Heat's Jimmy Butler: Game 6 Performance vs. Celtics Inspired by Dwyane Wade Talk

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 28, 2022

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 27: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat reacts against the Boston Celtics during the second quarter in Game Six of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 27, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. 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. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Jimmy Butler credited Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade for providing motivation ahead of the team's Game 6 win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night.

Butler, who scored a game-high 47 points on the road to force a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals, discussed the message Wade gave him:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

"Knee is banged up, nobody cares. Go out there and continue to build your legacy" 💪 <br><br>DWade's words of encouragement to Jimmy Butler before Game 6 <a href="https://t.co/Swg3hywmzZ">pic.twitter.com/Swg3hywmzZ</a>

The six-time All-Star appeared severely hampered by his knee injury over the previous two games, scoring just 19 total points in back-to-back Celtics wins to take the series lead.

He returned to form Friday. Along with pouring in nearly 50 points, he recorded nine rebounds, eight assists, four steals and a block in 46 minutes to keep Miami's season alive.

"It's f--king incredible," teammate Kyle Lowry told reporters.

Wade purchased an ownership stake in the Utah Jazz last year, but he still possesses a strong connection to the franchise where he spent most of his Hall of Fame playing career.

He posted on Twitter about Butler's latest standout performance:

DWade @DwyaneWade

Make room <a href="https://twitter.com/KingJames?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KingJames</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/JimmyButler?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JimmyButler</a> has entered the room 🫡 <a href="https://t.co/VHke9V0YmN">https://t.co/VHke9V0YmN</a>

Now the biggest question heading toward Game 7 is what version of the 32-year-old Marquette product will show up in the decider.

Will it be the version of Butler who appeared well less than 100 percent in Games 4 and 5 or the unstoppable force from Game 6?

The answer is likely to determine which team advances to face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.