Despite a good comeback in this series, the Philadelphia Sixers have just suffered a huge slap in the face: an 85 to 120 loss against the Miami Heat. With this very large victory, the Floridians regained control (3-2) of this clash in the second round of the Playoffs. A success achieved in particular thanks to Jimmy Butler.
Author of 23 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists in 35 minutes, the winger made a superb copy. With a differential of +36 (the best of the match), the former Chicago Bulls made big differences on the floor.
Obviously, this is not a surprise in relation to his impact since his arrival in Miami in 2019. But such a performance against the 76ers still has a special flavor …
Jimmy Butler, 76ers preferred Ben Simmons
Why ? Because when signing with the Heat, Butler arrives from … the Philadelphia Sixers! During this Free Agency, the training led by Pat Riley retrieves it as part of a “sign-and-trade” in particular in exchange for Josh Richardson.
Despite the Houston native’s reputation (often perceived as unmanageable after his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves), the Heat did not hesitate for a second to bet $142 million over 4 years. At the time, Miami was convinced that he would fit perfectly into the team’s culture. A winning bet.
But conversely, Philadelphia made a really losing bet. Without even mentioning the ephemeral adventure of Richardson (55 matches), the leaders of the 76ers decided at the time to sacrifice Butler to favor … Ben Simmons !
Indeed, while the 32-year-old player (29 at the time of this choice) had a solid relationship with Joel Embiid, Philadelphia preferred to bet on the potential of the Australian. A choice that could be defended at that time. Both men needed the ball to express themselves and so a start was needed.
Faced with this situation, Simmons (still under rookie contract) had the favor of his management. But with hindsight, this is clearly a mistake.
“We let go of Jimmy, which by the way is always a mistake, to make sure we gave the ball to Simmons. It was the decision of the managers. And like I said, it was surprising,” said recognized Joel Embiid last September.
And very clearly, Butler is in charge of making the 76ers pay…
Ben Simmons, his plan to recover his 19 million lost to the 76ers
The Heat boss makes the difference
Because since the beginning of this series, the boss of the Heat assumes his rank perfectly. Even in his team’s losses, he combined 33 and 40 points. Faced with the physical problems of Kyle Lowry and irregular performance of Bam Adebayohe embodies a solid and reliable leader.
Above all, in addition to its sporting impact, its leadership is also felt in the play of its partners. By showing the way forward, he makes the Heat collective stronger. A strong personality that the 76ers would have needed to train a group around Embiid.
“He’s a great competitor at heart. When the competition comes around, he understands all that has to be done – and it has to be done on both sides of the court. He’s able to compete with incredibly fierceness and spirit. steady.
It’s really unique. The craziest thing is when he’s really focused on making sure we have strong, winning basketball for our team.” admired son coach Erik Spoelstra.
A bit like when he posted a differential of +36 by keeping opposing attackers at 2/8 on shots against him. As he already demonstrated during the 2020 Playoffs, Jimmy Butler can lead a team to the NBA Finals.
And the Sixers are likely to harbor regrets for a long time …
Why Jimmy Butler holds the fate of the Heat in his hands