Jimmy Butler says ‘Playoff Jimmy’ is just “different”

Jimmy Butler goes from an All-Star caliber player in the regular season to a Tier 1 NBA superstar come playoff time. With just over a month away from postseason, Butler opens up about this notion.

The Miami Heat are coming off an 8-3 record for the month of February. Prior to last night’s close loss to the reigning NBA Champion Denver Nuggets, the Heat were rolling with five straight wins and nine of their last 11. Turning it up a notch post All-Star break is no surprise to this team and all of Heat Nation, and especially to the team’s MVP Jimmy Butler.

The way Butler has operated over five seasons in his Heat tenure is now very familiar. He slightly ‘coasts’ during the first few months of the season but then locks in at the very beginning of the second half of the season. The team has followed his lead with that mentality.

Butler opened up to Bleacher Report’s Chris Hanyes about the whole idea of ‘Playoff Jimmy’:

“How can I turn into the greatest basketball player in the world all of a sudden? I don’t know, man. I’m just different.”

“I think this is when you’re supposed to be playing your best basketball and find a way to get your team to win these games when you’re talking about the playoffs coming around
“I think this is when you’re supposed to be playing your best basketball and find a way to get your team to win these games when you’re talking about the playoffs coming around. But even right now, you’re getting everybody into their roles. You’re getting in a rhythm… speaking for myself and everybody else in this locker room, we want to win. That’s our focus.”

The way Butler explained this is exactly what has transpired on the basketball court over the last few seasons.

Miami has been a team that always has depth. They are one of league leaders in different starting lineups, but the greatness of Coach Spoelstra can always make those lineups work and experiments to find different rotations that mesh. Injuries play the biggest part in that, but it works in the Heat’s favor by the sense that their guys are getting experience with playing in different types of roles. There are team’s in this league who could really use a starting five filled with the quality of guys that the Heat use in bench role’s. That shows how deep this team is.

No matter what seed Miami lands at heading into the postseason, this team led by Butler is prepared and ready for any matchup. That’s been proven considering the Heat have had deep playoff runs in recent years as a 5th seed, 1st seed and even an 8th seed, respectively.

Butler has averaged 21.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG and 4.6 APG in 119 career playoff games. That stat line doesn’t even show a glimpse of what ‘Playoff Jimmy’ is really like, considering several of those playoff seasons were when he was a younger player in a smaller role back when he was a Chicago Bull.

For the 2021-2022 season where Miami was the East’s top seed, Butler had playoff averages of 27.4 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 4.6 APG and 2.1 STLS on 50.6% shooting. Miami fell to the Boston Celtics in the final seconds of a game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals that year.

Last season, during Miami’s improbable 8 seed NBA Finals run, Butler showcased that same playoff dominance in consecutive years. He had averages of 26.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 5.9 APG and 1.8 STLS on 46.8% shooting, 36% from 3-point range.

Had Butler not have been taken out with a sprained ankle courtesy to Josh Hart during the New York Knicks series, he was on pace to cap off arguably the greatest run in professional sports history. The scary thing was even a hobbled Butler not playing at 100% still was able to lead the Heat the rest of the way, until just falling a few games short to the Nuggets in the Finals.

These playoff stats also don’t showcase how clutch he has been during these runs either in close games. He just simply isn’t afraid of the moment.

Both these recent stat lines are considerably higher than his regular seasons averages those seasons. For the current 2023-2024 regular season, Butler is averaging 21.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 4.7 APG and 1.4 STLS on 50.1% shooting. He is also averaging a career high 44.0% from three.

Butler is a two-way talent no matter if it is the regular season or playoffs, but he elevates that talent considerably when it matters most. Will it be enough to lead Miami over the hump this year?


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Play off Jimmy will have to re-invent himself. Those head fakes after a while did not work against the Celtics, and the Nuggets were not biting.


And maybe one of the reasons this happened…

“Losing to the Miami Heat in the playoffs forced the Boston Celtics to revamp the roster around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, says the team’s owner.”

Also to Milw? But this might be Jimmy’s last window, last chance.


About the game. Weird one, nothing went our way. Those Nuggets is a bad, maybe the worst matchup for Heat. I hope somebody will knock them out in the west. At least 7-8 different teams can win the west. Only 2 teams and Heat in the east can beat Boston.

About Jimmy. Do it again. we need playoff Jimmy.


I agree they’re the worst matchup for the heat, but even if nuggets get knocked out, we still will have to worry about timberwolves with there size as well as another bad matchup…either way west is loaded. JIMVP got no choice but to bring that playoff mode because at the end of the day, it’s all about winning that championship.

heat for life

at least spo used orob versus denver.think that was a good move versus the cheap shot artist he held his own.same would be needed versus the minnesota giants


Orob did held is own and I look forward to him getting as much minutes as he can. Love would help against his old team too, since he is are 2nd best rebounder .

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