Miami’s Lowry on Butler: ‘He’s one of the best players I’ve played with’

Jimmy Butler has been one of the best players in the 2022 NBA playoffs, and on Friday night, with their backs against the wall, the Miami Heat needed him to be at his best.

Well, he delivered. 

Butler scored a playoff-career-high 47 points as the Heat avoided elimination and defeated the Celtics 111-1o3 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals at TD Garden. 

The seventh and deciding game is Sunday night in Miami. The winner will battle the Warriors in the NBA Finals.

Butler, who recorded his fourth 40-plus point game in these playoffs, got a special call from Heat legend Dwyane Wade before the game, which according to Butler, was well needed.

“D-Wade never hits me until his voice is really, really needed,” Butler said. “And it was. I texted him and told him I appreciate him for it. Just to let me go out there, continue to build on that legacy, and make sure that we win.”

“It’s (expletive) incredible,” Kyle Lowry, who had 18 points and 10 assists, said about Butler’s performance. “He’s such a humble basketball player. The work he does put in, I witness it. It’s incredible to have a guy like him next to me. I’ve played with some great players, and he’s one of the best players I’ve played with.”

This performance by Butler was very similar to LeBron James’ big Game 6 performance against the Celtics  in the 2012 Eastern Conference finals, where the Heat trailed 3-2. In that game, James had 45 points and 15 rebounds, and Miami defeated the Celtics in Boston. That was a great performance, and what Butler did Friday night was equally special. 

Celtics’ Jaylen Brown, who had 20 points, six rebounds, and five assists, was impressed by Butler’s performance, but he feels Boston will do a better job against Butler in Game 7.

“He just had it rolling. Made a lot of shots that on film we’ll live with,” Brown said. “Made four threes; I don’t think he’s made four threes in a game all Playoffs, but tonight he came out, and he was aggressive. He played like his back was on the wall, and he had an amazing game, and we just had no answers for him tonight. We’ve got to do a better job — we will do a better job on Sunday.”

Now, it’s onto Game 7, and no one knows what will happen. Boston has won in Miami twice in this series, so they definitely have a shot. 

Who wins Game 7 is anyone’s guess.

Miami’s Johnson on Wade: ‘I don’t think no one wants to make the playoffs more than him’

With 9 games left, the Miami Heat are playing their best basketball of the season. The Heat have won 9 of their last 12 games, including a 113-108 victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night in D.C.  With the victory, Miami moved to 36-37, and they are in sole possession of the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Obviously, every team wants to make the playoffs, but for the Heat, making the playoffs would be even sweeter. After 16 seasons, the great Dwyane Wade has decided to retire from the NBA, which means making the playoffs is a big deal for Miami.

“I don’t think nobody wants to make it(playoffs) more than him,”  Heat F James Johnson told goforitradio’s Paul Gant about Wade on Saturday night. “And we’re fighting. I think everybody already has the mentality of we want to make it. I just think with D-Wade, being his last dance, it just makes it more special if we do.”

Based on his performance on Saturday night against Washington, Wade is doing everything in his power to make the playoffs, and while he is no longer a superstar, the 37-year-old is still playing at a reasonably high level. In 63 games this season, Wade is averaging 14.3 ppg off the bench, and late in the game against the Wizards, where Wade scored 11 of his team-high 20 points in the fourth quarter, Miami was running their offense through him, and he delivered, so it’s clear, If he wanted to, Wade could still keep playing.

“I know for sure I see he can still go,” Johnson said about Wade. “But when your heart and your mind is not into it no more, it’s not about the body after that.”

The Heat hold a one-game lead over the Orlando Magic, who Miami plays on Tuesday night at home. Miami is 1-2 against the Magic this season, which means if they lose to Magic on Tuesday, Orlando would win the season series and hold the tie-breaker against the Heat. Therefore, if Miami wants to make the playoffs, in D-Wade’s final season, it’s imperative that they beat Orlando on Tuesday night.

Report: Cavs, Nuggets, and Pacers engaged in trade talks involving George and Love

According to ESPN, leading up to last Thursday’s draft, the Cavaliers, Nuggets, and Pacers engaged in talks on a three-way deal that would have sent Paul George to Cleveland, Kevin Love to Denver, and Indiana would have received players from the Nuggets.  Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay, Kenneth Faried, and Wilson Chandler are all said to be available, according to the report.

The Cavs are still interested in the 27-year-old George, and will continue to pursue him, according to the report.

Also, the Cavaliers are reportedly interested in both Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade, if one or both players receive buyouts.

If the Cavs can get their hands on George, obviously they will be able to contend with the Warriors. Cleveland knows that they can’t bring the same team back, and expect to beat the Warriors.  Whether it’s Anthony, Wade, or George, expect some changes to the Cavs roster next season.

Cleveland was not the only team trying to get George. The Lakers, Rockets, Spurs, and Celtics have all reportedly tried to get their hands on George before the draft. George reportedly would like to play for the Lakers. He can opt out of his contract with the Pacers in the summer of 2018.

Bulls’ Dwyane Wade opts in for 2017-18; Jimmy Butler wants to stay in Chicago?

Dwyane Wade will return to the Chicago Bulls, according to reports.  The 35-year-old Wade has decided to exercise his player option for next season. Wade will make 23.8 million dollars in the 2017-18 season.

When asked by NBA.COM’s David Aldridge why he decided to opt in, Wade said: “24 million reasons.”

With Wade coming back to the Bulls, does that mean Jimmy Butler will stay in Chicago? According to ESPN, the 27-year-old Butler wants to stay in Chicago. Butler’s name had reportedly been mentioned in trade talks with the Celtics, 76ers, and Cavaliers over the past week. At one point, it seemed Cleveland was the favorite, but Butler was not willing to commit long-term to the Cavaliers, according to ESPN.

Dwyane Wade out for the remainder of the regular season

The Chicago Bulls announce that Dwyane Wade is out for the remainder of the regular season with a sprain and small fracture in his elbow. Wade, 35, hurt his elbow last night against the Grizzlies.  This a big blow to Chicago’s playoff hopes. The Bulls are currently one game out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.