Jimmy Butler recorded a triple double in the Miami Heat’s 104-99 win Monday against the Toronto Raptors. It tied him with LeBron James for the most in franchise history.
Butler finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, including the assist to forward P.J. Tucker for the clinching 3-pointer. Within the final seconds, Bam Adebayo told teammates to clear out for Butler to get his last rebound for the triple-double.
“I told everyone in the huddle to box out so Jimmy could get the rebound," Adebayo said. "They took the shot, we came down and shot free throws. The last one, I was screaming ‘Jimmy get it,’ and he got it right before the buzzer.”
Butler hasn’t skipped a beat since missing time with an ankle injury. His scoring ability and defensive presence are the traits that make him the Heat’s best player. Coach Erik Spoelstra spoke about Butler’s presence on the Heat after their win against the Raptors.
“He had some incredible off-ball plays defensively," Spoelstra said. "Those are the plays you can’t really teach. If you try to scheme that, guys would look at you crazy. He’s just playing to his instincts, which is really important to have those type of plays.”
Butler’s aggressive offensive play allows the Heat to generate quick scoring and keep the rotations fluid throughout the game. That rapid rotation allows players like Tyler Herro and Max Strus to score efficiently.
The Heat, who have won five of six, are tied with the Chicago Bulls for first-place in the Eastern Conference.
Jayden Armant is a contributor to Inside The Heat. He is a student at Howard University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @jaydenarmant