Jimmy Butler has not looked like himself during a pair of blowout losses to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals and the Miami Heat star got called out by talking head Skip Bayless for “quitting” on his team.
Butler is usually the tone-setter for the Heat but has been unable to get on track. Since exiting Game 3 with a knee injury, Butler has gone just 7-of-32 from the field, scoring 13 points in the last two games combined.
The most recent struggles from the Heat prompted a tweet from Sixers star Joel Embiid — a good friend of Butler — which said, “Miami needs another star.” Embiid is a notorious troll and was trying to generate some banter on social media. He later tweeted, “Ok y’all are stupid lmao.”
Embiid’s tweet did invoke quite the response from Bayless, who took aim at Butler.
“Joel Embiid tweets last night, ‘the Miami Heat need another star,’” Bayless ranted on Undisputed on Thursday. “Baloney they need another star! They got one, who has completely quit on them while acting like he’s still playing and that’s Jimmy Butler.”
Tyler Herro Injury Puts Heat in Tough Spot
Bayless noted that the Heat do have a star in Tyler Herro, albeit he’s been out with a groin injury.
“They have the freakin’ Sixth Man of the Year sitting on the bench in street clothes. He averaged 21 points a game,” Bayless said of Herro. “Nobody comes off the bench and impacts a game better than Tyler Herro! He shot 40 percent from three during the regular season and if he had been healthy last night — they win that game.”
Of course, the Heat also have big man Bam Adebayo, who is averaging 14.7 points and 7.8 rebounds in the postseason. Veteran six-time All-Star Kyle Lowry is also available for the Heat, although he’s also struggled with an injury.
Jimmy Butler Still Has Faith in Heat
Miami’s season is on the line heading into Game 6 but Butler still has faith they can turn things around after two consecutive clunkers.
“We know what we are capable of. We know we can play some really good basketball and we know that we are going to play some really good basketball,” Butler said after Game 5. “It’s going to have to start in this next game up in Boston. But I just think that we know that we can win.”
The big whiff for the Heat came from beyond the arc. After being one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the regular season, the Heat have hit a skid. In Game 5, the Heat shot just 15.6% from deep. However, what both Butler and Adebayo pointed to as a glaring weakness was on the defensive end.
“Obviously, we’ve got to shoot better, but at the end of the day, can’t hang our hat on threes,” Adebayo told reporters. “I feel like where we went wrong was on the defensive end.”
The Celtics are listed as an 8.5-point favorite for Game 6 in Boston. The total is set at a very low 201 points, which would have hit in three of five games in the series.