Entering the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the Miami Heat did not have a lot of believers outside of South Florida.
Despite the fact that the Heat had earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, many pundits quickly wrote them off as pretenders.
Some even thought that the Atlanta Hawks would beat the Heat in their first-round series. Now, with the series entering Game 5 with the Heat owning a commanding 3-1 lead, the narrative has changed drastically.
In fact, the Heat absolutely look like one of the favorites to come out of the East. A big part of the reason why is superstar Jimmy Butler.
Though Butler was fantastic in the regular season, he has once again taken his game to another level for the playoffs. Former NBA sharpshooter J.J. Redick recently took some time to put Butler’s recent performances into perspective.
Heat Lifer JJ Redick spittin’ yet again 🗣🗣🗣 pic.twitter.com/tv0YfxlHF4
— 𝙈𝙚𝙡𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝘼𝙇𝙙𝙤𝙣𝙞𝙨 ™ (@AIR305) April 26, 2022
“I don’t know who needs to hear this by the way ’cause it’s not on the docket,” Redick said during a recent appearance on ESPN. “It’s not on the docket for today, but Jimmy Butler has been the best player in these playoffs. … He’s been far and away the best player in these playoffs.”
Redick is a highly respected voice in the world of NBA analysts because he spent so many years in the league. Though this may finally wake up some NBA fans to the fact that the Heat are legit contenders, it certainly won’t change anything for the Heat inside their locker room. They clearly already know that they have what it takes to compete for a title this season.
As for Butler, he will surely continue to do everything in his power to lead his team to victory. Right now, he’s averaging 30.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.8 steals per game in the playoffs.