After the Heat tied up the NBA Finals series in Game 2 against the Nuggets, Jimmy Butler and company are right where they want to be with Games 3 and 4 in Miami. The Heat, a No. 8 seed, are in the midst of one of the most improbable runs by an NBA team in history and Butler explained that center Bam Adebayo will be the key to his team winning it all.
“Bam has been playing incredibly well this entire playoffs, for sure this series, and this one he got the toughest matchup by far on the defensive side of the ball,” Butler told reporters on Tuesday. “And on the offensive end, he’s doing everything for us. We need him to continue to be that. He has been that for us all year long and like I said, he’s going to be the reason why we win a championship”.
Jimmy Butler says Bam Adebayo is “going to be the reason we win the championship.” pic.twitter.com/tzXvPGybu7— Wes Goldberg (@wcgoldberg) June 6, 2023
The matchup Butler is referring to is Denver star big man Nikola Jokić, who dropped 41 points in Game 2. But it wasn’t enough and the Heat took a 111–108 win on the road with Adebayo tallying 21 points and nine boards.
Adebayo is one of the most versatile defenders in the NBA and was named All-Defensive second-team for the fourth year in a row this past season. But Butler is right that the 25-year-old has been huge for them on the offensive side of the ball as well during this run.
The two-time All-Star is averaging 17.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and four assists per game during the playoffs but is putting up 23.5 points per contest during the Finals. He’s on pace to have his best playoff series yet.