Jimmy Butler's Epic Performance Garners High Praise After Heat's Game 2 Win vs. Hawks

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 20, 2022

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 19: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat reacts to a play during the game against the Atlanta Hawks during Round 1 Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs on April 19, 2022 at FTX Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

It wasn't a stretch to view the first-round series between the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks as one between the best player in Trae Young and the best team in the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed.

Don't tell Jimmy Butler that.

The Miami star went into full takeover mode while leading his team to a 115-105 victory in Tuesday's Game 2 to seize a 2-0 series lead. He finished with 45 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals in a reminder that he can take over a series at a moment's notice if needed.

Miami HEAT @MiamiHEAT

The Jimmy Butler Game.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

JIMMY BUTLER HAS 40 POINTS 😤 <a href="https://t.co/9tcfssQpBK">pic.twitter.com/9tcfssQpBK</a>

Ryan Clark @Realrclark25

These are the nights you start to believe <a href="https://twitter.com/JimmyButler?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JimmyButler</a> can be the best player on a championship team.

terriyon veasy @Veasy62

I'll never understand the "Jimmy butler overrated" crowd

Brady Hawk @BradyHawk305

Jimmy Butler showing a ton of emotion after that bucket <br><br>He’s been abusing that pumpfake down low<br><br>It’s worked every time, they always bite

Miami HEAT @MiamiHEAT

Buckets. <a href="https://t.co/8xO00gC5E4">pic.twitter.com/8xO00gC5E4</a>


Lowry finds Butler for the transition slam 💥 <a href="https://t.co/Lv9N0iLcxb">pic.twitter.com/Lv9N0iLcxb</a>

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang

Jimmy Butler has become the Heat's best three-point shooter.

Naveen Ganglani @naveenganglani

SHAME on all of you who doubted Jimmy Butler this season. This is EXACTLY the type of performance in the playoffs that you pay him the big bucks for. Undoubtedly the best player on the court today.

It was a much-needed showing for the Heat considering Bam Adebayo and P.J. Tucker dealt with foul trouble, Kyle Lowry was not aggressively looking for his shot and Duncan Robinson was a nonfactor after going off in Game 1.

Yet Butler more than made up for that as the best player on the floor with an array of three-pointers, drives into the lane, defensive plays and transition opportunities while drawing MVP chants from the Miami crowd. Even when Bogdan Bogdanovic caught fire in the fourth quarter to trim the deficit, Butler came to the rescue with a steal and dunk, assist on an Adebayo dunk and monster fadeaway three to ice it.

kuz @kylekuzma

Jimmy Butler could care less about his numbers he’s all about the Ws but he could 25 a night if he wanted too. Respect

Wes Goldberg @wcgoldberg

Jimmy Butler looking like he's in a bubble right now.


BUTLER WITH THE STEAL AND SLAM 😤 <a href="https://t.co/6wxUqFonZ7">pic.twitter.com/6wxUqFonZ7</a>


A big finish from <a href="https://twitter.com/Bam1of1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Bam1of1</a> 💪🏾 <a href="https://t.co/KyqNehPdNt">pic.twitter.com/KyqNehPdNt</a>

Josh Eberley 🇨🇦 @JoshEberley

If this is the Jimmy Butler we are getting, I might need to re-think these picks.

Ringer NBA @ringernba

Jimmy Butler after this performance <a href="https://t.co/yQfFyxzZhp">pic.twitter.com/yQfFyxzZhp</a>

The Hawks can at least take solace knowing the series shifts back to Atlanta for Friday's Game 3, but it won't matter if this version of Butler shows up.