to look any further than [Haslem]," says Robinson.He loves guys with chips on their shoulders.ROBINSON BEG INNT all but 16 games he's played for the Heat in the last three regular seasons. His role changed late in the 2021-22 regular season. Spoelstra benched Robinson and put Strus - another undrafted player - on the starting lineup. With Strus as a starter, Miami went 14-2. "It's a competitive environment," says Strus. "It suits people like us because we're just trying to take advantage of every opportunity because you never know when you'll get one or if we're even going to have one." He had 27 points in Miami's 115-91 Game 1 win on Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks — which equals his best performance during a game in the regular season — and set a heat playoff record with eight 3-pointers. Miami's undrafted players collected nearly 40% of their total points this season, second best in the NBA. Robinson (10.9 points per game), Strus (10.6 PPG), Caleb Martin (9.2 PPG), and Vincent (8.7 PPG) accounted for almost 80% of that 3,595 points. On December 17, 2021, Miami's undrafted players averaged 83 points against the Orlando Magic -- the second most points by any team this season. In fact, there have been 14 instances of undrafted players who scored 70 points or more in a regular-season game this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The Heat had eight of them. Four of the top 5 games played for the Heat this season were undrafted players: Robinson (79), Vincent (68), Strus (68), and Dewayne Dedmon (67). Tucker, a 2006 second-round draft pick, was second on that list with 71. That tally propelled the Heat to a 53-win season, the first 50-win season in South Beach since the Big Three's final year in 2013. 14 -- and a No. 1 seed. "We don't have the leash that the conscripts have," says Haslem. “We don't have the luxury of making the mistakes that conscripts made. We don't have the luxury of being lazy like the conscripts. We don't have the luxury of not knowing the plays like the conscripts do. We They don't have the luxury of not playing as hard as the conscripts. We don't have that luxury if you don't get drafted.

Read

50 Brené Brown quotes to keep you motivated

Let these words of wisdom from public speaker and best-selling author Brené Brown guide you through life's most difficult moments. Brené Brown's 50 Quotes for Powerful Motivation featured first on Reader's Digest. (Author: Gardener)

Brené BrownIf you've never heard of Brené Brown, you're missing out on a powerful motivation. Not only is she a five-time New York Times bestselling author, but she is also an amazing speaker whose TED Talk has garnered over 50 million views online. As if that wasn't impressive enough, she's also a research professor who has spent the past few decades studying empathy, vulnerability, shame, and courage. Throughout her career she has become known for her powerful and uplifting use of words, which is why we've compiled 50 of our favorite Brené Brown quotes, covering everything from leadership quotes and Monday motivational quotes to confidence quotes and quotes about change. No matter what kind of inspiration you need, these quotes from Brené Brown will hit the spot. The following quotes aren't just good for self-motivation; They are also great for sharing with others. And in such difficult and unexpected times as these last few years, we could all benefit from some uplifting quotes and life changing quotes. While sharing a quote might not seem like much, it might be just what the people in your life need to hear to start their day off on the right foot. Check out dozens of amazing Brené Brown quotes below. We move what we learn from our minds to our hearts through our hands.” 3. “In a society that says 'put yourself last', self-love and self-acceptance are revolutionary.” 5. “But true Belonging is not something we negotiate or achieve with others. ... It's a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts." 6. "To me, a leader is someone who holds themselves accountable for seeing potential in people and processes." 8 ... "When we're ready, that Taking risks, venturing into the wilderness and even becoming our own wilderness, we feel the deepest connection to our true selves and to what matters most.” 9. “True belonging never asks us to change who we are . True belonging requires that we are who we are.” “You may not control all of the events that happen to you, but you can choose not to be reduced by them.” “Let go of who you think you are ; Embrace who you are.” Love these Brené Brown quotes? Here are some inspirational good morning quotes that will make you feel like you rule the world. "You might not have signed up for a Hero's Journey, but the second you fell, got your butt kicked, had a disappointment, screwed up, or felt your heart break, it started. It doesn't matter if we're ready for an emotional adventure—hurts happen. And it happens to each and every one of us. The only decision we have to make is what role we play in our own lives: do we want to write the story or do we want to give that power to someone else? Choosing to write our own story means feeling uncomfortable; it's about choosing courage over comfort.” “I don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness—it's right in front of me if I pay attention and practice gratitude.” “If we're brave enough often enough, we'll fall . That's the physics of vulnerability.” “Talk to yourself as you would to someone you love.” “The middle is messy, but that's where the magic happens.” “Connecting the dots of our lives, especially the ones we'd rather deleting or skipping requires equal parts self-love and curiosity.” “When we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame cannot survive.” If you enjoy these Brené Brown quotes, check out the best hope quotes who will straighten you up immediately. "The truth is, falling hurts. The challenge is to continue to be brave and grope your way back up.” “There will be times when it is too difficult and too scary to stand alone and we will doubt our ability to make our way through it to find uncertainty. You don't have what it takes to survive in the wild.” That's when you reach deep into your wild heart and remember, 'I am the wild.'” “We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can't have both. "I see now that the most courageous thing is to own our story and to love ourselves during this process." "Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light." “When we combine the courage to be clear about what works for us and what doesn't, with the compassion to believe that people are doing their best, our lives change.” “Courage is contagious. A critical mass of courageous leaders is the foundation of a consciously courageous culture. Every time we are brave with our lives, we make those around us a little braver and our organizations braver and stronger.” “Brave leaders are never silent about difficult things.” “We desperately need more leaders who are committed to bold, righteous leadership and who are confident enough to lead from their hearts, rather than underdeveloped leaders who lead from pain and fear.” “Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing the right thing, which is fun, fast or easy; and choosing to live our values ​​rather than simply profess them.” “Everyone has a story or a struggle that will break your heart. And if we're really careful, most people have a story that will bring us to our knees.” “Until we can receive with an open heart, we never really give with an open heart. When we judge receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly make judgments about giving help.” “I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they draw nourishment and strength from the relationship.” “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are and embracing who we are.” “Vulnerability is not weakness. “Remaining vulnerable is a risk we must take if we are to experience connection.” “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage are not always comfortable, but they are never weakness.” “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or a deeper and more meaningful spiritual life, vulnerability is the way.” That is the truest nature of love.” “Here is what truly is at the heart of sincerity: worthy now. We are now worthy of love and belonging to be present with people without sacrificing who we are.” “You are imperfect, you are destined for battle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” Remember: love should come from within. Here are some self-love quotes that will convince you it feels like a million bucks Brené Brown's 50 Strong Motivation Quotes post appeared first on Reader's Digest.

Read