Jimmy Butler Agrees Bam Adebayo's Block on Jayson Tatum Is All-Time Playoff Play

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIISeptember 16, 2020

Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler, bottom left, and Jae Crowder (99) look on as Bam Adebayo (13) blocks a shot attempt by Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum (0) in the closing seconds of overtime of an NBA conference final playoff basketball game, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Bam Adebayo's game-saving block on a Jayson Tatum dunk attempt in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals both looked spectacular in the moment and requires multiple viewings to truly understand how absurd it was. 

Jimmy Butler only needed to see it live once to form an opinion. After the game, the Miami Heat star agreed with Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, who said it's the best defensive play in NBA playoff history.

Miami took a 1-0 series lead with a 117-114 overtime victory.

The play from Adebayo immediately evoked memories of LeBron James' block on Andre Iguodala in the waning moments of Game 7 during the 2016 NBA Finals. 

The stakes were different, though.

James' block isn't just one of the signature plays of his career; it's arguably one of the most memorable stops in NBA history. The block effectively ended the series and secured a long-awaited championship for the Cleveland Cavaliers after they went down 3-1 in the series. 

Adebayo's block came during Game 1 of the conference finals. While it was undoubtedly a spectacular play, it doesn't carry the same weight as James' rejection. 

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That doesn't make it any less amazing, though.

The focus, hand-eye coordination and commitment Adebayo displayed is impressive no matter the circumstances. After the win, the 23-year-old told reporters it was the top play he's ever made at any level. 

Johnson and Butler wasted no time declaring it one of the best defensive moments in playoff history.