Heat stun the No. 1 seed Bucks


Erik Drost | Wikimedia Commons

Jeremy Dobin

The Miami Heat became just the sixth No. 8 seed ever to upset a No. 1 seed and advance in the NBA Playoffs.

By eliminating the Milwaukee Bucks in five games, Miami became the first play-in team to advance to the second round since the NBA introduced the play-in tournament in 2021.

It is no surprise that the Heat pulled off the upset. The Heat were one win away from reaching the Finals a year ago, and this year Heat superstar forward Jimmy Butler turned into ‘Playoff Jimmy’ again.

Butler has earned the moniker, ‘Playoff Jimmy’ because of his outrageous level of play once the playoffs roll around. Butler is among the most talented players in the league all season long but he is on a different level when the stakes are raised.

Butler was instrumental in 2020 when he led the Heat to the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers in “The Bubble.” He was phenomenal in those 2020 Finals when he put up a 40-point triple double in Game 3 and a 35-point triple double in Game 5 to keep the Heat alive in the series.

In 2022 Butler had a 45-point performance in round one and then multiple 40+ scoring games against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals; scoring 41 in game 1 and 47 in game 6.

This year, Butler has already put together performances for the ages by making crucial plays and baskets at the end of games through one round. He scored 98 points in the span of two games to help the Heat stun the Bucks. 56 of those points came in a thrilling Game 4 victory in which Butler scored at least 20 points in two different quarters.

Butler’s 56 points in that memorable Game 4 is tied for the fourth-most points scored ever in a playoff game and put Butler ahead of the great LeBron James for most points scored in a playoff game in Miami Heat history.

Butler followed up his 56-point Game 4 by putting up 42 in Game 5. Butler’s 42-point outing made him the Heat franchise leader in 40+ point playoff games with eight. He is also the only player in Heat history to score at least 40 or more points in back-to-back playoff games.

In both Games 4 and 5, the Heat were trailing in the fourth quarter. Jimmy Butler and his late-game heroics lifted the Heat to climb back and win.

The Heat face the New York Knicks in the second round. Miami took Game 1. “Playoff Jimmy” will certainly be present against the Knicks. But to Butler, there is no such concept.

“It’s not a thing. I just be hooping,” Butler said.