Miami Heat secure victory behind versatile Butler, hot Nunn

 The Miami Heat were able to secure a win behind a strong effort from Jimmy Butler.

The Miami Heat recorded a huge victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night. With Miami winning by a 106-97 margin, there were many good things to take away from the game. However, one thing stood out to me in particular: Jimmy Butler had 11 assists.

Now, I am not diminishing the efforts of Kendrick Nunn at all. His 28 points paced the Heat’s offensive attack. However, it was Butler’s contributions on Thursday evening that spearheaded the Miami Heat towards a victory. His willingness to share the basketball showed up in the box score and on the court. Five different Miami Heat players scored in double figures.  Butler himself had 21 points. In addition, he had six steals and three blocks.

This game reminded me of his days in Chicago. In Philadelphia, there were a lot of mouths to feed in terms of sharing the basketball. In Chicago, he was more of the superstar that the Bulls leaned on. I think he will serve a similar role here in Miami, but the production from the youngsters has made me believe that he will not do it all by himself.

Miami Heat received all-around effort from Butler

When I think of Jimmy Butler, I think of a player who bullies his way to the basket, and can drive to the hoop with ease. I forget sometimes how good he is defensively. He reminded me Thursday just how impactful he can be on that end. Butler is a stout defender that is not afraid to get up in the face of his man and make life uncomfortable. He plays the game with tremendous passion, and it shows.

The fact that Butler was able to combine his scoring prowess with his defensive skill set on Thursday was great to see. It’s hard to play defense in today’s NBA. It seems like everything is called a foul nowadays. It’s easy to accumulate a ton of points, it’s harder to accumulate steals and blocks. Butler did a nice job of that and as a result, he made a huge impact on the game.

He is going to be fun to watch in a Miami Heat uniform. Thursday night, he proved that. If he can play like this every single night, this team is going to make a very deep playoff run.


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