Donovan Mitchell compares Jimmy Butler to James Harden in crucial aspect of game: ‘He is an artist’

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Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell recently marveled at Jimmy Butler’s knack for drawing fouls, comparing him to Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden.

Mitchell offered his comparison in the wake of the Heat’s 124-116 win over the Jazz on Friday night, which was the Heat’s ninth win in their last 12 games.

“He is an artist,” Mitchell said. “I put him in the James Harden category. If you were to watch how to draw fouls from a guard standpoint, those are two guys that understand all the little things. He finds clever ways to get to the free throw line. I’ve been watching him because I have been trying to do the same myself.”

In that game against the Jazz, Butler scored 33 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out eight assists. He took 11 free throws in the game, converting on nine of them.

That aggressive approach has helped broaden Butler’s overall game, though he’s joked that some fouls that he’s drawn have required some acting ability.

Still, it’s clear that Butler’s leadership is a key reason why the surging Heat are moving up in the Eastern Conference standings. Last month, he missed 10 games due to COVID-19 issues, with the Heat losing eight of those 10 contests.

Butler also hasn’t been shy about challenging his own teammates in an effort to establish a winning mindset, which resulted in the Heat reaching the NBA Finals last season.

Heat fans are hoping that Butler’s ability to draw fouls continues to play a part in victories, which could potentially lead to a postseason battle between Butler’s Heat squad and Harden’s Nets.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.