Nick Wright says he’s taking Jimmy Butler over Jayson Tatum in a Game 7

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Nick Wright of “First Things First” would take several NBA players — including Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler — over Jayson Tatum in a Game 7.

Tatum had one of the best Game 7s in NBA history against the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round of the 2023 playoffs. He scored a whopping 51 points on 17-of-28 shooting from the field and 6-of-10 from 3-point range to go along with 13 rebounds, five assists and two steals in a game the Boston Celtics won by 24 points to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

But Tatum followed up his historic performance against the 76ers with a forgettable Game 7 against the Heat in the next round. The 25-year-old injured his ankle very early on in the game and ended up with 14 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and one steal across 42 minutes of playing time.

Butler, on the other hand, played at a pretty high level in Miami’s 19-point road victory over the Celtics. He dropped a team-high 28 points and also contributed seven rebounds, six assists and three steals.

The 34-year-old’s showing against the Celtics was just one of several unforgettable performances that he had during Miami’s improbable playoff run to the NBA Finals. In the Heat’s close-out win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 of the first round, he scored 42 points on 33 shots from the field.

In the game before, Butler finished with an unbelievable 56 points while shooting 19-of-28 from the floor and 3-of-8 from deep. Thanks in large to his scoring outburst, the Heat beat the Bucks by five points to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.

While Tatum has proven he can star when the lights are at their brightest, he doesn’t have quite the reputation for being a clutch player as Butler does. After all, Butler put the Heat on his back numerous times throughout the team’s playoff run a season ago.

Plus, Butler has led the Heat to two NBA Finals appearances since the dawn of the decade, while Tatum has led the Celtics to just one during that span.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.