Let's revisit Jimmy's Q4, shall we?
🔥 18 points
🔥 7/7 FGM
🔥 4/4 FTM pic.twitter.com/1uB5sVQR2e
Butler wasn’t very aggressive early on in the game, as he only had two points at halftime. However, he really turned it on in the second half and led the Heat to an important win.
Following the game, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra seemingly compared the 33-year-old’s dominance late in games to that of Heat legend Dwyane Wade, who has a close relationship with Butler.
"If you can't appreciate how many different things [Jimmy Butler] does to impact winning, you're just really not paying attention to all the aspects of the game."
— Bally Sports Florida & Bally Sports Sun (@BallySportsFL) April 5, 2023
“He really reminds me of somebody when he gets in that mode down the stretch,” Spoelstra said. “I am not going to say who that is. I did mention it to him. I’ll let you guys figure that out.”
Although Spoelstra wouldn’t budge on who he was referencing, Butler later appeared to confirm that the comparison was to Wade.
Butler talked about why it’s a blessing and curse to be compared to Wade.
“It’s like a blessing and a curse because he is without a doubt one of the greats, as you see the news of him being in the Hall of Fame,” Butler said. “But then it’s like every time you do anything, that’s who you get compared to. And I love him to death. But my goodness, it’s hard to be compared to him every step of the way. But like I said, it is a blessing, as well.”
Throughout his storied career, Wade had fourth-quarter averages of 5.1 points, 1.2 assists and 1.2 rebounds per outing on 42.9 percent shooting.
This season, Butler is averaging 5.2 points per night in the fourth quarter on 52.6 percent shooting from the field. He’s getting 7.1 minutes per contest in the final frame this season, and that number has led Spoelstra to receive some criticism from fans.
Plenty of people believe Butler gets reinserted into games a little too late in the fourth quarter. Regardless, the veteran is still able to leave his mark on games fairly often.
Wade had a knack for showing up when the lights were the brightest. In fact, former NBA head coach Stan Van Gundy recently labeled Wade as the best last-shot player he’s ever seen. The legendary shooting guard had plenty of game-winning shots over the course of his career.
Butler is currently focused on helping the Heat secure an outright playoff spot. Miami is in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, one game behind the sixth-place Brooklyn Nets. Because the Nets hold the tiebreaker over the Heat by way of winning the season series 3-0, Miami is essentially two games behind.
Both teams have three games left in the regular season. If Miami is unable to overtake Brooklyn in the standings, it will have to make the playoffs by way of the play-in tournament.
The Heat have yet to compete in the play-in tournament in its short history.