RJ Barrett gushes over 'really smart' Jimmy Butler after defending him past 2 games - Heat Nation

RJ Barrett gushes over ‘really smart’ Jimmy Butler after defending him past 2 games

Jimmy Butler and RJ Barrett Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett battled the Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler twice within the past week and came away impressed with his aggressive approach and leadership abilities.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald looked at a number of different Heat-related topics and noted that Butler’s all-around game has been strong, quoting Barrett’s endorsement of the veteran’s basketball IQ.

“He draws a lot of fouls,” Barrett said. “That’s something I can pick up from his game. He is also really smart, making all the right plays and getting his teammates involved. Really good to go against.”

The 20-year-old Barrett, who faced off against Butler and the Heat on Sunday and Tuesday, is in his second NBA season after being the third overall pick in the 2019 draft. This season, he’s averaging 17.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.

In those two games, Barrett struggled as he scored a total of just 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out two assists.

Both of those games resulted in badly needed wins for the Heat, who have won four of the six games that Butler has played in since his return from COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Butler’s leadership was a huge part of the Heat’s drive to the NBA Finals last season and will play a key role this year as well. The Heat’s next chance to improve on their 10-14 record comes Thursday night, when they play a road matchup against the Houston Rockets.

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