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Jimmy Butler has been a dominating force for the Miami Heat in these playoffs and a key component in their overall success but after a tough loss against the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Butler said his lack of teamwork is what led to Miami’s downfall.
Butler, who kept up with his playoff average, scoring 29 points in 32 minutes, told reporters during his post-game presser on Thursday night that he believes the 127-102 loss came as a result of him being “selfish.”
Jimmy Butler of the Heat looks on against the Boston Celtics during the Eastern Conference Finals at FTX Arena on May 19, 2022, in Miami, Florida. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
“I think I’ve got to do a better job of getting everybody else involved if I’m being brutally honest. I’ve got to find that fine medium, that fine line in between when to be aggressive and when to make sure that I can get guys open,” he explained. “I’ve got to basically do Kyle’s (Lowry) job and make sure guys are in spots where they can be comfortable and be the most successful. That’s on me. I don’t think that’s on (Erik Spoelstra). I don’t think that’s on Bam (Adebayo). I think it’s my job.”
He continued: “I think I got a bit selfish on the offensive end and I’ve gotta look to use my teammates. They’ve been there for me all year long and I’ve gotta get back to that. Because whenever they’re scoring, whenever they’re aggressive, we’re a much better team.”
The Heat’s Jimmy Butler shoots against the Boston Celtics in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals at FTX Arena on May 19, 2022, in Miami, Florida. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Butler has had three 40-point or more games in his last 10. He is averaging 29.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 2.3 steals in the playoffs on 53.5% shooting. In Game 1, Butler finished with 41 points on 12-of-19 shooting. He had 17 points alone in the third quarter, outshooting Boston’s 14 points.
But Thursday was a different story – one Butler won’t soon forget.
“I mean, yeah, you do gotta move on. I don’t like to move on from this because it has to hurt,” Butler said. “They tried to embarrass us, they did embarrass us, so I think we gotta realize that. Use it as fuel, whatever you wanna say, but realize that the game can get out of hand whenever you’re playing against a really good team like them that can score the ball and get stops.”
Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler of the Heat talk during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics on May 19, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
He continued: “Overall, we just have to be better. We’ve got a tough job to do to go over there and win. But if they did it, we can do it as well.”
Boston will host Miami in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. E.T. The Celtics are now 4-0 in games played after a loss in the playoffs this season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.