Kevin Love Makes Bold Claim on Jimmy Butler After Heat Take Game 1 from Bucks

Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat.

Getty Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat.

Jimmy Butler led the Miami Heat to a surprising Game 1 victory on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday. Butler notched a double-double in the win, pouring in 35 points to go along with 11 assists in 43 minutes of play.

Following the 130-117 victory at Fiserv Forum, his Heat teammate Kevin Love made a bold claim, calling the veteran “the best closer in the game.”

“He’s arguably the best closer in the game,” Love said via Bally Sports Sun: Heat. “It’s unbelievable what he’s been able to do there. He’s our leader. He sets the tone for us. I’m taking him over just about anybody in the league when it comes to closing out a game.”

Love made a solid contribution to the Game 1 win as well. He tallied 18 points off the bench, drilling four 3-pointers in the process.

Jimmy Butler Sounds Off on Heat’s Tyler Herro’s Injury

Miami’s victory didn’t come without a cost. They lost star guard Tyler Herro to a broken hand, and will miss him for four-to-six weeks, according to multiple reports.

“Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro broke the middle and ring finger on his shooting hand and is expected to be out approximately 4-6 weeks, league sources tell NBA on TNT, Bleacher Report,” Chris Haynes reported in a tweet.

Butler spoke about the injury, saying that the Heat will have trouble replacing what Herro brings to the table.

“You can’t fully make up what Tyler has been for our team all year long,” Butler said via Bally Sports South & Bally Sports Sun. “But guys gotta step up, including myself, including Bam, and whoever Spo calls upon to do an offensive assignment, a defensive assignment, to bring some energy, to dive on the floor, to get a loose ball or rebound. It’s all hands on deck at all times, and now more than ever.”

‘Stubborn’ Erik Spoelstra Won’t Turn to Victor Oladipo in Heat’s Game 2

Head coach Erik Spolestra will have his hands full trying to replace the offensive punch Herro gives the Heat. One player that he likely won’t turn to is Victor Oladipo, according to an anonymous Eastern Conference head coach who spoke with Heavy Sports Sean Deveney.

“I don’t think so,” the source answered when asked of Oladipo’s chances to find minutes. “Erik Spoelstra can be stubborn, in a good way I think—he sticks to principles and it sets an example for everyone else. But you get into the playoffs and you’ve got to find ways to keep winning. This is on the front office for not doing anything to get Spo more depth, for coming into this year thinking they could catch lightning in a bottle and Vic to play great. That did not happen and it really is not much of a game plan to say, ‘Hey let’s hope we get lucky on this guy.’

The coach added that Spoelstra is stuck between two tough options, Oladipo and Duncan Robinson.

“If you’re Spo, you’ve essentially got two cards to play, and you can either have your offense grind to a halt and let Oladipo play or have your defense get killed and have Robinson play,” the coach said. “Tough spot to be in.”

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