Kevin Love says Jimmy Butler is the best closer in the NBA'
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Miami Heat forward Kevin Love continues to heap massive praise on star Jimmy Butler during the team’s playoff run.

Love believes that Butler is the best closer in the NBA, a massive compliment when one considers the players that Love has played with in his career. During his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Love got to see firsthand how great Kyrie Irving, LeBron James and Donovan Mitchell were in the clutch.

Yet, it seems like he’d take Butler over all those guys — and the rest of the NBA — down the stretch.

“He is the best closer in the game in my opinion,” Love said.

Butler, who was named to the All-NBA Second Team this season, has been elite in the playoffs for Miami.

In the first round, Miami upset the Milwaukee Bucks in five games, and Butler turned in all all-time performance in Game 4, scoring 56 points to lead the Heat to a victory. The No. 8-seeded Heat have dominated when Butler has been in the lineup during the 2023 playoffs, going 7-2.

An ankle injury knocked Butler out of Game 2 of the second round against the New York Knicks, but he returned in Game 3, leading Miami to a 3-1 series lead before the team lost Game 5 on Wednesday night.

During the playoffs this season, Butler is averaging 31.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.9 steals per game while shooting 55.1 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from 3-point range.

His scoring numbers have dropped a bit against New York, but he’s still making a huge impact on the game with his passing and decision-making.

If Miami can win Game 6 or Game 7 against the Knicks, it will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in four seasons since Butler joined the franchise.

Love, who came to the team in the middle of the 2022-23 season after being bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers, is clearly appreciating his time playing alongside Butler. Love’s experience and shooting have been instrumental to Miami’s success in the playoffs this season.

Butler will look to show that he’s the best closer in the NBA when the Heat and Knicks face off in Miami on Friday night for Game 6. That game is scheduled to tip off at 7:30 p.m. EST.

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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.