Former Chicago Bulls star wing Jimmy Butler is standing out for the Miami Heat, pushing them past the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals.
After steamrolling the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in their second round playoff series earlier this week, former Chicago Bulls star shooting guard/small forward Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat are onto the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in South Beach since the departure of LeBron James. But “Jimmy G. Buckets” and the Heat don’t seem to be getting all of the credit they deserve after making it through the first two rounds of the playoffs nearly unscathed.
Butler and the Heat swept the four-seed Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs, as the five-seed in the East, before taking on the Bucks. Not only did the Bucks have the top seed in the East, but they carried the best overall record in the NBA into the postseason. And the Heat got past the one-seed Bucks in just five games to move onto the Eastern Conference Finals.
Now the Heat will either be taking on the two-seed and defending NBA Champion Toronto Raptors, or the three-seed Boston Celtics, in the Eastern Conference Finals. After a thrilling Game 6 that went into overtime and ended with a Raptors victory, Boston and Toronto will have their series come down to a crucial Game 7 heading into the weekend to decide who will face the Heat.
Whoever faces the Heat in the next round will have to deal with the still slightly under-appreciated Butler. According to a piece from Hoops Hype on Sep. 10, there is data backing Butler as the NBA’s most consistent player. This piece from Hoops Hype went back Global Rating to measure player’s consistency and efficiency, and the all-encompassing metric they found slotted Butler at the top of the list.
Here’s more on what this piece had to say on the matter.
Recently, we researched every player’s Global Rating* score for each game of the campaign (both regular season and playoffs included) to see how often their Global Rating was between 80 percent to 120 percent of their average score. This is a good way to get a barometer on each player’s level of consistency.
In 43.28 percent of Butler’s appearances for the Heat this campaign, the five-time All-Star had a Global Rating within 80 and 120 percent of his average score, which just goes to show the level of intensity and focus Butler brings every time he sets foot on the hardwood.
This is a pretty interesting and different metric compared to what we usually use to measure a player’s efficiency (I.e. player efficiency rating, RPM, box plus/minus, etc). But it proves the consistent value that Butler brings to the table for the Heat.
So far in nine games played this postseason for Butler, he’s averaged 21.8 points per game, 5.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.1 steals, and 0.6 blocks. That’s amounted to a career-best .227 win shares per 48 minutes, 23.4 player efficiency rating, and 5.0 box/plus minus rating for him so far in this special postseason run.
Butler and the Heat will now be waiting on the Raptors and Celtics to finish their series to figure out their opposition in the next round. If the Heat get through the Eastern Conference Finals with another series win, it would be the first career NBA Finals appearance for Butler.