Jimmy Butler’s friend on Celtics: ‘They better be thanking the basketball gods they didn’t see a Miami team with a healthy Jimmy’

3 Min Read
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

One of Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler’s friends believes that Miami would have beat the Boston Celtics in five games in the first round of the playoffs if Butler were healthy.

Butler is currently out of the lineup after he suffered a right MCL injury against the Philadelphia 76ers in Miami’s loss in the play-in tournament.

That loss led to the Heat eventually earning the No. 8 seed in the East (after they beat the Chicago Bulls in the play-in), setting up a first-round matchup with Boston.

While the Celtics won Game 1 in Boston in commanding fashion, the Heat stormed back in Game 2, shooting the lights out to pull off an upset win and even the series at one game apiece.

As a team, the Heat shot 23-for-43 from beyond the arc with Caleb Martin (5-for-6 from 3), Tyler Herro (6-for-11 from 3), Nikola Jovic (3-for-4 from 3), Haywood Highsmith (3-for-5 from 3) and Jaime Jaquez Jr. (3-for-6 from 3) leading the way.

Last season, Miami was the No. 8 seed in the East and ended up reaching the NBA Finals, knocking out the No. 1-seeded Milwaukee Bucks out of the playoffs in five games in the first round.

Not only that, but Miami ended up beating the Celtics in seven games (after it took a 3-0 series lead) in the Eastern Conference Finals.

With Butler on the roster, Miami has made the Eastern Conference Finals in three of the previous four seasons, reaching the NBA Finals twice.

So, it’s not surprising that Butler’s friend thinks that Miami would have rolled past Boston if the Heat star were healthy.

For now, Miami will keep looking to lean on Herro, Bam Adebayo and others to pick up the slack in Butler’s absence.

After the win on Wednesday night, Butler trolled the Celtics on Instagram with a hilarious post of himself photoshopped over Celtics star Jaylen Brown.

While it’s going to be tough for Miami to repeat the success of last season with Butler sidelined, it showed that it can compete with one of the NBA’s best teams on Wednesday. During the regular season, the Celtics only lost four games at home, but Miami was able to steal one in the playoffs early in the series.

The Heat will look to continue to make Butler proud in Game 3, which is scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m. EST on Saturday, April 27.

Share This Article
Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.